25 mm caliber

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25×137mm M793 target practice with tracer (TP-T) rounds for the MK-38 being inspected

25 mm caliber is a range of autocannon ammunition. It includes the NATO standardized Swiss 25×137mm, the Swiss 25×184mm, the Soviet 25x218mmSR, and the Chinese 25×183mmB.


The 25 mm round can be used for anti-materiel or anti-personnel purposes. In the anti-personnel role, a 25 mm weapon armed with HE rounds can kill large numbers of opposing troops either in the open or in light fortifications. In the anti-materiel role, a 25 mm weapon armed with armor-piercing rounds can disable many types of aircraft and ground vehicles, including some main battle tanks.

The US military uses 25 mm weapons in their AV-8B Harrier, AC-130 gunship, M2 Bradley, LAV-25, F-35 Lightning II and as a standard ship-based munition in the Mk 38 autocannon.

Types of 25 mm ammunition[edit]

Japanese 25×163mm ammunition from a post-war US technical manual
A diagram of the M791 25×137mm round

Several sub-types of the NATO 25 mm ammunition are available—the most common being armor-piercing, high-explosive, sabot, tracer, and practice rounds. Cartridges are usually composed of a combination of the aforementioned categories. For example, the M791 is an armor-piercing discarding sabot with tracer (APDS-T) round. It is used against lightly armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery, and aerial targets such as helicopters and slow-moving fixed-wing aircraft.

25 mm weapons[edit]

Current weapons[edit]

Weapon Country of origin Designer Cartridge Type
Oerlikon KBA   Switzerland Rheinmetall AG 25×137mm Autocannon
M242 Bushmaster  United States Hughes Helicopters 25×137mm Chain gun
GAU-12/22 Equalizer  United States General Electric 25×137mm Rotary cannon
GIAT M811  France GIAT Industries 25×137mm Autocannon
Oerlikon KBB   Switzerland Rheinmetall AG 25×184mm Autocannon
Oerlikon KBD   Switzerland Rheinmetall AG 25×184mm Autocannon
Type 61  China 25×218mmSR Anti-aircraft autocannon
Type 95 SPAAA  China 25×183mmB Anti-aircraft autocannon
ZPT-90  China 25×183mmB Autocannon

Historical weapons[edit]

Weapon Country of origin Designer Cartridge Type
25 mm Hotchkiss anti-aircraft gun/Type 96 25 mm AT/AA gun  France Hotchkiss et Cie 25×163mm Anti-aircraft autocannon
25 mm Hotchkiss anti-tank gun  France Hotchkiss et Cie 25×193.5mmR Anti-tank gun
25 mm M1940 anti-aircraft gun  Soviet Union Mikhail Loginov and Lev Loktev 25×218mmSR Anti-tank gun
25 mm Bofors M/32 anti-aircraft gun  Sweden Bofors 25x205mmR (initial) or 25x187mmR (later) Anti-aircraft autocannon

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • U.S. Army Field Manual 3-22.1

External links[edit]