The U.S. Navy ships Close In Weapons Systems are an important and integral part of all and any U.S. Navy combatant vessel. Providing defense against short-range threats such as highly maneuverable missiles, aircraft, and fast maneuvering surface vessels the “seewiz” (CIWS) is organic to every ship. As such, Phalanx CIWS Close In Weapons System has become the standard on every U.S. Navy ship, just as other caliber electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon are to U.S. Air Force aircraft.
Created in response to the U.S. military request for extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability guns, the U.S. Army issued General Electric a contract for “Project Vulcan”, a six-barrel weapon capable of firing 7,200 rounds per minute. This was the genesis of a project that would integrate elements from different known old and new concepts to create the type of gun that would be in every U.S. military aircraft and combatant vessel. This footage shows loading of the radar-guided 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun autocannon, a system capable of locking onto incoming missiles and firing 4,500 rounds per minute, and its subsequent test firing from the USS Underwood (FFG-36), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and USS Antietam (CG-54).
Did you know that all U.S. Navy vessels and U.S. Air Force aircraft have a similar gun installed on them? Sound off and share your opinions and comments in the section below.