GAU-19 - History

History

The GECAL 50 was first manufactured by General Electric, then by Lockheed Martin, and now by General Dynamics. 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. Soon it was recommended as a potential armament for the V-22 Osprey. The magazine would be located underneath the cabin floor and could be reloaded in-flight. However, plans to mount the gun were later dropped. In 1999, the United States sent 28 GAU-19s to Colombia. Oman is known to use the GAU-19/A mounted on their HMMWVs. 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. The navy of Mexico uses MDH MD-902 series helicopters with the GAU-19/A system mounted for anti-narcotics operations. In January 2012, the U.S. Army ordered 24 GAU-19/B versions for use of helicopters. All were delivered by the next month.

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