Aircraft Gun Systems

GAU-8/A 30mm Gatling Gun

The GAU-8/A produced by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems is a 30mm Gatling gun that is installed on the U.S. Air Force's A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and the Navy's Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon System. The GAU-8/A provides a reliable, high-rate-of-fire, combat-proven weapon for close air support and shipboard defense missions.

Each of the gun's seven barrels con­tains its own breech bolt assembly, which fires once per gun revolu­tion. This ensures long barrel life because firing loads are distributed over all seven barrels. Continuous rotary motion reduces impact loads on gun components, leading to long parts life and high reliability.

The A-10 aircraft is specifically designed to provide close air sup­port. The GAU-8/A gun provides rapid response to threats that are in close proximity to friendly ground forces and is well suited for engage­ments inside missile envelopes.


Gun type Seven-barrel, 30mm, externally powered Gatling gun
Weight 620 pounds (281 kg)
Rate of fire 6,000 shots per minute
Dispersion 5 milliradians diameter, 80 percent circle
Muzzle velocity 3,400 feet (1,036m) per second
Average recoil force 10,000 pounds (44.5 kN)
Ammunition capacity 511 rounds
Feed system Linked or linkless
Drive system Hydraulic, electric, pneumatic


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