According to Raytheon, the Phalanx LPWS (Land Phalanx Weapon System), part of the Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system, is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun that can detect and destroy incoming: aircraft, artillery, mortar rounds, and rockets in the air before they hit their intended land-based targets.
As a self-contained package, the Phalanx automatically carries out functions usually performed by multiple systems: search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment.
Consisting of a radar-guided 20 mm Vulcan cannon mounted on a swiveling base, the Phalanx has been widely used by the US Army to protect bases. It defended the Green Zone and Camp Victory in Baghdad, and the British Army base in southern Iraq. In 2012, the LPWS systems were deployed to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
In a statement, announced Friday by Department of Defense, as first reported by Defense Blog, Raytheon was awarded a massive, $205.2 million contract by the Army for the procurement of Phalanx Gatling guns. The estimated completion date of the entire order is dated for Dec. 27, 2023.
Defense Blog said the Phalanx can be integrated with a multitude of sensors and systems designed to provide an overarching protection umbrella for military bases.
The rapid-fire technology has also been installed on all Navy combat ships.
The 20 mm rounds consist of a 15 mm penetrator encased in a plastic case and a lightweight metal pusher. Each bullet fired by the Phalanx cost around $30 each, and the gun typically shoots +3,000 rounds per minute when engaging a target.
The Phalanx cannons are usually activated as a last resort, and the effective range is approximately 5.5 miles.
As to why the Army needs $200 million of high-tech Gatling guns for its military bases is beyond our wildest imagination, then again, as we have mentioned before, the US, China, and Russia are on the brink of Cold War 2.0.