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M230 Automatic Gun

The 30mm, M230 Automatic Gun is a component of the Area Weapon System on the AH-64A Apache Helicopter. The M230 is a single barrel, externally powered (3 HP electric motor), electrically fired, chain driven weapon. It is mounted in the lower section of the gun turret on the underside of the Apache Helicopter. It fires 30mm linkless ammunition at a rate of 625 + 25 shots per minute (SPM). The M230 Gun has a positive cook-off safety (open bolt clearing) and double ram prevention.

On 20 August 1998 US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command Armament and Chemical and Logistics Activity (TACOM-ACALA) and McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems (MDHS) signed a first-of-its kind contract for spare parts for the M230 30mm Gun and Area Weapon System (AWS) for the APACHE attack helicopter. The contract allows for parts to be ordered directly from a catalog instead of through the traditional contracting process. The Government can also order parts based on need when the Army needs them, instead of projecting quantities. This eliminates binding the Government into procuring set numbers in advance and reduces unnecessary inventory. In addition, delivery is directly to the troops in the field instead of to the storage depot, where delays are incurred in shipping to the field. This contracting effort decreases administrative and production lead times, reduces ordering time from nine months to less than a month, reduces administrative costs, and minimizes the strain on manpower resources including those of DCMC and DCAA, as well as TACOM-ACALA and MDHS, while maintaining reasonable prices for spare parts requirements.


Rate-of-fire 625 25 spm
Ammo storage capacity 1200 rounds M789
Ammo handling system linear linkless
Externally powered 6.5 HP
Length 66.0 inches (167.6cm)
Total weight 127 lb. (57.5 kg)

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Tuesday, January 05, 1999 8:43:32 AM