Close-in weapon systems (CIWS) are a crucial component of maritime security. They provide a powerful defense against threats and are the last line of protection. In this article, we will examine the 8 Major Close-in weapon systems (CIWS) in the World.

Over time, close-in defense artillery has undergone significant improvements. Each new version represents technological advancements and strategic innovation, from traditional cannons to advanced Gatling systems.

Here is the list of 8 Major Close-in weapon systems (CIWS) in the World

8. Meroca close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Meroca CIWS

Spain developed a gun called Meroca in 1975. This gun has 12 Oerlikon automatic cannons arranged in parallel. It can fire an artillery shell at a speed of 1,290 meters per second and has an effective range of 1.5 to 2 kilometers. The gun can fire 1,440 rounds per minute.

Unlike other guns, Meroca uses a multi-barreled salvo-firing configuration, which is cost-effective and fulfills the Spanish Navy’s requirements for system availability. The design sacrifices the traditional rotating-barrel method to achieve a balance between affordability, high rate of fire, and acceptable accuracy.

7. AK630 close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
AK630 CIWS

The AK630 close-in defense gun is a shipborne approaching weapon system developed by the former Soviet Union in 1963. It is the world’s first close-in defense gun system.

It consists of an AO-18 six-barreled 30mm rotary cannon supporting fire control and electronic systems. It weighs 9.1 tons, has a muzzle velocity of 900 per second, a firing rate of 5,000 rounds per minute, and a fan-shaped ammunition supply. The magazine and flexible, rigid guide chains have a simple structure and stable performance.

The AK-630 close-in defense gun utilizes a cooling and anti-freezing system to protect the gun body and enable a firing cycle of 400 rounds of shooting and 30 seconds of cooling. This system allows the gun to provide air defense combat capabilities for ships.

The gun can be integrated into a fully automatic turret that is controlled by radar and closed-circuit television, with the option for unmanned or manual command firing. It has an effective range of 4,000 meters.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
AK 630 CIWS

However, considering that the AK-630 close-in defense gun is affected by the gyroscopic effect of rotating tube weapons, it causes excessive disturbance during shooting and poor accuracy. When the long-distance dispersion gap is the largest, it can be as large as 6 meters, far exceeding the horizontal range of anti-ship missiles.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
AK-630M

Therefore, the former Soviet Union modified the AK-630 close-in defense gun and created the AK-630M close-in defense gun that was connected up and down in parallel. It planned to use firepower density to compensate for accuracy. However, the disturbance generated by the two guns during the shooting further affected the shooting accuracy. As a result, this weapon has not been mass-produced.

6. Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Phalanx CIWS

The Phalanx close-in defense system, a product of US-based General Dynamics, has been prominently featured in Hollywood movies. This impressive system features an M61A1 20mm rotary Gatling cannon, capable of firing bullets at a muzzle velocity of up to 1113 meters per second and with a maximum effective range of 1500 meters.

The Phalanx system is renowned for its unparalleled defensive capabilities and is widely considered to be a formidable force in close-in defense. Its powerful arsenal of weapons and advanced technology make it a top choice for military and security organizations worldwide.

In earlier models, depleted uranium armor-piercing bullet chains were used. However, these were later replaced with 149-4 tungsten alloy armor-piercing bullet chains to minimize the impact of radiation on personnel on board. The M61A1 can achieve a theoretical rate of fire of 7,200 rounds per minute. However, two fire rate options are generally used to optimize the system’s performance and longevity.

The first fire rate option is 4,500 rounds per minute, which is used to deal with high-speed targets. The second option is 3,000 rounds per minute, which is employed to intercept medium and low-speed targets. The system’s reaction time, from detecting and tracking the target to firing, can be as short as two seconds. The fire control radar facilitates real-time tracking of ammunition and target positions, enabling the system to achieve closed-loop fire control.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the Phalanx system has a limited range due to the caliber of its ammunition. The system’s interception success rate is still up to 70% when targeting subsonic targets. However, against anti-ship missiles and aircraft that can easily reach speeds of Mach 1, the system’s interception success rate drops to less than 30%.

In conclusion, the Phalanx close-in defense system is a formidable weapon system that can effectively deal with high-speed and low-speed targets. However, its limited range and reduced interception success rate against supersonic targets should be taken into account when considering its deployment.

5. Goalkeeper close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Goalkeeper CIWS

developed by the Dutch Signal Company. The Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS uses the GAU/A 30mm seven-barreled Gatling rotating cannon provided by the American General Company. A servo motor drives it and has a 360-degree rotation capability, with a horizontal rotation rate of 100 degrees per second and a pitch range of -25-+85. The velocity is 80 degrees per second.

When using a tail-stabilized depleted uranium discarding sabot armor-piercing projectile, the muzzle velocity reaches 1150 meters per second, and the rate of fire reaches 4200 rounds per minute. It can effectively intercept Mach 2 speeds at a distance of 2 kilometers in 5.5 seconds. Missiles, the damage rate of large anti-ship missiles reached 91%.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Dutch Goalkeeper CIWS

This system is not only equipped with the Dutch Navy but also exported to many overseas countries. The U.S. Navy is also considering using a goalkeeper close-in defense artillery system to replace the Phalanx close-in defense system that is increasingly out of step with the times.

4. Type 730 close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Type 730 close-in weapon system (CIWS)

The H/PJ12 short-range anti-missile naval gun weapon, also known as the 730 close-in defense gun, was developed in 1985. This weapon system employs a 30mm seven-barreled Gatling cannon and is imported from a foreign source. A high-pressure air source drives its ammunition, and the gun features an energy-driven rotary tube.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
H/PJ12 short-range anti-missile naval gun

The weapon system offers three fire rate configurations – high, medium, and low – with a maximum rate of fire of 4200 rounds per minute. Its effective range extends to 3.5 kilometers, and it is fitted with tail-stabilized sabot-piercing projectiles and various air defenses. Additionally, it can launch armor-piercing incendiary grenades and other special ammunition.

3. Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium GDM-008 CIWS

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium GDM-008 CIWS

The “Millennium” GDM-008 CIWS is a highly advanced and versatile gun system that can be used for close-range air defense missions on naval ships, as well as for air defense missions on ground combat units. It was jointly developed by Rheinmetall (which acquired the Swiss company Oerlikon) and Lockheed Martin in the late 1990s.

The gun system weighs 3.3 tons and uses an all-electric motor to drive the turret, providing it with a high response speed. It has a 1000 KDJ rotating chamber 35mm 79 times diameter Oerlikon machine gun with a muzzle velocity of 1050 per second. It can hold up to 252 rounds of ammunition. The gun has three firing rates to choose from, each suited for different target tasks. It has an effective range of 5,000 meters.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium GDM-008 CIWS

The gun system’s combat system adopts a fully digital servo control system, which allows it to receive instructions from the ship’s combat system and independently command the turret for close-range air defense operations. The “Millennium” GDM-008 close-in defense gun ranks among the top three guns of its kind for its advanced impact efficiency and destructive capabilities.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium GDM-008 CIWS

The gun system’s built-in advanced electronic fuze, combined with the speed measuring device at the gun muzzle and the shipboard radar data system, can accurately explode near the flying unit, creating a killing area composed of 152 tungsten alloy warheads 30 meters in front of the target.

During actual combat, the “Millennium” GDM-008 close-in defense gun can deploy an iron wall composed of 2432-3800 tungsten alloy warheads in front of the ship within 1.5 seconds, combined with the high rate of fire of the main gun. It is highly effective against various small and medium-sized sea and air units.

2. Kashtan close-in weapon system (CIWS)

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Kashtan close-in weapon system (CIWS)

The previous AK-630 artillery and anti-aircraft weapon system developed by the former Soviet Union encountered several issues related to accuracy and damage. To resolve these shortcomings, the Kashtan close-in defense system was created, which boasted remarkable interception efficiency. The system’s design concept was based on the “window” theoretical design, which enabled the system to derive and calculate the target advance and subsequently cover and shoot to intercept the target with precision.

The Kashtan close-in defense system is equipped with 32 SA-N-11 anti-aircraft missiles with a maximum range of 10 kilometers and a maximum firing height of 6 kilometers. Additionally, it is armed with an AO-18K 30mm Gatling-type rotary cannon with an upper rate of fire of 10,000. It also possesses a narrow beam search radar and fire control system capable of attacking up to 6 targets simultaneously.

However, the Kashtan close-in defense gun system’s large size renders it unsuitable for smaller ships. Furthermore, its outdated electronic equipment limits its combat effectiveness in today’s complex environments.

1. Type 1130 CIWS

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Type 1130 CIWS

The Type 1130 close-range anti-missile gun is a technologically enhanced version of the H/PJ12 short-range anti-missile naval gun in China. With an increase in the number of tube transfer mechanisms from seven to eleven and the inclusion of two magazines, the gun’s one-way ammunition supply system reaches its limit. This advanced gun’s rate of fire is the world’s highest at 11,000 rounds per minute, meaning that 166 rounds per second can be fired to destroy incoming targets.

8 Major Close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the World
Type 1130 CIWS

The Type 1130 CIWS is remarkably automated, with cutting-edge radar and fire control systems in tandem, capable of locking on to 48 targets simultaneously and attacking them individually. The gun’s effective range is 5 kilometers, matching the 35mm Millennium close-in defense gun. The interception hit rate of the Type 1130 gun is an astonishing 97%, making it a highly sophisticated and reliable defense weapon.

Conclusion

In the dynamic landscape of maritime security, close-range defense guns serve as guardians of peace and sovereignty. From traditional stalwarts to cutting-edge innovations, each system plays a vital role in safeguarding our seas. As we reflect on the rankings, one thing remains clear: the quest for maritime supremacy continues unabated, driven by innovation, prowess, and unwavering dedication to security.