This year, Nexter, a company of KNDS, will deliver the 300th gun for the Rafale fighter jet.
The M791 cannon, manufactured at Nexter’s Bourges site, is the latest in a long line of 30mm DEFA guns dating back to the post-war period. The capabilities of this single-tube gun are unrivalled to date. Thanks to numerous innovations, its rate of fire is the highest in the world: 2,500 rounds/minute. It fires 42 shells in one second, equivalent to 1.5kg of explosive. This performance enables a single M791 gun to be as effective as the Mirage 2000’s two M550 guns, which each fire 1,200 rounds/minute. Designed for on-board use, the gun is gas-operated to limit the need for electricity on the aircraft
Nexter, a company of KNDS, has developed a special ammunition for this gun: the semi-perforating explosive incendiary round in 30x150mm. These profiled shells are fired at over 1,000 meters per second, to reach their target more quickly and to considerably increase their hit probability. Thanks to a double-safety fuse and a primer insensitive to electromagnetic radiation, this ammunition ensures perfect safety for Rafale pilots and operators, even in environments as demanding as the aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle”.
Today, this gun is “combat proven” for many years. Initially designed for air-to-air combat, it has proved as effective for ground support missions, ensuring precision and reducing collateral damage.