Multi-barrel Weapons

M-197 20mm Gatling Gun

lightweight, highly reliable

The M-197 produced by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems is a lightweight, three-barrel version of the M61A1 Gatling gun intended for applications that require a lightweight, highly reliable weapon capable of firing up to 1,500 shots per minute.

The gun is specifically designed for helicopters, light fixed-wing aircraft and small naval attack vessels. It is adaptable for turret, pod, pintle or internal installations using either linked or linkless ammunition feed systems. Currently, the M-197 arms the Marine Corps AH-1J, AH-1T, AH-1W and AH-1Z. The M-197 is also used in the GPU-2/A 20mm gun pod.

Power requirements for the M-197 are lower than most weapons offering comparable rates of fire due to the M-197's continuous rotary motion. The M-197 is also capable of firing longer burst lengths than its competitors.


Gun type

Three-barrel, 20mm, externally powered Gatling gun

Weight 132 pounds (60 kg)
Rate of fire

Up to 1,500 shots per minute

Dispersion 5 milliradians diameter, 80 percent circle
Muzzle velocity

8.0 milliradians diameter, 80 percent circle (M50)

Average recoil force 1,300 pounds (5.8 kN)
Feed system Linked or linkless
Drive system Hydraulic, electric, pneumatic


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