NATO M61 Vulcan 2cm Round, in good shape, original paint, brass-cased,
INERT - F.F.E (Free From Explosives)
Shipping UK and Europe ONLY
BUYERS MUST BE 18+
The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically, electrically or pneumatically driven, six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate (typically 6,000 rounds per minute). The M61 and its derivatives have been the principal cannon armament of United States military fixed-wing aircraft for sixty years.
The M61 was originally produced by General Electric. After several mergers and acquisitions, it is currently produced by General Dynamics
At the end of World War II, the United States Army Air Forces began to consider new directions for future military aircraft guns. The higher speeds of jet-powered fighter aircraft meant that achieving an effective number of hits would be extremely difficult without a much higher volume of fire. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. The Army wanted something better, combining an extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability.
In 1947, the Air Force became a separate branch of the military. The new Air Force made a request for a new aircraft gun. A lesson of World War II air combat was that German, Italian, and Japanese fighters could attack American aircraft from long range with their cannon main armament. American fighters with .50 cal main armament, such as the P-51 and P-47, had to be close to the enemy in order to hit and damage enemy aircraft. The 20 mm Hispano cannon carried by the P-38 and P-61, while formidable against propeller-driven planes, had a relatively low rate of fire in the age of jets, while other cannons were notoriously unreliable.
In response to this requirement, the Armament Division of General Electric resurrected an old idea: the multi-barrel Gatling gun. The original Gatling gun had fallen out of favor because of the need for an external power source to rotate the barrel assembly, but the new generation of turbojet-powered fighters offered sufficient electric power to operate the gun, and electric operation was more reliable than gas-operated reloading. With multiple barrels, the rate of fire per barrel could be lower than a single-barrel revolver cannon while providing a greater overall rate of fire. The idea of powering a Gatling gun from an external electric power source was not a novel idea at the end of World War II, as Richard Jordan Gatling himself had done just that with a patent he filed in 1893, with the similar, but powered either by the aircraft engine or an electric motor, 12-barreled Fokker-Leimberger aircraft rotary machine gun under development during World War I by the German Empire.
In 1946, the Army issued General Electric a contract for "Project Vulcan", a six-barrel weapon capable of firing 7,200 rounds per minute (rpm). Although European designers were moving towards heavier 30 mm weapons for better hitting power, the U.S. initially concentrated on a powerful 0.60-inch (15 mm) cartridge designed for a pre-war anti-tank rifle, expecting that the cartridge's high muzzle velocity would be beneficial for improving hit ratios on high speed targets.
The first GE prototypes of the 0.60-inch (15 mm) caliber T45 were ground-fired in 1949; it achieved 2,500 rpm, which was increased to 4,000 rpm by 1950. By the early 1950s, the USAF decided that high velocity alone might not be sufficient to ensure target destruction and tested 20 mm and 27 mm alternatives based on the 0.60-inch (15 mm) caliber cartridge. These variants of the T45 were known as the T171 and T150 respectively and were first tested in 1952. Eventually, the standard 20×102 mm cartridge was determined to have the desired balance of projectile/explosive mass and muzzle velocity, resulting in an optimum balance of range, accuracy and kinetic energy on target.
The development of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter revealed that the T171 Vulcan (later redesignated M61) suffered problems with its linked ammunition, being prone to misfeed and presenting a foreign object damage (FOD) hazard with discarded links. A linkless ammunition feed system was developed for the upgraded M61A1, which subsequently became the standard cannon armament of U.S. fighters.
In 1993, General Electric sold its aerospace division, including GE Armament Systems along with the design and production tooling for the M61 and GE's other rotary cannon, to Martin Marietta. After Martin's merger with Lockheed, the rotary cannon became the responsibility of Lockheed Martin Armament Systems. Lockheed Martin Armament Systems was later acquired by General Dynamics, who currently produce the M61 and its variants