Video Link: Click here to see a test of the Phalanx
The Phalanx is a multi-barreled, extremely high-speed, 20mm machine gun. Utilizing a specialized radar and tracking system, it fires a stream of between 3,000 – 4,500 armor piercing bullets, impacting and destroying its target in the air.
Originally designed for use on ships as a last defense against incoming anti-ship missiles (and currently in use on ships around the world, including the Israeli navy) it has lately been designed for land use as well.
A June 4, 2007 article in the Jerusalem Post reported that Great Britain and the USA are using the Phalanx in Iraq. Uzi Rubin, a noted expert in Missile Defense, and the founding project director of the Arrow missile project in Israel, was quoted in the article as saying "It is a system that has proven to be quite successful" and claimed that four such systems could provide significant defense for the Israeli town of Sderot.
Israeli Ministry of Defense officials indicated that the Phalanx is useful to protect critical installations and other small areas of several hundred square meters.
According to Defense Industry Daily, a major defense issues website, the C-Ram Phalanx system "could also provide defensive options against the kinds of rocket attacks encountered in Round 1 of Israel’s recent war with Hezbollah, Iran & Syria". The latest development of the C-RAM has self-destructing bullets so that rounds that do not hit the target will not fall intact into defended areas.