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A Historical Look at the M51 Skysweeper

The M51 Skysweeper was an anti-aircraft gun used by the Army and Air Force in the 1950s.  It was the first weapon of its kind to incorporate a gun laying radar, M10 analog computer, and an autoloader on a single carriage.

The M51 had an excellent muzzle velocity and came equipped with an autoloader that allowed it to fire 45 rounds per minute.  The weapon was mounted on a large box-shaped powered traverse.  The computer and manual gun sights were mounted on the right side, with the radar unit mounted on the left.

It was a 75 mm caliber weapon and had a barrel length of 4,500 mm.  The magazine held 2 x 10 rounds and had an effective range of 6.3 km, with a maximum range of 13.5 km.  It remained in use until the 1970s, when it was replaced with more powerful and accurate anti-aircraft weapons.

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Posted by on May 10th, 2012 :: Filed under: Blog,Military