M61 Vulcan

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In June 1946, the General Electric Company was awarded the contract for "Project Vulcan". In 1956 the T171 20mm gun was standardized by the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force as the M61 20mm Vulcan aircraft gun.

The 20mm M61 Vulcan is an externally powered, six-barrel, rotary-fire gun having a rate of fire of up to 7,200 rounds per minute. The firing rate is selectable at 4,000 or 6,000 rounds per minute. The gun fires standard electrically primed 20x102mm ammunition.

Each of the gun's six barrels fires only once during each revolution of the barrel cluster. The six rotating barrels contribute to long weapon life by minimizing barrel erosion and heat generation. The gun's rate of fire, essentially 100 rounds per second, gives the pilot a shot density that will enable a "kill" when fired in one-second bursts.

The M61 Vulcan cannon is a proven gun, having been the US military's close-in weapon of choice dating back to the 1950s. The F-104, F-105, X-32, F-14, later models of the F-106, F-111, F-4, B-47, B-52 (until the 1990's), B-58, all used the M61, as does the Air Force's F-15, F-16 and F-22, and the Navy's F/A-18. The primary use of the cannon is in the extremely short range (less than 2,000 feet) air-to-air environment, where more sophisticated air-to-air missiles are ineffective. Alternately, the cannon has limited usefulness in a ground strafing role.

While originally manufactured by General Electric, it is no longer produced by them; GE Armament Systems was sold to Martin Marietta; after their merger with Lockheed, it was produced by Lockheed Martin Armament Systems, which was bought by General Dynamics in 1997.

The M61 Vulcan Cannons used in the film industry have been converted to percussion primer cases using a sub caliber cartridge adapter.

Contents

M61 Vulcan

Specifications

GE M61 Vulcan Cannon - 20x102mm
GE M61 Vulcan Cannon - 20x102mm
M167 VADS (Vulcan Air Defence System) - 20x102mm HE. This is the towed variant; the VADS version mounted on the M113 APC is M163.
  • General Electric M61 Vulcan Cannon.
  • Caliber: 20x102mm
  • Length: 73.80 inches
  • Barrel Length:
  • Weight:
    • Gun: 248 pounds
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,380 feet per second
  • Cyclic rate of fire: 4,000-6,000 rounds per minute

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Osombie USAF pilots Mounted in AC-130 2012
R2B: Return to Base South Korean pilots Mounted in F-15K Eagles 2012
R2B: Return to Base North Korean soldiers M167 VADS 2012
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Starscream 2011
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Starscream 2009
Death Race Tyrese Gibson Joe "Machine Gun" Mason Mounted on 2004 Dodge RAM 4WD 2008
Transformers U.S. Air Force pilots Mounted in F-22 Raptors 2007
Transformers Starscream 2007
Stealth M167 VADS towed mounting 2005
Tears of the Sun U.S. Navy pilots Mounted in F/A-18A Hornets 2003
Detention Mounted on F-15 Eagle 2003
XXX Colombian Army soldiers Chin-mounted on Bell 212 helicopter 2002
Behind Enemy Lines Mounted in F/A-18F Super Hornet 2001
Armageddon Ben Affleck A.J. Frost Mounted on "Armadillo" vehicles 1998
Armageddon Steve Buscemi Rockhound Mounted on "Armadillo" vehicles 1998
Air Force One US Air Force pilots Mounted in F-15 Eagles 1997
Independence Day Will Smith Cpt. Steven Hiller Mounted in F/A-18 Hornet 1996
Independence Day Bill Pullman President Thomas J. Whitmore Mounted in F/A-18 Hornet 1996
Independence Day US military pilots Mounted in F/A-18 Hornets 1996
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion Mounted on JASDF F-1 1996
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe Mounted on JASDF F-4 and F-15 1995
Iron Eagle II Mark Humphrey Capt. Matt "Cobra" Cooper Mounted in F-16C Fighting Falcons 1988
Iron Eagle II Soviet pilots Mounted in F-4E Phantom IIs 1988
Top Gun Mounted in F-14A Tomcats 1986
Iron Eagle Louis Gossett Jr. Col. Charles "Chappy" Sinclair Mounted in F-16 Fighting Falcon 1986
Iron Eagle Jason Gedrick Doug Masters Mounted in F-16 Fighting Falcon 1986
Iron Eagle Tim Thomerson Col. Ted Masters Mounted in F-16 Fighting Falcon 1986
The Jewel of the Nile Michael Douglas Jack Colton Mounted in F-16 Fighting Falcon 1985
Blue Thunder Roy Scheider Officer Frank Murphy Mounted in "Blue Thunder" helicopter 1983
Lone Wolf McQuade Seen in weapons shed 1983
The Final Countdown U.S. Navy pilots Mounted in F-14A Tomcats 1980

Television

Actor Character Title / Episode Note Date
Ultimate Weapons on AC-130A Project Gunship II 2009 - 2012
US Navy pilots The Blacklist Mounted on F-14 Tomcat 2013 - 2015
US Air Force Pilots The Blacklist Mounted on F-22A Raptors 2013 - 2015

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Enemy Engaged: Apache/Havoc Mounted in F-16C Fighting Falcon, F/A-18C Hornet, & M163 VADS, non-playable 1998
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Mounted on N. Korean IFV 2005
Metal Gear Solid Non-playable 1998
Battlefield 2 Mounted in F-15E Strike Eagle and F/A-18A Hornet 2005
Project Reality Mounted in M167 VADS anti-aircraft turret, F/A-18C Hornet, F-15E Strike Eagle, and F-16C Fighting Falcon 2005
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies Mounted in various fighters 2001
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Mounted in various fighters 2004
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation Mounted in various fighters 2007
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Mounted in various fighters 2011
Homefront Sentry tower Untapered, short barrel cluster 2011
Battlefield 3 Mounted in F/A-18E & F/A-18F Super Hornet 2011
World in Conflict Mounted in M167 & M163 VADS 2007
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Mounted on various vehicles 2008
Project Reality: Falklands Mounted on M167 VADS 2012
Project Reality: Vietnam Mounted on M163 VADS 2012

Anime

Title Character Note Date
Appleseed Multipede Cannon Two mounted on front of Multipede Cannon 1988
New Dominion Tank Police Leona Mounted on Bonaparte mini-tank 1993
Macross Zero Mounted on F-14s 2002-2004
Yukikaze FAF forces Mounted on APCs 2002 - 2005
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig JSDA soldiers Mounted on Jigabachi attack helicopters 2004 - 2005
Upotte!! Mounted on F-22 Raptors 2012 - ????

General Dynamics M197 Vulcan

General Dynamics M197 Vulcan - 20x102mm
General Dynamics M197 Vulcan - 20x102mm
M197 Vulcan chin-mounted on an AH-1Z "Viper", a newer version of the AH-1 Cobra.

This is a three barreled version of the M61 Vulcan and most commonly seen mounted in the chin turret of the AH-1 Cobra series of attack helicopters.

Specifications

  • General Dynamics M197 Gatling Cannon
  • Caliber: 20mm
  • Length: 73.80 inches
  • Barrel Length:
  • Weight: 146.3 pounds
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,380 feet per second
  • Cyclic rate of fire: 750 to 1,500 rounds per minute

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Iron Eagle Mounted in AH-1F Cobras 1986
In the Army Now Mounted in AH-1F Cobra (stock news footage) 1994
Courage Under Fire Mounted in AH-1 Cobras (Mockup) 1996
Gamera 2: Attack of Legion Mounted on JGSDF AH-1S Cobras 1996
Con Air Mounted in AH-1 Cobras (Mockup) 1997
War of the Worlds Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobras 2005
Battle: Los Angeles Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobras 2011
American Sniper Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobra 2014
Godzilla Resurgence Mounted on Fuji AH-1 Cobras 2016

Television

Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
JAG - Season 3 Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobra; "The Court-Martial of Sandra Gilbert" (S3E02) 1997
JAG - Season 9 mockup mounted on AH-1 Cobra; "Posse Comitatus" (S9E08) 2004
NCIS - Season 2 mockup mounted on AH-1 Cobra; "Vanished" (S2E03) 2004

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Project Reality Mounted in AH-1Z Viper 2005
Battlefield 2 Mounted in AH-1Z Viper 2005
Close Combat: First to Fight Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobra 2005
Black Stock footage: mounted on AH-1 Super Cobra 2006
Crysis Mounted on N. Korean helicopters and U.S. VTOL craft 2007
World in Conflict Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobras and Agusta A129 Mangustas 2007
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames mounted on vehicles part of a RWS 2008
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising Mounted on AH-1Z Viper 2009
Marines: Modern Urban Combat Mounted on AH-1Z Viper 2010
Homefront Seen only in stock footage of AH-1 Supercobra 2011
Battlefield 3 Mounted in AH-1Z Viper 2011
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Mounted in AH-1W Super Cobra 2011
Battlefield 4 Mounted in AH-1Z Viper 2013

Anime

Character Film Title Note Date
JGSDF soldiers Memories Mounted on AH-1S Cobra 1995
Mobsters Cowboy Bebop Mounted on casino ship 1998 - 1999
US Marines Geobreeders Mounted on AH-1W Super Cobra 1999 - 2000
Rebel Excel Saga Mounted on AH-1 Cobra 1999 - 2000
RAH-66 Comanche helicopter Najica Blitz Tactics "Mission: 011 - The Sad Parting Mission with Girl's Sincerity" 2001
JGSDF soldiers Digimon Tamers Mounted on AH-1 Cobra 2001 - 2002
Sweat Punch ("Beyond") Mounted of futuristic helicopter 2001 - 2007
JMSDF soldiers Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Mounted on Oniyama assault helicopters 2002 - 2003
JMSDF pilots Zipang Mounted on MVSA-32J Umidori tilt-rotor aircraft 2004

General Dynamics / Raytheon Phalanx Close-In Weapon System

Phalanx Block 1 CIWS - 20x102mm
Phalanx Block 1A CIWS - 20x102mm. The Block 1A has a new electronic system which allow it to integrate with other weapons systems aboard ship, as well as introducing a barrel restraint to increase accuracy.
Phalanx Block 1B CIWS - 20x102mm. This is the current version which has a set of Optimised Gun Barrels (OGB) to increase accuracy and longevity, and Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) which enable the CIWS to engage targets with a low radar observability and surface targets.
Centurion C-RAM - 20x102mm. This is a land-based version of the Phalanx Block 1B CIWS mounted on a mobile trailer.

This is a powered mounting used mostly by naval vessels to engage incoming missiles, aircraft, and sea-based close-range targets. It features a distinctive white-painted cylindrical weapon control group with a domed radome at the top which results in the nickname "R2-D2" being applied to the mounting; the cylinder houses the system's tracking radar, while the dome houses the search radar. A land-based version called the Centurion Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) has also been developed, and is used to protect point bases against rocket attacks. Rather than using the tungsten armour-piercing discarding sabot rounds of the naval version, the land-based version uses High-Explosive Incendiary Tracer, Self-Destruct [HEIT-SD] ammunition, which was originally designed for the M163 VADS self-propelled anti-air system. More recently the C-RAM has been adapted to mount on a HEMMT truck meaning that it is fully mobile and self sufficient as opposed to the original C-RAM which was on a demountable towed trailer.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Hunt for Red October Mounted on USS Reuben James 1990
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah Mounted on JMSDF DDH-142 Hiei 1991
Under Siege Mounted on USS Missouri 1992
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe Mounted on JMSDF destroyers 1995
Behind Enemy Lines Mounted on USS Carl Vinson 2001
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah Mounted on Kongo-class JMSDF destroyer 2001
The Sum of All Fears Mounted on USS John C. Stennis 2002
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla Mounted on JMSDF destroyers 2002
Stealth Mounted on USS Abraham Lincoln 2005
Assault Girls Hinako Saeki Colonel Fictional 3-barreled variant, mounted on mecha 2009
Battleship Mounted on US Navy warships 2012
Battleship Mounted on JDS Myoko 2012

Television

Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
NCIS - Season 11 Mounted on USS Benjamin Franklin; "Under the Radar" (S11E03), footage from The Sum of All Fears 2013
The Last Ship Mounted on USS Nathan James 2014

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Crysis Mounted on USS Constitution, main weapon for the multiplayer auto-turrets 2007
Resident Evil 4 Mounted on a Ganados held ship 2005
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Mounted on USS Missouri 2008
Battlefield 2 Mounted on USS Essex 2005
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Mounted on USS Walsh 2005
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Mounted on various warships, non-playable 2004
Battlefield 3 Mounted on various warships, playable in multiplayer only 2011
Battlefield 3 C-RAM Multiplayer mode only 2011
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Seen in a screenshot mounted on an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer 2011
Project Reality: Falklands Anachronistically mounted on HMS Invincible 2012
Battlefield 4 Both Phalanx and C-RAM are seen, the C-RAM is usable in multiplayer only 2013

Anime

Title Character Note Date
Memories Mounted on JMSDF warship 1995
Najica Blitz Tactics 2001
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Mounted on aircraft carrier 2002 - 2003
Macross Zero Mounted on UN Navy ships 2002-2004
Yukikaze Mounted on battleships 2002 - 2005
Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence 2004
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig Mounted on helicopter carrier 2004 - 2005
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Mounted on battleship 2004
Zipang JMSDF sailors Mounted on JDS Mirai 2004
Hellsing [Mounted on aircraft carrier 2006 - ????
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Futuristic design, mounted on buildings 2007 - 2009
Cat Planet Cuties JMSDF sailors Mounted on JMSDF warships 2010



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