General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products has been awarded a contract by the US Naval Air Systems Command for an initial production run of 39 F/A-18 E/F 20mm M61A2 Gun Systems, with options for up to 126 additional systems over a three-year period.
The contract is valued at up to $37.1 million, and primary work on the program will be performed at the company’s Saco, Maine, facility.
The base contract calls for system deliveries from June 2002 through February 2003. Options on this contract would extend production through March 2006.
The F/A18-E/F Gun System is said to have a firing rate of 7,200 shots-per-minute and comprises a M61A2 gun with new, lightweight barrels, and a fully integrated, linkless ammunition feed system.
The system serves as the aircraft’s last line of defence in close-in aerial engagements. The M61 gun arms virtually all US fighter aircraft.