AN/GAU-8
30mm Cannon







AN/GAU-8 30mm Cannon
Description With the introduction of helicopters to the modern battlefield, the M61 system was redesigned and scaled down for use as a helicopter weapon system. Designated the M134, this new weapon was similar to the M61A1 but it fired the much smaller 7.62mm percussion primed rifle cartridge. Capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute, the M134 was used on a number of helicopters, such as the UH-1 Iroquois, OH-6 Cayuse, and AH-1 Cobra, as well as the AC-47 gunship, during the Vietnam War. In these cases the M134 was part of an armament system and fired by either the pilot or co-pilot. The M134 also saw service in the Vietnam War in a number of under wing pods, allowing aircraft such as the AD-1 Sky Raider to deliver tremendous amounts of firepower in CAS missions.

The crew served version of the M134 is the GAU-17. Fired from a pintle mount on the helicopter fuselage, the GAU-17 is very similar to the M134 except that it is equipped with a "high" (4,000 rpm) and "low" (2,000 rpm) selector switch. The GAU-17 is currently in service on the UH-1N, H-3, and H-60 helicopters, as well as a number of American Special Operations aircraft and helicopters.

Manufacturer
Shot Counter Part Number WSC-AN/GAU
Technology Readiness Level 3, Analytical and experimental critical function and proof of concept.