The Armament Department of the General Electric Company conducted a 30mm gun concept study in March 1966 and began detail design in May 1966. Four development GE 3-barrel, 30mm XM1B8 guns were designed and built under the Independent Research and Development Program. The 30mm
T212 and 20mm M61 can be regarded as this weapon's antecedents.
The GE 3-barrel, 30mm weapon was first proposed to the army August 1,1966 with an unsolicited proposal to the Army weapons command. In response to the unsolicited proposal, the Army made available 3500 rounds of ammunition used to conduct firing
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