Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Total Production: ?
Also Known As: GAU-21
Origin: Belgium
Corporations: FN Herstal
Parent System: M3M
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Total Production: ?
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Description: The M3M is a .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine gun suitable for rotary-wing aircraft applications manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium. This .50 caliber machine gun provides suppressive fire to counter light armored vehicles, support fire in landing zones, ground and aerial threat suppression, and training. Its short time maximum firing rate is 1,100 rounds per minute or 600 rounds in a single burst against targets at ranges of over 2,000 meters. The weapon's design with the hands on the pintle and an elastic craddle (recoil forces absorbed) allow for high accuracy. The weapon system is provided with ammunition boxes with the capacity ranging from 100 rounds (14.4 kg) to 600 rounds (96.4 kg).

In January 2004 the US Navy awarded FN Herstal a contract for the procurement of 136 M3M .50 caliber machine guns and 24 spare M3Ms. The new weapon system was designed the GAU-21 and was slated for use by the US Navy and the US Marine Corps rotary-wing aircraft assault groups. In September 2006, the US Navy awarded a $22 million contract to FN Herstal for 519 GAU-21 weapon systems with related equipment and services. Deliveries were expected to be completed in October 2007.

The GAU-21 specifications are as follows: firing rates of 1,000 rounds per minute, barrel life of 10,000 rounds, the ability to use 100, 300 and 600 round ammunition cans, compatibility with all NATO .50 caliber ammunition, and the capability of dismounting the machine gun by a person within 2 minutes. The US Navy and the US Marine Corps plans call for integration of the GAU-21 machine gun on the following platforms: CH-53 (rear ramp), CH-46, H-60, UH-1 and MV-22 aircraft.

M3M Applications

Support Aircraft CH-46D Sea Knight CH-46E Sea Knight CH-53D Sea Stallion CH-53E Super Stallion MH-60R Strikehawk MH-60S Knighthawk MV-22C Osprey UH-1N Huey

M3M Specifications

Caliber: 12.7 millimeter
Length: 1,520 millimeter (60 inch)
Max Rate of Fire: 1,100 roundperminute
Combat Weight: 35.8 kilogram (79 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

M3M News

There are 6 news between
20 May 2015 and 7 Aug 2019
Wednesday, August 7, 2019FMS: Republic of Korea Requests Sale of 12 MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters
Friday, July 12, 2019FMS: Greece Wants Seven MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters
Tuesday, April 2, 2019FMS: India Requests Sale of 24 MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters
Thursday, April 19, 2018FMS: Mexico Requests Sale of Eight MH-60R Helicopters
Monday, October 23, 2017FMS: Czech Republic Requests Sale of 12 UH-1Y Utility Helicopters
Wednesday, May 20, 2015FMS: Saudi Arabia Seeks 10 MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters

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