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Helicopter Armament Subsystems 

Part I


XM1/XM1El Armament Subsystem (1960-1972). Both the OH-13 Sioux and the OH-23 Raven could be armed with twin M37C .30 Cal. machine guns mounted on the skids, on the XM1 armament subsystem. The XM1 was flexible in elevation and carried 500 rounds of ammunition per gun. The XM1E1 was the product engineering design. Both the XM1 and XM1E1 saw limited production (450 units were built). XM1E1 limited production was up-gunned to the M60C machine gun on the M2 armament subsystem.

XM1 Subsystem - schematic drawing
OH-13 Sioux armed with twin M37C .30 Cal. machine guns
on XM1 armament subsystem line drawing

M2 Armament Subsystem (1961-1972). The OH-13 Sioux and the OH-23 could also be armed with twin M60C 7.62mm machine guns, with 650 rounds of ammunition, mounted on the skids, on the M2 armament subsystem. The guns were electrically controlled, flexible in elevation, and charged pneumatically using high pressure dry air or nitrogen bottles. The M2 was type classified Standard A (1,000 units were built).

Eight-tube Rocket Launcher. Two eight-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers were installed on new UH-1B Hueys as they arrived at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam from late 1963-1964. This system, a predecessor to the XM3 armament subsystem was used in combination with the M6 7.62mm quad-machine gun mount. For more information and photos, go to Armament Subsystems used at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, 1963-1964.

XM3/XM3E1/M3 Armament Subsystem. UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey" Aerial Rocket Artillery (ARAS) were armed with up to two side-mounting 24-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers on the M3 armament subsystem. The MK8 reflex sight was used for sighting the M3 rocket launchers. The M3 saw limited production. Also see the Maxwell system (XM3/M22 hybrid) and Armament Subsystems used at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, 1963-1964.

XM3 Subsystem
UH-1B ARA with XM3 24-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher

M5 Armament Subsystem (1958-1975). The M5 armament subsystem was a flexible, remote controlled, servo-power driven, chin-mounted pod, which held one M75 40mm grenade launcher. The M5 could be mounted on the UH-1B/UH-1C/UH-1M "Huey" and was also used on the ACH-47A "Guns-A-Go-Go". The M5 carried 150 or 300 rounds of ammunition. Ammunition was fed from a 302 round rotary drum by an ammunition booster, through a chute, to the grenade launcher. A reflex-type flexible hand control sight mounted above the co-pilot's seat. A master armament control was accessible to both pilot and co-pilot. The M5 was type classified Standard A (over 494 units were built).

M5 Subsystem
M5 gun pod on UH-1B "Huey"

M6 Armament Subsystem (1959-1972). The UH-1B "Huey" could be armed with quad M60C 7.62mm machine guns on the M6 armament subsystem. The M6 was fully flexible, with two guns per side. The M6 carried 1,500 rounds of ammunition per gun. Sighting was done by the co-pilot using a flexible reflex type sight. The M6, in combination with seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers, was upgraded to the M16 armament subsystem and to the M21 by replacing the quad M60C machine guns with two M134 "miniguns". The M6 was type classified Standard A (444 units were built). Also see Armament subsystems used at Camp Holloway, Pleiku, 1963-1964.

XM8 Armament Subsystem (1967-1972). The XM8 was a Research and Development project for a single M129 40mm grenade launcher that was interchangeable with the port (left) side mounting M27 "minigun" on the OH-6A Cayuse and OH-58 Kiowa fight observation helicopters. The XM8 held 150 rounds of linked ammunition. An integrated feed system fed ammunition from a spiral wound container through a chute to the grenade launcher. The electrically driven XM8, which was flexible in elevation, was mechanically-linked to a XM70 reflex sight. Primary sighting was done by the pilot, but controls were also provided to the co-pilot.

XM8 Subsystem
XM8 40mm grenade launcher on OH-6A Cayuse

XM11 Armament Subsystem (AMCOM system). The UH-1B "Huey" could be armed with up to six NATO Standard Nord SS-11 wire-guided anti-tank missiles on the XM11 missile launcher. The XM70 sight was used for sighting the XM11 missile launcher. The XM11 saw limited production. The XM11 was replaced by the M22 missile launcher.

XM14 Armament Subsystem (1963-1971). The XM14 (Air Force SUU-12/A) was a Research and Development project for a fixed-mounted gun pod for the M3 .50 Cal. machine gun that could be mounted on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey" or on fixed-wing aircraft. The XM14 carried 750 rounds of ammunition. The gun was pneumatically charged. The system was used with the MK20 fixed illuminating sight. The XM14 saw limited production (489 units were built).

XM15 Dispensing Subsystem (ARDEC). The XM15 cluster was a Research and Development project for dispensing XM170 flares from the UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". Each cluster consisted of two six-tube XM18 dispensers held together by dispenser adapters with suspension lugs. One 12-tube cluster could be mounted on each side of the aircraft. Each 2.75 inch tube could hold four XM170 flares, for up to a total of 96 flares per aircraft. Two 12-tube XM15 clusters, attached to a hinged strongback assembly, made up one 24-tube XM165 dispenser. The fixed-mounted dispenser was sighted visually.

M16 Armament Subsystem (1963-1972). The M16 was a combination of M6 flexible quad M60C 7.62mm machine guns and two XM157 or M158/M158A1 seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers for use with the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey". The M16 was upgraded to the M21 by upgunning from quad M60C machine guns to M134 high rate of fire machine guns. An M60A1 reflex-type sight was used by the pilot for sighting both guns and rockets. The co-pilot's sight was for sighting guns only. The M16 was type classified Standard B (461 units were built).

M16 Subsystem with XM157 Launcher

Close-up of M16 Subsystem

M16 quad M60C machine gun mount with
XM157 launcher

Close up of M16 armament subsystem

XM18 Ejection Dispensing Subsystem. The XM18 was a Research and Development project for aft ejection of flares, munitions, or CS grenades from six-tube 2.75 inch launchers mounted on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey". One six-tube dispenser could be mounted on each side of the aircraft. Two six-tube XM18 dispensers, held together by a dispenser adaper, made up one 12-tube XM15 dispenser subsystem.

XM18 Subsystem

XM18 Pod

M18/M18A1 Armament Subsystem (1963-1975). The M18/M18A1 (Air Force SUU-11A/A/SUU-1 1B/A) was a fixed-mounted gun pod for the M134 7.62mm "minigun". The gun was electrically driven. Ammunition was fed from a 1,500 rounds capacity linkless MAU-57 storage and feeding drum through a single-ended linkless system which was gear driven by the gun motor. Suspension lugs permitted the gun pod to be mounted on the sides of the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra or on fixed-wing aircraft. An M73E1 reflex-type sight was used for sighting the guns. The M18 was type classified Standard B (over 434 units were built); the M18A1 was type classified Standard A (over 411 units were built).

XM19 Dispensing Subsystem. The XM19 was a Research and Development project for dispensing MK45 flares from the UH-1B/UH-1C/UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". The XM19, consisting of 24-tubes mounted in the aircraft cargo compartment, was capable of launching up to 24 three-foot long 2,000,000 candle power MK45 flares. Sighting was visual.

M21 Armament Subsystem (1964-1975). The UH-1B/UH-1C/UH-1M "Huey" could be armed with twin side mounting 7.62mm "miniguns" and two XM157 or two M158/M158A1 seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers on the Emerson M21 armament subsystem. The M21 was an up-gunned M16 which used M134 "miniguns' in place of quad M60C machine guns. The M134 used a MAU56/A delinking feeder. The pilot used a XM60 reflex-type sight for both guns and rockets. The co-pilot used a flexible reflex sight which depressed or flexed the "miniguns" only. The M21 was type classified Standard A (over 406 units were built).

M21 Subsystem

M21 Subsystem

M21 armament subsystem with M134 "minigun" and M158 seven-tube rocket launcher

M22 Armament Subsystem (AMCOM). The UH-1B "Huey" could be armed with up to six AGM-22B (formerly SS-11B1) wire-guided anti-tank missiles on the M22 missile launcher. The XM58 sight was used for sighting the M22 missile launcher. The M22 replaced the XM11 missile launcher. The M22 was replaced by the XM26 airborne TOW launcher. The M22 was type classified Standard A. Also see the Maxwell system (XM3/M22 hybrid).

M23 Armament Subsystem (1964-1975). The M23 armament subsystem is a door pintle mount for the M60D 7.62mm machine gun equipped with an aircraft ring-type sight, with 550 rounds of ammunition, for use on the UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". The M23 was type classified Standard A (over 4,316 units were built).

M23 Subsystem - Schematic drawing

M23 Subsystem

Door Mounted M-60D 7.62mm machine gun on M-23 armament subsystem

M24 Armament Subsystem (1964-1975). The M24 armament subsystem is a door pintle mount for the M60D 7.62mm machine gun, with ring-type sight, with 200 round ammunition boxes, for use on the CH-47A Chinook. The M24 was type classified Standard A (over 610 units were built).

M24 Subsystem - Schematic drawing
CH-47D schematic with M60D 7.62mm machine gun on M24 armament subsystem

XM26 Armament Subsystem (AMCOM). In June, 1966 Hughes Aircraft was given an initial Research and Development contract to develop a missile launcher for the wire-guided TOW missile for use on the UH-1B "Huey" to replace the M22 missile launcher. Two three-round pods were mounted on each side of the aircraft. The gunner held the target in sight and directed the missile's flight by wire command. The program was terminated in March, 1968 and efforts were redirected to the TOW/AH-56 Cheyenne program. In 1970 studies were started on development of the XM65 TOW/Cobra armament subsystem for use on the AH-1 series Cobra. In May, 1972 the XM26 was removed from storage and rushed to Vietnam to meet the armored threat from the North Vietnamese "Easter" offensive. The XM26 was replaced with the deployment of the M65 TOW/Cobra airborne launch system.

M27 Armament Subsystem (1965-1975). The M27 armament subsystem is a port (left) side mounting gun mount for the M134 Gatling machine gun (7.62mm "Minigun") for use on the OH6/OH-6A Cayuse or the OH-58A Kiowa. The XM70E1 sight was used for sighting the M134 "minigun". The M134 used the MAU-56/A delinking feeder, with 2,000 rounds of ammunition. The M27 was type classified Standard B (over 917 units were built).

XM27E1 Subsystem

XM27E1 armament subsystem with M134 "Minigun"

M28/M28A1 Armament Subsystem (1966-1975). The M28 (TAT-141)/M28A1 was a twin mount chin-turret for use on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. It was developed from the XM64 single "minigun" turret, which evolved from the chin-turret used on the experimental Bell (model 207) Sioux Scout. It could mount either two M134 7.62mm "miniguns", with 4,000 rounds of ammunition each, or two M75 or M129 40mm grenade launchers with 400 rounds each. It could also be configured to mount one M134 and one M129 grenade launcher. This was the preferred configuration since there were problems with the ammunition feed mechanisms when used in the twin-gun or twin-launcher mode. The M28 could be elevated between +20 and -50. It could traverse 110 to the right or left of center. The M28 featured a rotary 7.62mm ammunition drum which replaced the belt feed system. The M28 saw limited production (954 units were built); the M28A1 was type classified Standard A (over 332 units were built).

M28A1 Subsystem
M28A1 armament subsystem on AH-1G Cobra
configured with one M134 and one M129

XM29 Armament Subsystem (1964-1965). The XM29 armament subsystem was a Research and Development project for a door pintle mount for the M60D 7.62mm machine gun for use on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey". Only two prototypes were built.

XM30 Armament Subsystem (1966-1968). The XM30 was a Research and Development project for a flexible twin mount of the XM140 30mm gun on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey", with 600 rounds of ammunition per gun.



Sources

Aircraft Armament, Systems and Components, U. S. Army Weapons Command, Rock Island, December 1971.

Aircraft Weaponization, Subsystem Photographs and Descriptions, U. S. Army Weapons Command, Rock Island, September 1970.

Small Arms of the World, 12th edition of the W.H.B. Smith Small Arms Manual, The Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, 1983.


Helicopter Armament Subsystems Part 2


XM31 Armament Subsystem. The XM31 was a Research and Development project for a fixed twin-mount of the M24A1 20mm cannon on the UH-1B "Huey", with 600 rounds of ammunition per gun. The gun was flexible in elevation. Only two prototypes were built.

XM32 Armament Subsystem. The XM32 was a Research and Development project for flank defense for the ACH-47A Armed/Armored Chinook. It included mounts and ammunition boxes for four M2 .50 Cal. machine guns or four M60D 7.62mm machine guns or any mix of the two machine guns.

XM33 Armament Subsystem. The XM33 was a Research and Development project for mounting an M2 .50 Cal. machine gun or M60D 7.62mm machine gun with ammunition boxes on the loading ramp of the ACH-47A Armed/Armored Chinook.

XM34 Armament Subsystem. The XM34 was a Research and Development project for a fixed twin mount of the M24A1 20mm cannon with ammunition boxes on the ACH-47A Armed/Armored Chinook.


M24A1 20mm cannon on XM34 armament subsystem

M35 Armament Subsystem (1968-1975). The M35 was a fixed-mount for the M195 six-barrel 20mm automatic gun for mounting on the port (left) side of the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The gun was basically a modified M61A1 Vulcan with shorter barrels and a declutching feeder. It automatically cleared itself of all live rounds at the end of each burst. The gun was pilot controlled, but controls were provided so either the pilot or gunner could fire the weapon. Two ammunition cans, containing 950 rounds of ammunition, were faired into the fuselage at the base of the stub wings. The gun has a firing rate of 750 rpm. Sighting was accomplished using the M73 reflex sight. The M35 was type classified Standard B (over 315 units were built).


Cobra mounted M195 20mm gun on
M35 armament subsystem

M41 Armament Subsystem (1966-1975). The M41 armament subsystem is a light weight quick removal ramp mount for the M60D 7.62mm machine gun, with ring-type sight, with 200 rounds of ammunition, for use on the CH-47A Chinook (similar to the XM33). The M41 was type classified Standard A (over 340 units were built).

M60D 7.62mm machine gun on M41 armament subsystemRamp mounting M41 armament subsystem

XM47 Mine Dispensing Subsystem (ARDEC). The XM47 was a Research and Development project for dispensing four XM2 anti-personnel mines from the UH-1B "Huey". Sighting was visual.

XM50 Armament Subsystem. The XM50 was a Research and Development project for a combination M5 40mm grenade launcher and an M21 armament subsystem with twin side-mounting M134 "miniguns" and twin seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers for use on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey".

XM51 Armament Subsystem (1966-1972). The XM51 was a Research and Development project for a flexible chin-mounting M129 40mm grenade launcher with 780 rounds of linked ammunition in a storage drum with associated ammunition chutes for use on the AH-56A Cheyenne. Sighting was accomplished using the XM110 helmet sight, XM112 swiveling gunner's station, or XM114 reflex sight

XM52 Armament Subsystem (1966-1972). The XM52 was a Research and Development project for a belly turret for mounting an XM140 30mm automatic gun, with 2,010 rounds of linkless ammunition in a storage drum with conveyor, beneath the AH-56A Cheyenne. Sighting was accomplished using the XM110 helmet sight, XM112 swiveling gunners station, or XM114 reflex SIGHT

XM52 Smoke Generating Subsystem. The XM52 was a Research and Development project for generating smoke from a UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". Atomized fog was produced by introducing oil into hot engine exhaust gasses. The system consisted of a 50 gal. self-sealing rubber oil tank, pipes, nozzles, pump, and control unit.

XM53 Armament Subsystem (1966-1969). The XM53 was a Research and Development project for chin-mounting of an XM196 six-barrel 7.62mm "minigun", with 11,570 rounds of linkless ammunition in a storage drum with conveyor, on the AH-56A Cheyenne The XM53 was an alternate to the XM51. Sighting was accomplished using the XM110 helmet sight, XM112 swivelling gunners station, or XM114 reflex sight.

M59 Armament Subsystem (1968-1974). The M59 was a door pintle mount for an M60D 7.62mm or an M213 .50 Cal. machine gun for use on the UH-1D/UH-1M "Huey". The XM59 was essentially an M23 armament subsystem adapted for port (left) side mounting of the .50 cal. machine gun. There was also a Research and Development project for mounting an XM175 40mm grenade launcher. The M59 was type classified Standard B (245 units were built). > XM59 Armament Sub5ystem for M213.50 cal. machine gun > XM59 Armament Subsystem with M213 machine gun > XM59 door pintle mount with M213 machine gun

XM64 Armament Subsystem (1966-1969). The XM64 (TAT-102) was a Research and Development project for a chin-mounting turret for a single M134 "minigun", with 8,000 rounds of ammunition, for use on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The XM64 evolved from the chin-turret developed for the Bell Sioux Scout. The XM64 was fully flexible. The XM64 saw limited production (169 units were built). The XM64 was replaced by the larger XM28 (TAT-141) armament subsystem which mounted two 7.62mm "miniguns" or two 40mm grenade launchers, or one of each.

XM93/XM93E1 Armament Subsystem (1969-1975). The XM93 was a Research and Development project for a door pintle mount for the M134 7.62mm "minigun" for use on the UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". The M134 could be used on a XM93 (12 units built) flexible pintle mount or in a XM93E1 (over 383 units built) fixed forward position for remote firing by the pilot. One XM93 (or XM94) could be mounted in either door. Ammunition capacity was 10,500 rounds for the XM93 and 12,000 rounds for the XM93El. The XM93 was used with the M60E1 reflex sight. > X993 Armament Subsystem pintle installation with XM157 seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher

XM94 Armament Subsystem (1969-1975). The XM94 was a Research and Development project for a door pintle mount for the M129 40mm grenade launcher, with 800 rounds of ammunition, for use on the UH-1D/UH-1H "Huey". The XM94 could be used on a flexible pintle mount or fixed in a forward position for remote firing by the pilot. The XM94 could be vertically pivoted to a stowed position inside the aircraft when not in use. The XM94 was interchangeable with the XM93/XM93E1 for the M134 7.62mm "minigun". The XM93 was used with the M60E1 reflex sight.

XM118 Smoke Grenade Dispensing Subsystem. The XM118 was a Research and Development project for launching 12 smoke grenades from launchers mounted on the wing stubs of the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The grenade launcher could also be strapped under the XM157B 2.75 inch rocket launcher.

XM120 Armament Subsystem. The XM120 was a Research and Development project for a chin-turret mount of the XM140 30mm gun on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The XM120 was a fully flexible, hydraulically driven, electrically operated turret. > XM120 30mm gun turret on AH-1G Cobra > XM140 30mm gun on XM120 armament subsystem 

M156 Armament Subsystem (1966-1975). The M156 was a twin mount for carrying external stores on the UH-1B/UH-1C/UH-1M "Huey" and the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra., including sighting and fire control. It was generally used with the seven-tube M158/M158A1, or the 19-tube XM159B/XM159C and M200 2.75 inch rocket launchers. The M156 was used with the M16 and M21 armament subsystems. The M156 was type classified Standard B (over 238 units were built).

M156 armament subsystem with M20019-tube rocket launcher

XM165 Canister Cluster Subsystem. The XM165 subsystem was a Research and Development project for dispensing CS smoke grenades from the XM15 cluster mounted on the UH-1 "Huey". Each 24-tube XM165 dispenser consisted of two 12-tube XM15 dispensers attached to a hinged strongback assembly fitted with suspension lugs, arming wire and explosive bolt. > XM165 CS Smoke Grenade Dispenser

Maxwell system (XM3/M22 hybrid). The Maxwell system was a combination of a M3 2.75 inch rocket launcher field modified from 24-tube to 18-tube and a field modified M22 missile launcher mounting only a single AGM-22B wire-guided anti-tank missile.

MINI-TAT Turret. The Emerson MINI-TAT (Tactical Armament Turret) was a proposal for an add-on turret for the M134 7.62mm "minigun" that could be mounted quickly, in about one hour, on the UH-1 "Huey" or the OH-58A Kiowa. The turret folded to the right side when not in use. It unfolded downward, beneath the plane of the skids, during operation. > "minigun" mounted on MINI-TAT Turret on OH-58A Kiowa > MINI-TAT Turret folded down into operational position

Sagami Mount. The Sagami mount was a door mount for the M60D 7.62mm machine gun for the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey". It was very similar to the M23 armament subsystem. The Sagami mount was produced at the U. S. Army Depot, Sagami, Japan. The Sagami mount saw limited production (over 1,000 units were built).

Helicopter Weapons


M2 .50 cal. Machine Gun. The Browning M2 machine gun was one of the most commonly used weapons of World War II and Korea. It was used both as an infantry weapon and fixed or flexible aircraft gun on bombers and fighters. The XM296 machine gun, used on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, is the same as an M2, except it be fired remotely using an electrical solenoid. The M2 machine gun was also used on the XM32 and XM33 on the ACH-47A "Guns-A-Go-Go". The M2 is classified Standard A.

M2 .50 cal. Aircraft Gun. The Browning M2 aircraft gun was a. 50 cal. M2 machine gun that was modified for use as an aircraft gun that could be fired remotely by the pilot or gunner of a helicopter or light fixed-wing aircraft. The M2 machine gun had a rate of fire of 750-850 rpm. The M2 aircraft gun was classified Standard A.

M3.50 cal. Aircraft Gun. The Browning M3 aircraft gun was a.50 cal. M2 machine gun that was modified for use as an aircraft gun that could be fired remotely by the pilot or gunner of a helicopter or light fixed-wing aircraft. The M3 .50 cal. aircraft gun was used in the XM14 gun pod. The M3 machine gun had rate of fire of 1150-1250 rpm. The M3 aircraft gun was classified Standard A.

M24A1 20mm cannon. The M24A1 was a single-barrel fixed-mounted cannon used on the XM31 armament subsystem on the UH- 1B "Huey" and on the XM34 armament subsystem used on the ACH-47A armed/armored Chinook. The M24A1 had a firing rate of 650 rpm.

M37C Flexible .30 Cal. Machine Gun. The M37C was a light air-cooled .30 Cal. machine gun adapted for use on the XM1 /XM1E1 armament subsystem on the OH-13 Sioux and the OH-23 Raven.

M39A1/M39A2/M39A3 20mm Automatic Gun (1951-1975). The M39 series gun was developed by Springfield Armory from the German Mauser MG213 following World War II. The M39A3 was a revolver type aircraft 20mm gun developed for the U. S. Air Force. A five-chamber drum revolved about an axis parallel to the single gun bore. The gun fired from the six-o'clock position at a rate of 1,500 rpm. Four M39 cannon could be mounted in the nose of the North American F-86 Saber Jet in place of six .50 cal. machine guns. The M39 series guns were type classified both Standard A and Standard B (over 35,500 units were built).

M60C 7.62mm Flexible Machine Gun. The M60C was an aircraft version of the NATO Standard M60 machine gun. It was electrically controlled, hydraulic power charged, air-cooled, gas-operated, link-belt fed, with a firing rate of 500-650 rpm. It was used on the M2 armament subsystem on the OH-13 Sioux and the OH-23 Raven, and the M6 and M16 on the UH- 1B "Huey". The M60C was classified Standard A (over 563 units were built).

Twin M60C 7.62mm machine guns on M16 armament subsystem
(below the M60's and out of shot, is an XM157 7-tube rocket launcher)

M60D 7.62mm Flexible Machine Gun. The M60D machine gun is a standard NATO M60 machine gun that has been modified for use as a door gun with helicopter armament subsystems. The M60D is a flexible, gas-operated, air-cooled machine gun having a firing rate of 550 rpm. The M60D has spade grips, an aircraft ring-type sight and an improved ammunition feed system. A canvas ejection control bag attaches to the machine gun to catch ejected links and cartridge cases, preventing them from being ejected into the path of the rotor blades or turbine engine intake. The M60D was used on the M23, XM29, M59, and the Sagami mount on UH-1 series "Huey", the M24 and M41 on the CH-47 series Chinook, the XM32 and XM33 on the ACH-47A "Guns-A-Go-Go", and the M144 on the UH-60 series Black Hawk. The M60D was classffied Standard A.

M61/M61A1 Vulcan 20mm Aircraft Gun (1946-1975). The M61 20mm Vulcan is a U.S. Air Force externally powered, six-barrel, rotary-fire Gatling gun having a rate of fire of up to 7,200 rpm. The firing rate is selectable at 4,000 rpm or 6,000 rpm. The gun fires standard electrically primed 20mm ammunition. The M61 was classified Standard B (3,289 units were built). The M61A1 is hydraulically or ram-air driven, electrically controlled, and uses a linkless ammunition feed system. The M61A1 was type classified Standard A (over 4,118 units were built). The M61A1 was modified for use as a light three-barrel helicopter gun type classified as the M197 20mm automatic gun.

M75 40mm Grenade Launcher (1958-1975). The M75 was a cam-operated, electric motor driven, air-cooled, grenade launcher that had a rate of fire of 215-230 rpm. The M75 was used with the chin-mounting M5 armament subsystem used on the UH-1 series "Huey", the M28 used on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra, and the ACH-47A "Guns-A-Go-Go" . The M75 was classified Standard A. The M75 was replaced by the M129 grenade launcher (over 494 units were built).

M129 40mm Grenade Launcher (1963-1975). The M129 was a redesign of the M75 grenade launcher that featured a concentric cam that reduced recoil and improved mounting. The M129 had an improved rate of fire of up to 400 rpm. The M129 was used with the chin-mounting M28 series armament subsystem used on the AH-1G, MOD AH-1S, and Production AH-1S Cobras. The M129 was also used on the AH-56A Cheyenne on the XM51, and the UH-1H "Huey" on the XM94. The M129 was also used on the OH-6A Cayuse and OH-58 Kiowa light observation helicopters on the XM8. The M129 was classified Standard A (over 1,667 units were built).

M134 7.62mm Machine Gun (1962-1975). The M134 "minigun" (Air Force GAU-2B/A) is a high rate of fire machine gun that uses the Gatling principle. The firing rate is selectable at 2,000 rpm or 4,000 rpm. The M134 was used on the M21, M27 XM50, XM93, and Emerson MINITAT on the UH-1 "Huey", OH-6A Cayuse, and OH-58A Kiowa. It was also used on the M18, M28 series, and XM64 on the AH-1G, MOD AH-1S, and Production AH-1S "Huey" Cobra, and XM53 on the AH-56A Cheyenne. The M134 is also used on a wide variety of special operations aircraft. The M134 was classified Standard A (over 9,500 units were built).

M134 on M21 armament subsystem alongside
M158 seven-tube rocket launcher

XM140/XM140E3/XM140E5 30mm Automatic Gun (1965-1973). The XM140 was a Research and Development project for a 30mm motor driven gun for area/point targets, with a rate of fire of 405 rpm. The XM140 used a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. The XM140 was used on the XM30 on the UH-1B "Huey", the XM52 on the AH-56A Cheyenne, and the XM120 on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra.

XM157A/XM157B Rocket Launcher (AMCOM). The XM157 was a seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher. The XM119 rocket control system was used with the XM157 rocket launcher. The XM157 was an AMCOM modification of the Air Force LAU-32A/A. The XM157 saw limited production.

M158/M158A1 Rocket Launcher (AMCOM). The M158 was a seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher. The M158 was an AMCOM design that was interchangeable with the XM157 on the M16 and M21 armament subsystems used on the UH-1 series "Huey" and the M156 mount of the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The M158 was used with the MK40 rocket motor. The MK40 was replaced by the newer MK66 rocket motor. The M158A1 launcher is not compatible with the MK66 rocket motor. The XM119 rocket control system was used with the M158 rocket launcher. The M158/M158A1 launchers were type classified Standard A.

XM159B/XM159C Rocket Launcher (AMCOM). The XM159 was a 19-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher. The XM159 was an AMCOM modification of the Air Force LAU-3B/A. The XM159 rocket launcher was used on the ACH-47A Armed/Armored Chinook. The XM119 rocket control system was used with the XM159 rocket launcher. The XM159 saw limited production.

XM175 40mm Grenade Launcher. The XM175 was a Research and Development project for a 40mm grenade launcher for use on the M59 armament subsystem on the UH-1B/UH-1C "Huey".

M195 20mm Automatic Gun (1968-1972). The M195 was a short-barreled version of the sixbarrel M61A1 Vulcan 20mm aircraft gun for use on the M35 armament subsystem used on the AH-1G "Huey" Cobra. The M195 had a firing rate of 750-800 rpm. The M195 was type classified Standard B (over 377 units were built).

XM196 7.62mm Automatic Gun. The XM196 was a Research and Development project that consisted of an M134 7.62mm "minigun" with a housing modified by addition of an ejection sprocket adapted for use in the XM53 armament subsystem on AH-56A Cheyenne.

M197 20mm Automatic Gun. Development of the M197 began in 1968 by removing three barrels from a six-barreled M61A1 Vulcan 20mm aircraft gun. The M197 is a lightweight short-barreled three-barrel automatic gun used with the M97 series armament subsystems on the AH-1P/AH-1E/AH-1F Cobras. The M197 has a firing rate of 2000-3000 rpm. The M197 is type classified Standard A.

M200/M200A1 Rocket Launcher (AMCOM). The M200 was a 19-tube 2.75 inch rocket launcher used on the UH-1C "Huey", AH-1G "Huey" Cobra, and the AH-56A Cheyenne. The M200 was used with the MK40 rocket motor. The MK40 was replaced by the newer MK66 rocket motor. The M200 launcher is not compatible with the MK66 rocket motor. The XM119 rocket control system was used with the M200 rocket launcher. The M200 was reusable and repairable. The M200/M200A1 were both type classified Standard A.

M156 armament subsystem with M200 'Pabst Beer' 19-tube rocket launcher

M213 .50 Cal. Machine Gun (1968-1974). The M213 was a.50 Cal. machine gun for use with the M59 door pintle mount on the UH-ID/UH-1M "Huey". The M213 was a modified AN-M2 .50 Cal. machine gun. The M213 had a rate of fire of 750-800 rpm. The M213 was type classified Standard B (360 units were built).

XM214 5.56mm Machine Gun (1970-1971). The XM214 was a Research and Development project for a six-barrel 5.56mm (.223 Cal.) Gatling type "mini-minigun". The XM214 was similar to the M134 "minigun". It was electrically driven and could be installed on a pintle or in a turret mount. The XM214 had a rate of fire of 2000-3000 rpm.

Vietnam War
Helicopter Missions
In Thousands

 

 

1961-65
   COMBAT - (Not counted)
   NON-COMBAT - (Not counted)
   LOSSES OVER NORTH V'NAM - 3
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 106
   OTHER LOSSES - 166

 

1966
   COMBAT - 1004
   NON-COMBAT - 1989
   LOSSES OVER NORTH V'NAM - 1
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 123
   OTHER LOSSES - 197

 

1967
   COMBAT - 1778
   NON-COMBAT - 3658
   LOSSES OVER NORTH V'NAM - 4
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 260
   OTHER LOSSES - 400

 

1968
   COMBAT - 2549
   NON-COMBAT - 4869
   LOSSES OVER NORTH V'NAM - 2
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 495
   OTHER LOSSES - 511

 

1969
   COMBAT - 2741
   NON-COMBAT - 5700
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 459
   OTHER LOSSES - 589

 

1970
   COMBAT - 2266
   NON-COMBAT - 5298
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 393
   OTHER - 419

 

1971
   COMBAT - 1161
   NON-COMBAT - 3052
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 230
   OTHER LOSSES - 284

 

TOTAL
COMBAT 11499
   NON-COMBAT - 24646
   LOSSES OVER NORTH V'NAM - 10
   LOSSES OVER SOUTH V'NAM - 2066
   OTHER - 2566