Watch As This Phalanx Close-In Weapon System Desperately Tries To Blow A Harrier To Bits

Illustration for article titled Watch As This Phalanx Close-In Weapon System Desperately Tries To Blow A Harrier To Bits

R2D2's demented big brother, the iconic 20mm cannon shell squirting Mark 15 Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS), remains the last line of defense for many of America’s most capable surface combatants. The video below shows a AV-8B Harrier making a high-speed attack run on the USS Germantown while its Phalanx, which is empty, attempts to blast it out of the sky.

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If the Phalanx had a full load of 20mm, that Harrier would have been hosed. Also of note, it looks like it stopped its attack so as not to blast the top of the Germantown’s mast off. That and a seven-second long string of 20mm was likely plenty to shatter the target considering the M61 Vulcan cannon rips through ammo at up to 6,000 rounds per minute.

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Editor, Foxtrot Alpha

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DISCUSSION

That’s my gun!!! Seriously, I was the OPS/CSO on GTN when we installed the Block 1B mounts she currently has. I was really proud of the work my Sailors put in on getting it installed, calibrated, and getting rounds down range. It was probably the smoothest thing on that entire tour.

So there are cut outs for the mast and the rest of the ship, but it also won’t shoot once the target is on an outbound course. That’s probably why it dropped. And your rounds per minute estimate is very optimistic.