Our military is the best equipped, best trained force of any nation on the planet. Since the end of World War II, we have maintained a standing military to counter global threats, provide for our own defense, and to step in and assist allies around the world in times of need.
One of the hallmarks of our modern US fighting force is the astounding array of high tech weapons that outperform any other nation. As this video produced by General Dynamics shows, even something as time-tested as the Gatling gun has undergone major upgrades, thanks to American know-how. You are not going to believe the lethal force this one gun can deliver until you watch the video.
The Gatling gun is one of the best-known early rapid-fire weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. Invented by Richard Gatling, it is known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat. Later it was used in the Boshin War, the Anglo-Zulu War and still later in the assault on San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.
The Gatling gun’s operation centered on a cyclic multi-barrel design which facilitated cooling and synchronized the firing/reloading sequence. Each barrel fired a single shot when it reached a certain point in the cycle, after which it ejected the spent cartridge, loaded a new round, and in the process, allowed the barrel to cool somewhat. This configuration allowed higher rates of fire to be achieved without the barrel overheating.
The GECAL 50 was first manufactured by General Electric, then by Lockheed Martin, and now by General Dynamics. Design work began in 1982. 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. The six-barreled version was designed to fire 4,000 rpm, and could be adapted to fire up to 8,000 rpm.
The GAU-19 takes 0.4 seconds to reach maximum firing rate. 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 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. In January 2012, the U.S. Army ordered 24 GAU-19/B versions for use on helicopters.
This astounding show of force should come as no surprise however, as the United States spends a huge amount on our military.
According to The National Priorities Project, The U.S. outpaces all other nations in military expenditures. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the total. U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined, five of whom are our allies.