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JASDF JM167A1 barrels right front view at Tsuiki Air Base November 26, 2017 02.jpg
A JASDF JM167A1 mounted on an AA gun mount at Tsuiki Air Base.
TypeRotary cannon
Place of originUnited States
Service history
WarsWar in Darfur
Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Production history
VariantsSee Variants
Cartridge20×102 mm
Caliber20 mm (0.787 in)
Barrels6-barrel (progressive RH parabolic twist, 9 grooves)
ActionHydraulically operated, electrically fired, rotary cannon
Rate of fire1000 or 3000 rounds per minute

The M167 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS)[1][2][3][4] is a towed short-range United States Army anti-aircraft gun designed to protect forward area combat elements and rear area critical assets. It was also used to protect U.S. Air Force warplane airfields and U.S. Army helicopter airfields. The heart of the M167 was a variant of the M61 Vulcan 20×102 mm rapid-fire rotary cannon that fired explosive 20 mm rounds.

It was also effective against lightly armored ground targets; the M167 gun has now been withdrawn from service by U.S. military units, but it might still be used by other countries.


Starting in 1994, the M167 was replaced in U.S. service by the M1097 Avenger missile launcher and in 2005, by a ground-based version of the Phalanx CIWS self-defense gun[5] which the U.S. Navy uses on its ships. The Phalanx CIWS uses the same basic 20 mm rapid-fire Gatling gun as the M167.


A JASDF VADS on display at the JASDF's Hanamatsu base.

The M167A2 VADS was modified with an improved fire-control subsystem; the improvement was obtained by replacing the disturbed reticle sight with a director reticle sight, the sight current generator with a digital processor, and the azimuth drive assembly with a harmonic drive. It also had an extra wheel put on each side which prevented flipping by providing a longer lever.

Sudan and Yemen used M167 guns seated upon the Soviet BTR-152 APC.[6][7]


Map with M167 VADS operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "M167 Vulcan Towed / Static Air Defense System - United States".
  2. ^ Pike, John. "M167 VADS Vulcan Air Defense System". www.globalsecurity.org.
  3. ^ "M167 Vulcan - Weaponsystems.net". weaponsystems.net.
  4. ^ "20mm M167 VADS". 23 January 2014.
  5. ^ "CIWS now does surface targets, too – Murdoc Online". www.murdoconline.net.
  6. ^ Steven Zaloga, Soviet wheeled armoured vehicles, Concord: Hong Kong, 1990
  7. ^ Ye. Prochko, Bronetransporter BTR-152, Bronyekollektsya 5(38)/2001 (in Russian)

External links[edit]