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Anti-Aircraft Guns


This 20mm Gatling gun, which also forms the basis for the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (see "Anti-aircraft Warfare" section), is mounted aboard the F/A-18 Hornet and F-14 Tomcat.

CALIBER: 20mm//62

MUZZLE VELOCITY: 3,400 ft./sec.

RATE OF FIRE: 4,000 or 6,000 rounds/min.

WEIGHT: 841 lbs. total (gun, feed system, ammunition)

MANUFACTURER: General Electric

Surface-to-Air Missiles

Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)

Developed jointly with the Federal Republic of Germany, RAM provides ships with a low-cost, self-defense system against anti-ship missiles.

DIMENSIONS: 9.25 ft. long; 5 in. diameter; 1.5 ft. wing span

WEIGHT: 162 lbs.

WARHEAD: 25 lbs.

PROPULSION: Solid-fuel rocket

RANGE: 5 nm

SPEED: Supersonic


Standard Missile-1 (SM-1)/Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)

Designed as a surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile, the Standard missile is currently employed in two variations: SM-1/SM-2 MR (medium range) and SM-2 ER (Extended Range). The first Standard missile entered the fleet in 1970. The SM-2 ER arrived in 1981.


DIMENSIONS: 14.7 ft. long; 13.5 in. diameter; 3.6 ft. wing span

WEIGHT: 1,100 lbs. (SM-1 ); 1,380 lbs. (SM-2)

WARHEAD: Proximity fuse/high-explosive

PROPULSION: Dual thrust/solid-fuel rocket

RANGE: 15 to 20 nm. (SM-1); 40 to 90 nm (SM-2 MR)



DIMENSIONS: 26.2 ft long; 13.5 in. diameter; 5.2 ft. wing span

WEIGHT: 2,980 lbs.

WARHEAD: Proximity fuse/high-explosive

PROPULSION: Two-stage/solid-fuel rocket; sustainer motor and booster motor

RANGE: 65 to 100 nm


Air-to-Air Missiles

Advanced, Medium-Range, Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM)

An all-weather, beyond-visual-range, air-to-air missile designed as a follow-on to the Sparrow missile series. Less dependent on the aircraft's fire control system for guidance, the missile frees the pilot to aim and fire multiple missiles while evading enemy fire. The AMRAAM program is the result of a joint agreement between the U.S. and its NATO allies to develop and share production technology. The AMRAAM was deployed in September 1991 and is carried aboard the F/A-18 Hornet.

DIMENSIONS: 12 ft. (long); 7 in. diameter; 21 in. wing span

WEIGHT: 335 lbs.

PROPULSION: High performance, directed rocket motor

WARHEAD: Blast fragmentation; high explosive

SPEED: Supersonic


Phoenix Missile

The Navy's only long-range, air-to-air missile. The missile has been designed for use in all-weather, heavy-jamming environment. First deployed in 1974.

DIMENSIONS: 13 ft. long; 15 in. diameter; 3 ft. wing span

WEIGHT: 1,024 lbs.

PROPULSION: Solid-fuel rocket motor

WARHEAD: 135 lbs.; proximity fuse, high explosive

RANGE: In excess of 100 nm

SPEED: In excess of 3,000 mph



A highly-maneuverable, all-weather, all-altitude, air-to-air missile found throughout the U.S. and NATO forces.

A surface ship version, the Sea Sparrow, provides U.S. Navy and NATO ships with an effective, anti-air weapon. First deployed in 1976. Carried on F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.

DIMENSIONS: 12 ft. long; 8 in. diameter; 3.4 ft. wing span

WEIGHT: 500 lbs.

WARHEAD: 90 lbs. Annular blast fragmentation

PROPULSION: Solid-fuel rocket motor

RANGE: In excess of 30 nm

SPEED: In excess of 2,660 mph



The Sidewinder is a short-range, heat-seeking, anti-air missile carried by fighter aircraft. The missile's high-explosive warhead and infrared, heat-seeking guidance system have contributed to the program's long life. The first prototype was fired successfully in 1953 and the initial production version became operational in 1956. The current version, AIM-9M, began fleet use in 1983. The Sidewinder is one of the oldest, least-expensive and most-successful missiles in the entire U.S. inventory.

DIMENSIONS: 9.6 ft. long; 5 in. diameter, 2.1 ft. in span

WEIGHT: 190 lbs.

PROPULSION: Single-stage, solid-fuel rocket motor

WARHEAD: 20.8 blast fragmentation

SPEED: Supersonic

RANGE: 8.7 plus nm

MANUFACTURER: Raytheon/Ford Aerospace/Loral

Shipboard Guns

MK-45 - 5-inch/54-caliber lightweight gun

This 54-caliber, lightweight gun provides surface combatants accurate naval gunfire against fast, highly-maneuverable, surface targets, air threats and shore batteries during amphibious operations.

CALIBER: 5 inch/54 inch


FIRING RATE: 20 rounds per minute

MUZZLE VELOCITY: 2,650 ft./sec

RANGE: 13 nm

MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 475 to 500 rounds

WEIGHT: 47,820 lbs.

MK-38 - 25 mm machine gun system

The naval version of the Army Bushmaster, or "Chain Gun." This single-barrel air-cooled, heavy machine gun meets the needs of ships throughout the fleet, especially those operating in the Arabian Gulf.

CALIBER: 25 mm/87

ROUND WEIGHT: 1.1 lbs.

MUZZLE VELOCITY: 1,100 m/sec

RANGE: 2,700 yds.

TYPE OF FIRE: Single shot: 175 rounds/min. in automatic

MANUFACTURER: Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center

MK-75 - 76mm/62 Caliber 3-inch gun

Best suited for use aboard smaller combat vessels, the MK-75 features rapid fire capability with low manning requirements. The gun was approved for fleet use in 1975 and was first deployed aboard USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7) in 1978.

CALIBER: 3-inch/62

RATE OF FIRE: 85 rounds/min.


RANGE: 10 nm

WEIGHT: 7.35 tons

MANUFACTURER: FMC Naval Systems Division and OTO Melara

Phalanx Close-in Weapons System (CIWS)

The Phalanx CIWS combines a 20 mm Gatling gun with search and tracking radar to provide surface ships with terminal defense against anti-ship missiles. The system underwent operational tests and evaluation on board USS Bigelow (DD 942) in 1977 and went into production in 1978 with the first system installed aboard USS Coral Sea (CV 43) in 1980. The original versions used rounds made from depleted uranium that have since been replaced by tungsten rounds

CALIBER: 20mm/53

RATE OF FIRE: 1,000-3,000 rounds/min.

MUZZLE VELOCITY: 3,650 ft./sec

RANGE: 6,000 yds.

MANUFACTURER: Hughes Missile Systems Company

60mm Mortar

Often combined with the M-60 machine gun, the 60mm mortar is used aboard patrol boats (PBs).


RATE OF FIRE: 10 rounds/min. (trigger mode); 18 rounds/min. (drop mode)

MUZZLE VELOCITY: 500 ft./sec

RANGE: 1,850 to 2,000 yds.
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Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001

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