Tuesday, October 4, 2022

U.S. Army to buy additional M230 automatic guns for Apache helicopters

U.S. Army awards modification to contract to Alliant Techsystems Operations, LLC (ATK) for the procurement of M230 30 mm automatic gun and various spare parts in support of the Apache helicopter.

According to an update on a government business website, the Army Contracting Command decide to buy additional M230 30 mm automatic guns.

The M230 chain gun is a 30 mm, single-barrel automatic cannon developed by Hughes and now manufactured by Orbital ATK. It is an electrically operated chain gun, a weapon that uses external electrical power (as opposed to recoil or expanding gas generated by the firing cartridge) to cycle the weapon between shots.


The AH-64 Apache is equipped with a 30mm automatic M230 chain gun, located under its fuselage, which has a rate of fire of 625 rounds per minute.

The gun has a positive cook-off safety for open bolt clearing, and double ram prevention. Spent casings are ejected overboard through the bottom of the gun.

The aircraft can carry up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition. This complements its air-to-surface Hellfire missiles and 2.75-inch rockets.

An AH-64 Apache helicopter’s 30mm M230 chain gun sits loaded and on standby in Erbil, Iraq, May 5, 2016. The M230 is equipped, prepared and ready for any air support mission. Photo by 1st Lt. Aaron DeCapua

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.