In a video filmed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia in May, 2016, the U.S. Navy tested one of its top developments in high-tech weapon technology: the Phalanx CIWS. Nicknamed the R2D2 for its resemblance to the famed Star Wars robot, it is a gatling gun (a large machine gun) designed “for defense against anti-ship missiles,” according to DoD Live-a U.S. military radio station. The news outlet SOFREP.com and others reported on the weapon in June and May.
The aforementioned U.S. Navy video shows the massive weapon firing off numerous rounds at lightning speed into the abyss.
According to DoD Live, the weapon has been in use for some time by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and other militaries around the world. It is not not exactly clear why they chose to post about it again now.
There have been some recent developments pertaining to the weapon, however. Britain began considering use of a laser-equipped version of the Phalanx in May 2016. The Iranian Tasnim News Agency also reported in May that the Iranian Navy will obtain a version of the Phalanx.
DoD Live further boasts of the Phalanx’s radar abilities, massive 12,500 pounds (5,670 kilograms) weight and 4,500 rounds per minute speed.
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