Mauser BK-27

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Mauser BK-27
Mauser BK-27 LKCV.jpg
The Mauser BK-27
Type Revolver cannon
Place of origin Germany
Service history
Used by See users
Production history
Designer Mauser (now Rheinmetall)
Designed 1976
Manufacturer Mauser (now Rheinmetall)
Produced 1977-present
No. built 3,100~
Weight 100 kg (220 lboz)
Length 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in)
Barrel length 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

Shell 27x145 mm
Caliber 27 mm (1.063 in) caliber
Barrels Single barrel
Action revolver
Rate of fire 1,000-1,700 rpm (+/- 100rpm), selectable
Muzzle velocity 1,100 m/s (3,600 ft/s)[1]

The BK 27 (also BK27 or BK-27) (German acronym for Bordkanone, "on-board cannon") is a 27 mm (1.063 in) caliber revolver cannon manufactured by Mauser (now part of Rheinmetall) of Germany. It was developed in the late 1960s for the MRCA (Multi Role Combat Aircraft) program that ultimately became the Panavia Tornado.[2]

The BK 27 is a gas-operated cannon firing a new series of 27x145 mm cartridges with a typical projectile weight of 260 g (9.2 oz), and a total weight for the complete round of 516g (1.14lbs).[3] Most models use a linked feed system for the ammunition; however, the Eurofighter Typhoon makes use of a specially developed variant of the BK 27 that uses a linkless feed system instead, which is intended to improve reliability.[2]


The Mauser BK 27 is used in the Panavia Tornado, the Alpha Jet, the JAS 39 Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon. At one time the USAF was considering to license its production for the F-35 Lightning II, but instead elected for the GAU-22/A.[citation needed]

Rheinmetall has also developed remote controlled naval versions, the MN 27 GS and the MLG 27 fully automatic naval guns, which are installed on many ships of the German Navy. Ninety-nine MLG 27s have been ordered by the German Navy so far.[4] The cannon is a single-barrel, high performance, breech-cylinder gun operated by a fully automatic electrically fired gas-operated system at a selective rate of 1000 or 1700 rounds per minute.[2] The Mauser BK 27 utilizes a pyrotechnic cocking charges to cycle the action.

The BK27 has a much lower nominal fire rate than the M61 Vulcan, but its fire rate is constant throughout shooting due to the fact the cannon need not spin up. As a result, in conjunction with the higher caliber, the Mauser BK 27 fires in the first half second 4 kg of projectiles in contrast to the 2 kg of the M61 Vulcan which also needs about 25 kW electrical power on the maximum fire rate.[citation needed]


MLG 27 mounted on board an Elbe-class replenishment ship of the German Navy
MLG 27 on board a Berlin-class replenishment ship of the German Navy
 Czech Republic
 South Africa
 Saudi Arabia
 United Kingdom
 United Arab Emirates


Helicopter-mounted Mauser BK-27

Data from Jane's Information Group[2]

  • Type: single-barrel revolver cannon
  • Caliber: 27 mm x 145 (1.063 in)
  • Operation: revolver
  • Length: 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in)
  • Weight (complete): 100 kg (220 lb)
  • Rate of fire: 1,700 rpm (+/- 100rpm)
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,100 m/s (3,600 ft/s)
  • Muzzle energy: ~157,300 Joules
  • Projectile weight: 260 g (9.2 oz)

See also[edit]



External links[edit]