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Orbital ATK - Medium Calibre Chain Gun Systems

Orbital ATK - Medium Calibre Chain Gun Systems

NIOA distributes and supports a large number of weapon systems to Defence. Some of the Weapon Systems supported include:

  • Orbital ATK – Medium Calibre Chain Gun Systems



The Bushmaster III automatic cannon is propelling Chain Gun technology into the 21st century. The compact, cost- effective weapon is available today, yet has the devastating firepower that will be needed to defeat the threat of tomorrow. It incorporates all of the battle-proven features of the 25 mm M242 Bushmaster cannon, with significant system commonality for low-risk, proven performance.

The Bushmaster III features a dual-feed system and supports linked and linkless feed system. The weapon, which has proven safety and reliability and low lifecycle costs, fires 35 mm Oerlikon or 50 mm Supershot ammunition. The cannon’s compact size facilitates easy upgrades of existing turrets.

Primary armament for export version of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) currently in service by the Danish, Dutch and Estonian armies

OATK Fact Sheet



The 25mm Bushmaster automatic cannon is a battle-proven performer featuring dual feed Chain Gun technology. Orbital ATK has delivered more than 10,500 M242s to the U.S. Army and forces around the world. Its design simplicity, external power, round control, ease of maintenance and constant velocity ammunition feed make it the most reliable automatic cannon on the modern battlefield.

Other features and benefits include:

  • Demonstrated reliability, accuracy and safe operation under all firing conditions
  • Primary armament on the Australian Army’s ASLAV Fighting Vehicle
  • Naval applications in Australia include the Australian Navy Patrol Boats, LHD and AWD fleet
  • Fires NATO Standard 25mm x 137mm ammunition
  • Dual feed system

OATK Fact Sheet


MK44 and MK44 Stretch

The MK44 has become the weapon of choice for the world's medium-caliber fighting platforms including ground vehicle, naval, and aircraft applications. It has proven performance featuring dual-feed Chain Gun technology. It can fire all types of 30mm x 173mm ammunition, can be chambered for 30 x 170mm Rarden, and is capable of being easily converted to fire Super Forty 40mm ammunition for built-in growth capability.

Orbital ATK, developer of the combat-proven 30/40mm Mk44 Bushmaster cannon system, has enhanced the system’s effectiveness and performance to accommodate integration into various ground combat vehicles, including the United Kingdom’s Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The enhanced cannon offers various vehicle mount and feed configurations, with either the traditional bayonet mount with a single recoil damper and linked feeder, or with a bespoke integral mount with dual recoil dampers and linkless feeder. The linkless feed system is driven from the cannon’s integral electric motor and feeder gearing, eliminating the need for a separate magazine drive motor and associated burden on the vehicles’ electrical system.

The enhanced cannon utilizes a modified 30mm Mk44 with additional recoil stroke capacity that reduces recoil loads associated with 40mm x 180mm (“Super 40″) ammunition. The cannon can be easily upgraded to fire Super 40 ammunition with simple component changes by the end user.

Technical maturity of Super 40 ammunition was proven on the Mk44 during the U.S. Army’s Advanced Light Armament for Combat Vehicles (ALACV) program, initiated to evaluate increased lethality in medium-caliber cannons. The ALACV program included live-fire tests of Target Practice-Tracer (TP-T), Programmable Airburst Munition (PABM), and Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) rounds and demonstrated a technology readiness level six (TRL-6) in 2003. Subsequent development of the “Super 40″ system (cannon and ammunition) resulted in a common 180mm case design for both the full and sub-caliber rounds. The overall round design significantly improves system performance, accuracy, and reduced barrel wear.

As with previous Mk44 cannons, the enhanced cannon system is compatible with ATK’s PABM, and offers the user increased tactical flexibility and greater lethality as compared to conventional high-explosive ammunition.

ATK has applied its integrated weapon systems capability to develop the most cost effective, compact and lightweight 40mm cannon system available today.

Physical Data:

  • Length: 134.05 in. (3405mm)
  • Width: 13.5 in. (343mm)
  • Height: 15.43 in. (392mm)
  • Receiver Weight: 122 lb (55.3 kg)
  • Feeder Weight: 69 lb (31.3 kg)
  • Barrel Weight: 153 lb (69.4 kg)
  • Total Weight: 344 lb (156 kg)
  • Recoil: 8,000 lb (35,584 N)
  • Power Required: 1.0 horsepower
  • Clearing Method: Cook off safe, open bolt
  • Safety: Absolute hangfire protection
  • Case Ejection: Forward


Performance Data:

  • Rate of Fire 200 rounds per minute
  • Dual Feed System, integral to weapon
  • Ammunition Fires all NATO standard 30mm x 173 and the new Super 40 ammunition and ABM 22,000 mean rounds between failure


OATK Fact Sheet



The 30 mm M230LF is a more capable version of the 30 mm cannon featured on the Apache helicopter and is a member of the Chain Gun® family of externally powered, combat-reliable conventional automatic weapons. The gun is effective, lightweight and easy to maintain and has multi-role, multi-target system capability.

The M230LF boasts a DC drive motor with a firing rate of 200 Rounds Per Minute. Other features include an anti-hangfire system, an extended-length barrel for enhanced muzzle velocity and a     de-linking feeder that allows the use of linked ammunition. The M230LF is ideal for use on ground vehicles and patrol boats.

The gun has a reliability of 22,000 mean rounds between failure. It fires M789 HEDP, M788 TP and NATO standard 30 mm ADEN/DEFA ammunition.

The M230LF is a link-fed version of ATK’s 30mm Chain Gun used on the Apache helicopter. The weapon fires M788, M789 and NATO standard 30mm ADEN/DEFA ammunition. The M230LF is ideal for use on ground vehicles and patrol boats in turrets or remote weapon stations.

Physical Data:

  • Length: 85.87 in. (2181mm)
  • Width: 10.915 in. (277.2mm)
  • Height: 11.37 in. (288.8mm)
  • Receiver Weight: 76 lb (34.5 kg)
  • Feeder Weight: 39 lb (17.7 kg)
  • Barrel Weight: 45 lb (20.4 kg)
  • Total Weight: 160 lb (72.6 kg)
  • Recoil Ground Vehicle: 6,300 lb (38,022 N)
  • Recoil Naval: 1,650 lb (7,339 N)
  • Power Required: 1.0 horsepower
  • Clearing Method: Cook off safe, open bolt
  • Safety: Absolute hangfire protection
  • Case Ejection: Side


Performance Data:

  • Rate of Fire: Cyclic, 200 Rounds Per Minute
  • Feed System: Dual feed, integral to weapon
  • Reliability: 22,000 mean rounds between failure


OATK Fact Sheet



The 7.62 mm Bushmaster Chain Gun, originally developed for coaxial use and the smallest member of the Chain Gun family, is a rugged, highly reliable, combat-effective weapon readily adaptable to various armor machine-gun roles. By design, it provides the optimum solution to combat the normal feed problems associated with most present-day gas-operated, small-caliber machine guns.

Like the 25 mm M242 automatic cannon, the 7.62 mm Bushmaster Chain Gun ejects forward (outboard) the fired cases, including the retained gases, and capitalizes on long bolt-dwell time to minimize gas buildup in all cupola or turreted installations. Toxic gas emission within the vehicle during firing has been proven to be less than 5 percent of that found with contemporary, gas-operated coaxial weapons.

For coaxial installation, the weapon is configured to permit barrel change in less than 10 seconds without downloading ammunition. Barrel jacket configuration can be varied to suit the needs of the specific installation, and all jacket designs provide for the quick-change barrel feature.

The Bushmaster Chain Gun offers exceptional reliability and combat availability several orders of magnitude better than any comparable weapon of this caliber. It fires 570 rounds per minute of NATO standard 7.62 mm ammunition.

Key System Attributes:

  • 95% reduction in highly toxic propellant gases as compared to a standard M240 mounted in the co-axial position
  • Reduced inboard intrusion with turret volume requirement of no more than 11 inches/28cm (length) x 6 inches/15cm (height) x 6 inches/15cm (width)
  • Misfire stoppages eliminated with electrical extraction of the unspent cartridge
  • Ejection of spent cases forward of the gun trunnions (not collected in a bad inside the turret)
  • Belt-pull in excess of link strength
  • Electrically driven bolt resulting in immediate and consistent rounds-per-minute firing
  • Zero carbon build-up on (in) moving parts
  • Swap-out (exchange) of barrel assembly without removing the weapon system from its co-ax mount

Gun System Characteristics: (Includes gun, barrel, short jacket, drive motor and feeder)

  • Ammunition: 7.62mm NATO
  • Links: M13
  • Weight: 30.2 Ib (13.7 kg)
  • Length: (with Flash Hider) 37 in. (940mm)
  • Width: 6.0 in. (152mm)
  • Height: 6.1 in. (155mm)
  • Barrel Length: 22 in. (559mm)
  • Length Behind Rear Feed: 4.5 in. (114mm)
  • Rate of Fire: 500 - 600 rpm
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2809 fps (856m/s)
  • Time to Rate: 0.15 sec.
  • Power Required: 0.3 hp (0.22kw)
  • Operating Voltage: 26.5 vdc
  • Reliability Predicted: 50,000 MRBF
  • Clearing Method: Open Bolt
  • Misfire: Cycle Through


Orbital ATK - Medium Calibre


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