Phalanx gun in action

Click here to see a video of the 20mm Phalanx AA gun in action. I found this on the net while killing some time on the net in the school computer room yesterday lunchtime. I like the end bit with the HEIT/SD shells going into the air at 4000 per minute at night. Pretty spectacular! Definitely worth watching.

That was awesome! Thanks!

Here’s a short clip of the ship-based 30mm version, the Goalkeeper CIWS;

Awesome! I wonder what it costs per minute to shoot? Just increadible how it can target and fire so many rounds. Does that shoot 30 MM APFSDS? Anyhow, totaly awesome!

Some versions of it are APDS (no need for fin stabilization at such close ranges), but one of the problems with discarding sabot ammo and a radar-guided system is that you very quickly end up with a cloud of sabot parts in front of and around the very object you’re trying to track and hit, so I believe they prefer a projectile that stays in one piece.

That makes allot of sence. I bet thier is a better projectile configeration, as a AP prtojectile may not be as good HE for incoming missiles?

One of Tony’s books (Rapid Fire) covers an ammunition type that Oerlikon calls “AHEAD” (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction :-) ) that uses timed fuzes to explode a fired projectile in front of an incoming missile; the projectile has a payload of around 150 tungsten sub-projectiles, creating a “shotgun blast” that the missile has to fly through in order to hit its target. A new take on grapeshot :-)

The US Navy does (or did until recently) use a 20mm APDS round in it’s shipboard defense system. I don’t recall there being any issues with the sabot particles clouding the radar. I recall the cases being marked “not for use in forward firing aircraft”. I’ve seen first hand the M-61 gatling gun in action onboard Marine F/A-18s and the 30mm GAU-8 on the A-10. It’s a sound you won’t soon forget and I’m sure it struck fear in to the hearts of anyone on the receiving end.


APDS is the standard anti-missile loading for the 20mm Phalanx and 30mm Goalkeeper (in the latter, it’s known as FMPDS for Frangible Missile-Piercing Discarding Sabot - it’s designed to break up after penetrating the warhead).

For ground-based use in the C-RAM role (counter rocket and mortar) as used to defend US bases in Iraq, APDS would not be appropriate as the solid tungsten-alloy projectiles would fall to earth with lethal effect many miles away. So they use HE-SD ammo instead; this is designed to self-destruct while still in the air.

The 35mm Oerlikon air defence system is also being developed for C-RAM, with special AHEAD ammo firing a smaller number of heavier tungsten sub-projectiles.

Thanks for the great information on these weapon systems and ammunition. Really amazing stuff. I bet the sound of them firing is something no one could forget. It would really suck being on the receiving end of any of those systems. Just increadible how they can track and target such fast, incoming threats.

That video appears to be of the anti-mortar/anti-rocket platform that is deployed around some of the Coalition FOBs/Camps in Iraq.

Wow! I’ve seen them up close but never in action. Very cool!