The Ten Barreled CIWS of China’s Aircraft Carrier

Here’s some serious Friday gun-porn for you. It’s a close up picture of the ten-barreled Gatling gun Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) installed on China’s nearly complete aircraft carrier Shi Lang (ex-Soviet Varyag). To put things in perspective the U.S. Navy’s Phalanx CIWS gun has only six barrels.

The new gun is based on China’s older, seven-barreled, Type 730 system capable of firing 5,800 rounds per minute.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the only point-defense system being installed on the Shi Lang. A couple of weeks ago we published pictures of the ship outfitted with what appears to be at least one Rolling Airframe Missile launcher (it also looks like there’s one covered by a tarp in the lower right of the picture below). These missile-based air defense weapon many think is more effective than the Gatling guns which have limited range and stopping power. These modern air defenses combined with a new phased array radar will apparently be copied by the Russian’s who say Shi Lang’s old sister ship the Admiral Kuznetzov when it is modernized in the coming years.

Well done to the fellas over at China Defense Blog for spotting this.

29 Comments on "The Ten Barreled CIWS of China’s Aircraft Carrier"

  1. Would my ears forgive me if I was stood next to that as it was going off?

  2. Missile launchers, no doubt. Comparable to the Rolling Airframe Missile, maybe. But no way of knowing what's inside. And if you do know, why not identify by type number or name?
    The rate of fire for a Gatling type gun isn't just the number of barrels but the rotation rate.
    The big difference between the Phalanx & the Type 730 isn't the rate of fire but the guns – the Phalanx has a 20 mm gun while the Type 730 has a 30 mm gun. Probably not as powerful as the 30 mm GAU-8 on the Dutch Goalkeeper system but still much more powerful than the 20 mm, even without DU shells.

  3. Did anyone notice the electro-optical mast besides the radar under the tarp?

  4. Do they plan on painting that ship? It's in dry dock and I see rust on it…

  5. that thing is going to have alot of problams

  6. Tribulationtime | May 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply

    "Corten steel" friend IKnowIT standard steel use on ships, it is somehow pre-rustie so can support more rust or enviromental worn without lost structural capacity. Other side if the point is what anything chinese its a crap….I m agree.
    About 10 barrels perhaps they try shoot more than 400-600 (?) rounds before change barrels. I read somewhere russian "khastan" system wore his barrels just after fire inmediate rounds in magazine, more or less 10-15 burst. Not usefull with a few harpoon incoming. I think

  7. I'm thrilled the Chinese are building such a juicy target for our subs. One ADCAP going off under the hull and she's done.

  8. "Gun porn" indeed.
    30mm vs 20mm – so the Chinese barrel has a larger diameter than the US.
    Bet they're claiming their barrel is longer too.

  9. Matrix_3692 | May 21, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply

    ten barrel? either they are trying to prevent overheating during prolong use (intercepting multiple waves of incoming missiles) or trying to increase the rate of fire due to lack of precision (hundreds of shells firing towards a target, a handful is bound to hit the target)

  10. Tribulationtime | May 21, 2011 at 4:47 am | Reply

    OOOOppp, sorry He he he. Delete all about corten steel….sure is used nor the pics show that….I mistake colors of crane and structure where the people are gatherer….other hand rust showed in my opinion have any relevance, brush repaint and go.

  11. There's so much more to that type of weapon system then how many barrels and what caliber. I'm sure it's not very effective against most modern anti-ship missiles. But it looks impressive. I think the Chinese buildup is pointed toward intimidation of Taiwan and any country who would side with Taiwan. And/or the latest Chinese threat of wanting to attack the land bases of Pirates.

    The Chinese military is a paper tiger and always will be. They just have a lot of everything as did the USSR during the cold war. The true abilities of their weapons and systems is not even close to what they claim. Some day they might catch up to us but that will never happen if they keep buying other countries equipment and do not invest in R&D. By investing in R&D you build a knowledge base that helps develop other systems. The Russians learned this and are just now getting more into R&D and not spending so much money on systems that will be obsolete by the time they are fielded, that was in their own words. For instance declining to build the very formidable Terminator tank. You can never be cutting edge if you keep buying other people's knives, my words.

  12. They never innovate…no new tech, just copied tech from the west and the former USSR.

    The danger is that we'll abandon Taiwan and our other allies in a rush to be more "multilateral".

    The other danger is underestimating them. The USN believed that Imperial Japanese pilots were untrained and flying crappy planes. This was after Pearl Harbor mind you. Many, many losses later they had to admit that the IJN did good with what it had.

    Let's not repeat that mistake.

  13. Nuke them now ! Multiple Middle east too..Africa..N Korea..Shooska..neutron bombs..salvage resources back..:) serious..let the money pigs control things we will be getting nuked and the money pigs make way.
    Stupid to let them build arms ?? Nuts or something.. speak Mandarin Chinese or what ??
    Head down ass up to Allah a thrill for you ??
    Resource economics says..Do em all NOW !! International bankers own USA and will sacrifice her to the highest we see already zup in this world ? Like being slaves to bankers for 200 years now ?? No govt not owned by the pigs..military revolt needed..take out the globalists..! They gonna take ya all out soon enough. NO Prison planet..all collaborators will be eviscerated and fed to fishes by the revolutionary army.. we are millions strong. Come disarm us :0) chicken shit globalist corporatist fascist plutocracy sucking morons.! Scuse me I gotta wipe my arse now :)

  14. We need a gun with 11 BARRELS: this one goes to 11!

  15. Another beat-up by a Defence journalist who doesn'tt know what he /she is talking about. All the comments above have made my case.

  16. Surely, the reason for having 10 barrels is that either there are feed problems or the accuracy of the thing requires even more shells to be put on target to ensure destruction?

    If we could get away with an M16 attached to a tracking system, we would. Think of the ammo this thing needs when running… might as well go back to the good old pom-pom guns of ww2 with proximity shells.

  17. I honestly believe a war in the next decade could be a foregone conclusion. China's buildup is peaking, soon she will have the Shi Lang and a number of new destroyers and subs operational. Her air force is increasing in combat and airlift capability by the year, and her ground forces (the part of the PLA we are least likely to encounter) have the sheer numbers with newer tech to give any opponent a headache on land.

    China's window of opportunity is fast approaching. Her one-child policy has given the nation a large surplus of males now approaching prime military age (causing a major demographic crisis domestically), she will soon have a realistic chance of taking Taiwan, the Spratly and Paracel Islands and holding them, mainly due to the fact I don't believe the US public has the stomach for a long war with a major opponent that could inflict considerable casualties simply by sinking a single US warship.

    We could certainly chew up and spit out the PLAN and PLAAF in an extended campaign, but it would not be without cost, especially if we need to insert ground troops into Taiwan or elsewhere.

  18. Interesting to think of the major banker going to war with it's biggest customer. What we call shooting oneself in the foot, or head in this case. China wants Taiwan, but not at the cost of it's economy. If US loss China as a supplier, it would hurt alot, but the US economy would recover fairly quickly, if China lost US as a market, it'd implode (hint: there aren't any markets waiting in the wings to fill THAT gap, like there WOULD be suppliers). In any case, the PLA would get their heads handed to them, and in short order. They still don't understand C-integration and what it REALLY means in a battle theater.

  19. Don't underestimate Taiwan either. I'm sure they have nukes and like Israel if their imminent destruction is close they will launch and start a nuclear war. It's all about the Chinese wanting to flex it's muscles and show it's a world power. The thing about being a world power is inventing things not copying them. What made the USA and Britain before it was the innovation and technological advancements given to the world. As did the Greeks and Romans.

    I wondered why the Bushmaster cannons have a low rate of fire. Simple, with their new optics and systems they have a good chance of hitting you with a burst or even one round. There is no need for putting a lot of metal toward the target, all they need is one well placed round. One round=one kill, accuracy works from the rifleman to any weapon system. 10 barrels=a lot of misses.

  20. never down play anothers military, last time we did was

    Viet nam……

  21. The Chinese need something to look impressive, seem menacing, and scare people. The next part is to stow some of its people somewhere. They certainly have enough already. Next, they must show their own people how formidable they are, in order to keep the populace under control. China could simply have their army march some 20 million or so soldiers in any direction and take over other countries. That's really simple. It doesn't matter if they lose a couple of million; they will still win by sheer numbers alone. Does anyone really know how many they deliberately starved to death back in the 50's and 60's simply to get better control of their population and rid them selves of pesky dissidents? It was something like 18 million. Who cares how many barrels their gun has? How many nukes do they have and what are their intentions?

  22. Yeah I bet the fire control or radar aiming system are NOT as advanced as our systems.

  23. Ere, Guys, the various comments about the effectiveness of the Chinese Armed Forces reminds of the comments made by the Western Military "Experts" about the Japanese Armed Forces and Weapons before the Second World War.
    Be careful what you say, as it may thrown back in your face, propelled by an 18" shell.
    Don't underestimate the Chinese like you did with the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy!

  24. Byron Skinner | May 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply

    Good Morning Folks,

    I’ve been watch this post all weekend and wondering why?

    What’s so important about this weapon platform and system to generate any interest what so ever. It appears to be rather basic and defensive system the USN has had since the 1970’s on it ships.

    As a new anti-ship offensive weapon, I notice nobody addressed the hottest new anti-ship weapon the was used last Friday night in Libya. The Laser Guided inert Cement Bomb. Sank three Libyan war ships and disabled three, destroyed a factory that was producing sea mines and rigid inflatables.

    No Collateral damage or non combatants killed.

    One of the “damaged ships” was a 3,500 gross ton Frigate that had been placed between two neutral country container ships. The BDA Photo’s show the Frigate listing and leaning on one of the container ship and wedged in between the two container ships. Neither of the container ships indicate any damage.

    Tactically three ports , Tripoli, Sort and Al Khums were hit by NATO planes (France and the UK) cruising at 15K feet. The target were spotted by the two US Predators flying at 1,500 ft. and they were washed with a laser.

    The NATO Planes released their 200 Kg. Smart Laser Guided Inert Cement Bombs above cloud cover, as the bombs busted out of the clouds they found the laser markings and crunch no more ship. This is pretty cool stuff, I doubt if the Chinese weapons that captured the attention of all of you as well as DT editors would have been much good in this strike.


    Byron Skinner

  25. China's Aircraft Carrier, Not Battle Ready, but BULLY Ready. It cannot sail far.

  26. now china is powerful country in southeast asia,is these aircraft carrier sent on spratly?

  27. The paper dragon may endup to have an hard frame.

  28. hi! chaff/COUNTER MEASURES are under the tarp and who knows what else the goalkeeper with the 30mm gun should be carried on all the ships who go in harms way. the starstreak missle system is another non-U.S.NAVY weapon system that SHOULD be looked at and tested for service in the US.NAVY.

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