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Pontiac M39 in a Austrian aircraft

The M39 Pontiac is a machinegun made especifically to be used in light aircraft, such as F-5 Tiger II and the X-29.


At the end of World War II the Americans got their weapons on the German turret gun MG-213C/20 and MG-213C/30 company Mauser. American commanders had decided to modify the MG-213C and take it for service. German engineers Otto von Lossnitser and Dr. K. Meyer, who worked in the company Mauser moved to the U.S., where in 1947 built a cannon MG-213C/20, became a U.S. designation T47 . In 1949 the arsenal in Springfield was a plan to create a 15- mm machine gun that was built in 1950 by department Armour Research Foundation Illinois University . In 1951, this development was the basis for the 15- mm and 20 mm guns, T130 and T-160 company Ford Motor Company. In 1952, the Pontiac division of General Motors Company was awarded a contract to build the gun T160, received the designation M39.

M39 appeared simultaneously with the gun M61 Vulcan, with the result that, in 1950 - the beginning of 60 years . M39A1 was installed on a relatively small number of planes in the Air Force and U.S. Navy . These include the F-8 Crusader, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo. But with the advent in 1964 and 1973. F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger 2 M39A1 military again drew the eye . As a result, after processing by Ford, gun M39A2 and M39A3 were put into mass scale production . In 1985, the company Ford Aerospace ( which later became Loral Aeronautics, for those Lockheed Martin and now General Dynamics), began work on a gun Tigerclaws, lightweight modification gun M39A2 / 3 in a large number of important improvements . Tigerclaws intended for the F-20 Tigershark. However, the F- 20 on the arms was not adopted, and his gun just stayed out of work .

M39A1 has been adopted in the U.S Air Force and U.S. Navy in the early 50th years. Upgraded versions of M39A2 / 3 entered service in 1964 By 1996, the guns of various modifications consisted of M39 in service with Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, South Korea, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the U.S National Guard, the U.S. and Yemen.

The design is executed as a single- M39 20-mm turret gun with internal drum and has a belt and Gas or Electricity powered drive. A similar scheme implemented ADEN English 30 and French DEFA 553. Fixture is located at the top of the trunk and the rear of the chassis. Firing M39A2 is 1700 shots per minute, with the projectile initial velocity reported 870 m / sec . Shooting from a gun carried by shells M50 series, including high-explosive armor- M53A, Incendiary, piercing tracer M54, M56 High Explosive, High Explosive, M56A1 Tracer and practical PGU-17 / B, and M55A1


  • Type: single barrel
  • Caliber: 20 x102mm
  • Operation: gun
  • Weight: 81 kg
  • Rate of fire: 1500 rounds per minute
  • Projectile velocity: 1.030 m / s
  • Weight of the ammunition: 101 g

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