Drawing: Cobra Drawing: Cobra

The M197 20mm Automatic Gun

M197 Automatic Gun  (34 kb)

M197 20mm Automatic Gun . Development of the M197 began in 1968 by removing three barrels from a six-barreled M61A1 Vulcan 20mm aircraft gun. The M197 is a lightweight short-barreled three-barrel automatic gun used with the M97 series armament subsystems on the Up-gunned AH-1S/AH-1S "Modernized"/AH-1F "Modernized" Cobras. The M197 utilizes a rotary action mechanism, contained within a fixed rotor housing, and a rotating barrel cluster. Drive power is provided by an electrically driven gun drive mechanism. The pilot/backseat can operate the M197 in the fixed or flexible mode while the gunner/front-seat can only operate the M197 in the flexible mode. The M197 automatic gun has a firing rate of 730 ± 50 spm (shots-per-minute). The capacity of the ammunition box and feed system is 750 rounds of continuously belted ammunition.

The M97 series armament subsystem, with the M197 20mm cannon, replaced the M28 series armament subsystem on the AH-1 series "Huey" Cobra.  The M97A4 is used on the current configuration AH-1F "Modernized" Cobra.

M97 Series Aircraft Armament Subsystems

Aircraft Model No. Up-gunned AH-1S Modernized AH-1S Modernized AH-1F
Armament Subsystem M97E1 XM97E2 M97A3/M97A4
Weapon System 20mm gun 20mm gun 20mm gun
Other Weapon
TOW missiles 2.75 inch rockets
TOW missiles
2.75 inch rockets
TOW missiles
Exterior Characteristics Tapered rotor tips
No rocket launchers
ADS above right side
of canopy
ADS above right side
of canopy


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Updated: 12 January 2008
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Born on 28 September 1998