| Features: Fast-reaction,
rapid-fire 20-millimeter gun system.
Phalanx provides ships of the U.S. Navy with a "last-chance" defense
against anti-ship missiles and littoral warfare threats that have
penetrated other fleet defenses. Phalanx automatically detects, tracks
and engages anti-air warfare threats such as anti-ship missiles and
aircraft, while the Block 1B's man-in-the-loop system counters the
emerging littoral warfare threat. This new threat includes
small,high-speed surface craft, small terrorist aircraft, helicopters
and surface mines. Phalanx accomplishes these engagements via an
advanced search and track radar system integrated with a stabilized,
forward looking infra-red (FLIR) detector. This integrated FLIR
provides Phalanx with an unique multi-spectral detect and track
capability for littoral warfare threats and dramatically improves the
existing anti-air warfare capability. Block 1B also incorporates new
Optimized Gun Barrels which provide improved barrel life, improved
round dispersion and increased engagement ranges.
Phalanx is the only deployed close-in weapon system capable of
autonomously performing its own search, detect, evaluation, track,
engage and kill assessment functions. Phalanx also can be integrated
into existing Combat Systems to provide additonal sensor and
Background:The Phalanx Close-In Weapons
(CIWS) underwent operational tests and evaluation onboard USS Bigelow
in 1977, and exceeded maintenance and reliability specifications.
Phalanx production started in 1978 with orders for 23 USN and 14
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) systems.