The Phalanx weapon system may not be enough to defend a Destroyer against swarming boats. So, the Navy is researching smart guided cannons that eliminate multiple targets at the same time. They awarded Raytheon a contract worth $8 million to develop a new weapon system to deal with the threat from Iran. The name of the project is MAD-FIRES. This stands for Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System. It consists of smart cannon rounds that are guided to each target. The rounds can alter their flight path to hit a moving target, or re-engage a target that’s still standing.
Most destroyers have at least one Phalanx close-in weapon system. It consists of a six-barrel, 20-millimeter M61 Vulcan cannon. It can fire 6,000 rounds per minute. The Littoral Combat Ship is armed with 30-millimeter cannons.
Improving Out-dated Weapons
The Phalanx is the latest weapon system to be modified with new technology. In 2002, BAE Systems created the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System from unguided Hydra rockets. The upgraded system added fins and a laser seeker to the rockets. The result is a rocket launcher that can fire seven rockets and hit seven different targets at the same time. This weapon system is designed for helicopters.