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GAU 19A GECAL 50 2.jpg
Type Heavy machine gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by See History
Production history
Designer General Electric
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Produced 1983–present
Variants 3-barrel or 6-barrel
Weight With feeder and transfer unit:139 lbs. (63 kg)
Length 53.9 in. (1,369 mm)
Barrel length 36 in. (914 mm)
Width 13.5 in. (343 mm)
Height 15 in. (381 mm)

Cartridge .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrels 3
Action Electric
Rate of fire 1,000 or 2,000 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 2,910 fps (887 m/s)
Effective firing range 1,800 m
Maximum firing range 6,000 m
Feed system linkless or M9 linked belt

The GAU-19/A (GECAL 50), is an electrically driven Gatling gun that fires the .50 BMG (12.7×99mm) cartridge.

Technical specifications[edit]

The GAU-19/A is designed for a linkless feed, but can be fed from a standard M9 linked belt if a delinker feeder is used. The rate of fire is selectable to be either 1,000 or 2,000 rounds per minute. The Humvee armament kit version fires at 1,300 rounds per minute. The average recoil force when firing is 2.2kN. In January 2012, General Dynamics announced they would be delivering a new version designated GAU-19/B. It provides the same firepower in a lighter platform, weighing 48 kg.[1]


GAU-19/B mounted. Eurosatory Paris, 2016.

The GECAL 50 was first manufactured by General Electric, then by Lockheed Martin, and now by General Dynamics. Design work began in 1982. Early prototypes had six barrels, but a three-barreled configuration is now standard. The GAU-19/A was originally designed as a larger, more potent version of the M134 Minigun. Due to the loss of nine helicopters in Grenada, GE started building prototypes of the weapon in both a three-barreled and a six-barreled configuration. The six-barreled version was designed to fire 4,000 rounds per minute, and could be adapted to fire up to 8,000 rounds per minute. The GAU-19 takes 0.4 seconds to reach maximum firing rate.[2] Soon it was recommended as a potential armament for the V-22 Osprey.[3] The magazine would be located underneath the cabin floor and could be reloaded in-flight. However, plans to mount the gun were later dropped.[4] In 2005, the GAU-19/A was approved to be mounted on the OH-58D Kiowa helicopter. It also could have been used on the Army's now cancelled ARH-70.[5] In January 2012, the U.S. Army ordered 24 GAU-19/B versions for use on helicopters. All were delivered by the next month.[1]

In 1999, the United States sent 28 GAU-19s to Colombia.[6] Oman is known to use the GAU-19/A mounted on their HMMWVs. The Mexican Navy uses MDH MD-902 series helicopters with the GAU-19/A system mounted for anti-narcotics operations.[7]


See also[edit]




  1. ^ a b GD delivers GAU-19/B - General Dynamics
  2. ^ "GAU-19/A (GECAL 50) 12.7 mm Gun (United States), Guns - Integral and mounted". Jane's Air-Launched Weapons. Jane's Information Group. 21 January 2008. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "General Dynamics Selected to Develop Turreted Gun System for V-22 Aircraft" (Press release). General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. 7 September 2000. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Mark (26 September 2007). "V-22 Osprey: A Flying Shame". Time. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "ARMY AIRCRAFT". Committee Reports - 108th Congress (2003–2004) - Senate Report 108-260. Library of Congress. 11 May 2004. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Memorandum for Correspondents No. 176-M" (Press release). United States Department of Defense. 10 November 1999. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Fricker, John (2002). "Region's Military Seeks to Modernize . . . But Tight Funding Forces Ingenuity". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 


External links[edit]