U.S. defense contractor Raytheon announced it has tested a new electric gun for the Phalanx close-in weapon system.
The company said the new upgrade allowed soldiers and sailors to fire at varying rates, which uses less ammunition.
The goal of the live-fire test was to ensure the electric gun can operate despite the heavy vibrations that occur when Phalanx is fired.
According to the company, the new design replaces a pneumatic motor, compressor and storage tanks, reducing the system’s weight by 180 pounds. These changes also increase reliability and reduce operating costs.
“Phalanx is a weapon of last resort and the electric gun’s larger magazine will allow the U.S. and its allies to stay in the fight longer,” said Rick McDonnell, director of Raytheon’s Close-In Defense Solutions program.”
Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20 mm gun system that automatically acquires, tracks and destroys enemy threats that have penetrated all other ship defense systems.