CONTENT PREVIEW
Air-Launched Weapons

Retractable gun gives French special forces’ Caracal greater punch

29 August 2018
The French special forces’ 1/67 Pyrénées Helicopter Squadron has been training with 20 mm cannon on the Nexter SH20 retractable door mounting. Source: Frédéric Lert

The French special forces’ 1/67 Pyrénées Helicopter Squadron has been training with the Nexter SH20 system, which uses the M621 cannon firing NATO-standard 20 x 102 mm ammunition.

The new cannon, which was delivered to the squadron in May, provides the multimission Caracal with an air-to-ground fire-support capability. The unit expects to reach an operational capability in the coming weeks.

Unlike the Puma, the Caracal’s door-mounted weapon can be retracted entirely into the cabin, allowing access during loading/unloading operations and a higher cruising speed. It also allows the helicopter to fly at its maximum speed necessary for in-flight refuelling, which is not possible with open doors.

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