UK-based AEI Systems have announced their 30mm Venom LR (Low Recoil) cannon is nearing production status. The cannon is designed to be able to be mounted onto virtually any vehicle which can accommodate a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) equipped with a .50 heavy machine gun.
Successful firing trials using both the Australian EOS R400S and the Slovenian Midgard 300 from Valhalla Turrets have been completed. Reports indicate that the Venom LR reduces recoil by almost three quarters compared to competing 30mm designs. Simply put, the Venom could theoretically replace any existing light vehicle mounted RWS with the increased lethality and range of a 30mm cannon.
According to AEI; “VENOM LR with integrated ‘buffer cradle’, interfaces directly to the RWS gimbal elevation driveshaft and yoke arm. Muzzle velocity is enhanced by a lengthened barrel and optimised parabolic rifle twist. An efficient muzzle brake assists recoil retardation and barrel aligned recoil buffers improve weapon accuracy.”
Gas operated, the Venom LR’s recoil mitigation system is based on the same principles as applied to the aircraft mounted Aden cannon (AEI produced the Aden for Royal Ordnance). It is also reported to be up to 50% cheaper than the Orbital ATK M230LF. The Venom is capable of firing both in bursts at two rates of fire (the standard 220 rounds per minute or a phenomenal 1300 rounds per minute originally devised for naval use) or semi-automatically out to a range of 2000 metres (area effect 3000 metres).
The cannon is able to operate the full range of in-service 30mm ammunition including AP (Armour Piercing), AP-T (Armour Piercing- Tracer), HEDP (High Explosive Dual Purpose), HEI (High Explosive Incendiary), HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary- Tracer), and both standard and tracer training ammunition.
The Venom LR currently uses the common 30x113mm calibre, however, AEI Systems are working on a version using the 30x173mm used by the Mk 44 Bushmaster II currently mounted on US Army M1296 Stryker Dragoons and by the fearsome GAU-8 mounted within the A-10A Thunderbolt II Warthog ground attack aircraft.