The newest member of the Boeing innovative line of medium caliber automatic cannons -- proposed for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft - was a hit in its first public firing demonstration recently.
The Advanced 27mm Aircraft Cannon, a single barrel, gas operated, lightweight, revolver, fired 40 rounds in four 10-round bursts of electrically primed 27mm ammunition, during the March 25 demonstration at the Arizona National Guard range in Florence, Ariz. Since the gun fires 1,800 shots per minute, it took only 1 1/3 seconds to complete the firing. Government, military and industry officials attended.
The Boeing Company, Mauser-Werke Oberndorf of Germany, Primex Technologies, Inc. of Florida and Western Design of California will jointly produce the advanced gun system and ammunition.
The cannon was fired from a ground-mounted test stand into a cardboard target. High explosive dual purpose (HEDP) rounds also were fired from an Automatic Self-Powered 30mm cannon into a metal target to demonstrate the capabilities and lethality of the HEDP projectile. Primex is developing HEDP rounds for the 27mm cannon.
The demonstration also marked the first time the 27mm linear linkless feed and case recovery system was demonstrated in the United States.
The 27mm cannon, derived from the Mauser-designed BK 27 cannon, is a candidate for both the Boeing and Lockheed Martin versions of the JSF.
If selected, up to 3,000 27mm cannons will be built in Mesa, Ariz., under license from Mauser.
"The first demonstration was very successful," said Cal Calvert, marketing manager of the 27mm Aircraft Cannon program at Boeing. "The gun will provide an effective, lethal air-to-ground weapon system at ranges of nearly two miles and enhance the air-to-air role of the JSF. It will also provide surgical accuracy to engage targets in close proximity to friendly forces."
Joe Vojir, manager for the Boeing Lethality Team and Weapons Integration for the JSF, said he was impressed with the gun's low recoil loads and blast control. "Muzzle blast and recoil are considerably reduced, making it very effective to put into the JSF," he said.