US Navy Unveils Deadliest $500 Million Missile-Killing Gatling Gun How It Saved Lives in the Red Sea

US Navy Unveils Deadliest $500 Million Missile-Killing Gatling Gun: How It Saved Lives in the Red Sea

In a recent turn of events, a single missile-disintegrating Gatling gun has captured the attention of the world by safeguarding the lives of an entire crew of US Navy service personnel. Despite an array of defense systems on US Navy ships, this remarkable weapon proved to be the last line of defense, preventing what could have been a catastrophic event. Let's delve into the details of this extraordinary incident and explore the significance of this groundbreaking technology.

The Background Story

The Red Sea became a battleground as the Houthi military group, protesting Israel's actions in Gaza, wreaked havoc on ships transiting the region. The US, leading an alliance of international naval forces, launched Operation Prosperity Guardian to restore order. However, the Houthis persisted in their attacks, targeting both civilian and warships, leading to a new conflict dubbed the US-Houthi war.

The Fateful Night

On the night of January 30th, the USS Gravely, a guided missile destroyer, faced a critical moment when a Houthi cruise missile threatened to destroy it. In a split-second decision, the ship's Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) sprang into action, intercepting the missile just seconds before impact. This marked the first-ever deployment of the Phalanx CIWS in live conflict, showcasing its vital role as the ultimate defense mechanism.

Evolution of Naval Defense

The Phalanx CIWS represents a quantum leap in naval defense technology, surpassing traditional anti-aircraft guns used in previous wars. From the days of World War II, where ships were bristling with anti-aircraft artillery, to the sophisticated radar-guided Phalanx CIWS, the evolution has been monumental. The Phalanx CIWS, with its computerized brain and rapid-fire Gatling gun, can detect, track, and engage multiple threats autonomously, making it a formidable last line of defense.

The Anatomy of the Phalanx CIWS

The Phalanx CIWS is armed with a 20mm M61A1 Gatling gun, capable of firing up to 4,500 rounds per minute. This six-barrel gun, mounted on ships, combines with a radar system and advanced computerized fire control system to detect and destroy incoming threats. With no human intervention required for firing, the Phalanx CIWS ensures a rapid response to imminent dangers, safeguarding ships and their crews.

The Legacy of Naval Guns

While the Phalanx CIWS steals the spotlight with its recent heroics, it's worth acknowledging other formidable naval guns like the Mark 45 and Mark 51 Advanced Gun System. These guns, designed for surface warfare and shore bombardment, complement the defensive capabilities of ships, ensuring a well-rounded offensive and defensive strategy.


In the face of evolving threats and technologies, the US Navy's deployment of the Phalanx CIWS underscores its commitment to innovation and security. As ships navigate treacherous waters, the Phalanx CIWS stands as a guardian, ready to neutralize any threat with unparalleled precision and speed. Its recent success in the Red Sea serves as a testament to the indispensable role of advanced naval defense systems in safeguarding maritime interests worldwide.

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