Saturday, December 3, 2022

U.S. Navy awards contract to General Dynamics for procurement of F/A-18’s Gatling guns

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a modification to a previously awarded contract from the U.S. Navy for procurement of 66 M61A2 20mm Gatling gun systems.

The modification, from U.S. Naval Air Systems Command and announced on Wednesday, is valued at more than $20 million and covers the procurement of 66 M61A2 Gatling guns in support of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft production for the Navy (34); and the government of Kuwait (32).

This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($10,7 million or 52%); and the government of Kuwait ($10 million or 48%) under the FMS program.


The M61A2 is a lightweight and compact 20mm version of the Vulcan six-barrel, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon. The rotor and housing have also been modified to remove any piece of metal not absolutely needed for operation and replaces some metal components with lighter weight materials.

The F/A-18 E/F’s gun system components, including the gun, are mounted on a pallet structure. The gun is attached to the pallet via twin recoil adapters that dissipate firing forces. The entire system is mounted in the nose of the aircraft with barrel positioning provided by a forward muzzle clamp with integral rollers.

The palletized approach provides a straight-forward and rapid installation and removal process for ease of maintenance.

Photo by Leon Wong

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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.