Warships to get remote-controlled deck guns
The 25mm (not 22mm as stated in the article) Mk 38 Mod 2 chain gun is being added to most US Navy surface combatants.
Navy officials say the guns take sailors out of the firing line and give them a new set of eyes for protecting the ship against small threats close aboard, but they also help crews with more mundane tasks, such as finding channel buoys.
“They love it,” said Kevin Lapointe, program manager for surface guns at Naval Sea Systems Command. “This is a significant capability — not just the gun. It’s being used for more than it was initially intended. … They’re using it to gather information and do surveillance.”
The optics can move independently of the gun, so checking out a boat doesn’t necessarily mean giving it the business end of the barrel. The gun can also be operated manually if needed, and it has a back-up battery for two hours.
The plan calls for three Mod 2s aboard amphibious assault ships; two for cruisers, destroyers, frigates and Austin-, Whidbey Island- and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious ships; and one for patrol coastal ships. All the guns are scheduled to be installed by 2015