Here’s some serious Friday gun-porn for you. It’s a close up picture of the ten-barreled Gatling gun Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) installed on China’s nearly complete aircraft carrier Shi Lang (ex-Soviet Varyag). To put things in perspective the U.S. Navy’s Phalanx CIWS gun has only six barrels.
The new gun is based on China’s older, seven-barreled, Type 730 system capable of firing 5,800 rounds per minute.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the only point-defense system being installed on the Shi Lang. A couple of weeks ago we published pictures of the ship outfitted with what appears to be at least one Rolling Airframe Missile launcher (it also looks like there’s one covered by a tarp in the lower right of the picture below). These missile-based air defense weapon many think is more effective than the Gatling guns which have limited range and stopping power. These modern air defenses combined with a new phased array radar will apparently be copied by the Russian’s who say Shi Lang’s old sister ship the Admiral Kuznetzov when it is modernized in the coming years.
Well done to the fellas over at China Defense Blog for spotting this.