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Phalanx CIWS
(Close-In Weapons System)

Phalanx is fast-reaction, rapid-fire 20-millimeter gun system.
Phalanx provides US Navy ships with a terminal defense against anti-ship missiles that have penetrated other fleet defenses. Designed to engage anti-ship cruise missiles and fixed-wing aircraft at short range, Phalanx automatically engages functions usually performed by separate, independent systems such as search, detection, threat evaluation, acquisition, track, firing, target destruction, kill assessment and cease fire.
The Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) underwent operational tests and evaluation onboard USS Bigelow in 1977, and exceeded maintenance and reliability specifications. Phalanx production started in 1978 with orders for 23 USN and 14 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) systems.
General characteristics
Primary function Anti-ship missile defense
Contractor Hughes Missile Systems Company
Weight 12,500 lb (5,625 kg); later models 13,600 lb (6,120 kg)
Range Classified
Gun type Gatling M-61A1 Vulcan
Type of fire 3,000 rounds per minute - Later models: 4,500 rounds/min (starting 1988 production, Pneumatic Gun Drive)
Magazine capacity 989 rounds - Later models: 1,550 rounds
Caliber 20mm
Ammunitions Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS), Depleted Uranium sub-caliber penetrator. Penetrator changed to Tungsten 1988.
Sensors Self-contained search and track radar

Jirka Wagner


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