Another in the General Electric series of Gatling guns, the "GECAL 50" is currently manufactured by General Dynamics. This is a relatively light-weight weapon, allowing it to be mounted on small vehicles and helicopters. Considered to be quite accurate, with a maximum dispersion of 5 milliradians diameter for 80% of the rounds fired.
To keep the overall weight down, this weapon has only three barrels compared to the six or seven on larger-caliber Gatling Guns.
Designed for use primarily on light aircraft and small patrol boats, this weapon is now being installed on larger US warships as a defense against small suicide craft. The naval mounting is available with the following sighting systems: Simple ring and post; laser designator; optronic or holographic sights. Bores are chrome plated.
|Designation||0.50"/70 (12.7 mm) GAU-19/A|
|Ship Class Used On||Light aircraft, small boats and some larger warships|
|Date Of Design||1980 (?)|
|Date In Service||1985 (?)|
|Gun Weight||139 lbs. (63 kg) with feeder and transfer unit (no ammunition)|
|Gun Length oa||46.5 in (1.181 m)|
|Barrel Length||about 36 in (0.914 m)|
|Grooves||(8) 0.19 in (4.8 mm) deep|
|Twist||Uniform RH 1 in 30|
|Chamber Volume||1.5 in3 (24.6 cm3)|
|Rate Of Fire||Maximum: 2,000 rounds per minute cyclic
Normal maximum: 1,000 to 2,000 rounds per minute cyclic
HMMWV (Hummer) installations: 1,300 rounds per minute cyclic
|Weight of Complete Round||0.255 lbs. (0.116 kg)|
|Projectile Types and Weights||Bullet - 1.71 oz (48.5 gm)|
|Bursting Charge||Solid bullet|
|Projectile Length||N/A - Complete round 5.45 in (13.84 cm)|
|Propellant Charge||0.54 oz (15.3 gm) NC tube|
|Cartridge||0.5 x 3.9 in (12.7 x 99 mm)|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,910 fps (887 mps)|
|Approximate Barrel Life
(see Note 2)
|35,000 to 50,000 rounds|
|Ammunition stowage per gun||Ammunition is supplied in 100 round belts, which can be linked together up to 1,200 rounds|
- This weapon can fire any of the 0.50 in (12.7 mm) NATO Standardized Agreement 3585 or Mil Spec Ammunition.
- Life figures are per barrel group which was originally specified as 35,000 rounds. During life tests performed in 2004, one barrel group evaluated after firing 45,200 rounds showed no yaw and the muzzle velocity was 2,655 fps (809 mps), a reduction of less than 9%. Additional firing to a total of 54,000 rounds showed a further muzzle velocity drop to 2,150 fps (655 mps), but only the tracer rounds showed yaw problems. As a result, the recommended barrel group life has now been extended to 50,000 rounds.
|Designation||Naval Pintle Mount: Mark 16
Helicopter Fixed Mount: GAU-19/A
Without Ammunition: about 560 lbs. (254 kg)
With Ammunition: about 932 lbs. (423 kg)
|Elevation||Mark 16: -20 / +40 degrees|
|Rate of Elevation||Manually operated, only|
(see Note 3)
|Mark 16: 240 degrees|
|Rate of Train||Manually operated, only|
- Aircraft installations of the GAU-19/A are within a fixed-forward mount attached to a standard 14-inch (35.6 cm) NATO stores rack.
- This weapon requires a 24 Vdc power supply to operate.
- Mechanical traversing stops are configurable for each individual installation of the Mark 16.
"GAU-19/A Barrel Life Study" by James J. St. Germain, General Dynamics Armament & Technical Products, presented at the NDIA 40th
Annual Armament Systems: Guns - Ammunition - Rockets - Missiles Conference & Exhibition
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) Press Releases
US Navy Press Releases
01 January 2008 - Benchmark
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