Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Advanced Gun Barrel Technology


The objective of this project was to improve the performance of medium-caliber, high-rate-of-fire gun barrels through coordinated materials/product/process optimization.

Technical Approach

The project team used prior Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded project data to develop base model Select 25mm M242 barrel as testbed for liner studies Use prototyping approach for testing modified barrel and partial liners Apply advanced instrumentation and data acquisition for monitoring performance Validate model from test data for application to a broad range of calibers Validate model from test data for application to a broad range of calibers Evaluate affordable manufacturing options for a full-length lined barrel.


A cost-benefit analysis indicated the potential for annual savings of $6.6 million. The technology developed in this project, for the manufacture of advanced medium-caliber gun barrels, enables the use of high-impetus propellants for a 6000-round barrel life. This capability was meant to satisfy advanced gun system performance specifications that demand more ordnance on target at a longer range.


Following development of cost-effective manufacture for the new barrel, the Navy procurement group for medium-caliber barrels at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane, IN, was responsible for transitioning the advanced technology barrels into service.