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Subsystems / Cannon / Bushmaster


General Facts

  • TYPE

    United States

    M242 (Bushmaster)
    Mk 44 (Bushmaster II)

    1972 - 1973

    McDonnell Douglas

    1981 - present

    United States - Alliant Techsystems
    United States - Boeing
    United States - McDonnell Douglas

    Over 10.600 produced in 1999

    $ 93.500 for M242 in 2006

    Simple design
    Very reliable
    Parts commonality between variants
    Limited rate of fire


The Bushmaster is a 25mm autocannon of US origin. It was developed in the early 1970's for the M2 Bradley mechanized infantry combat vehicle. The Bushmaster has proven to be a reliable and versatile weapon system that has been used on a wide number of vehicles, various naval applications and a few aircraft mountings. Later developments include the Bushmaster II and III that fire the more 30mm and 35mm rounds respectively.


The Bushmaster is a single barrel chaingun with double belt feed. The externally powered chain driven mechanism results in an extremely reliable weapon with a limited rate of fire. The mechanism also ensures that little gasses escape into the crew compartment and that the shell cases are gently ejected forward. The Bushmaster II and III designs are upscaled models that may also be converted to larger caliber weapons using fully encased rounds with the same length as the currently used ammunition.


The Bushmaster fires the 25x137mm NATO round that was first developed for use with the Swiss KBA autocannon. A wide variety of US and NATO ammunition is available. The rate of fire is selectable at 100 or 200 rpm. In theory 500 rpm is possible but most mounts cannon provide enough power. The maximum effective range is about 2 km while the slant range for high explosive rounds is 3 km. With depleted uranium APDS rounds the Bushmaster was even used sucessfully against T-55 tanks. The Bushmaster II fires the 30x173mm round at 200 rpm and the Bushmaster III the 35x228mm round at 200 rpm.


The original 25mm Bushmaster is the most common model. It is best known for its use on the M2 Bradley, but has also been used on a wide variety of other vehicles including the LAV-25. The Bushmaster is also used on a manually operated pedestal mount on navy ships or in the Israeli Typhoon turret. The Bushmaster II is used in naval turrets and various armored vehicles such as the CV 9030 and Rosomak armored personnel carriers. The Bushmaster III is used in the CV 9035.




Caliber25x137mm NATO
MechanismExternally powered, chain driven
Barrel2.175 m, rifled
Dimensions2.572 m long, 318 mm wide, 373 mm tall
Weight119 kg overall, 48.5 kg barrel
FeedingDouble belt feed
Rate of fireSingle shot, 100, 200, 500 rpm
Muzzle velocity1.100 m/s (normal ammunition), 1.420 m/s (APFSDS)
Recoil40 kN
RemarksMuzzle brake, 22.000 MRBS

Bushmaster II

Bushmaster II: A scaled up version of the original Bushmaster that fires the 30x173mm NATO round. It can also be configured to fire the 30x170mm Rarden round or the 40mm Super Forty ammunition. It has a 60% parts commonality with the original Bushmaster. The 30mm model can be identified by its two slot muzzle brake.

Caliber30x173mm NATO, 30x170mm Rarden/KCB
MechanismExternally powered, chain driven
Barrel2.242 m, rifled
Dimensions3.405 m long, 343 mm wide, 392 mm tall
Weight156 kg overall, 69.4 kg barrel
FeedingDouble belt feed
Rate of fireSingle shot, 200, 400 rpm
Muzzle velocity1.080 m/s (standard ammunition), 1.385 m/s (APFSDS)
Recoil35 kN
RemarksMuzzle brake

Bushmaster III

Bushmaster III: The largest model in the Bushmaster family. It fires the 35x228mm NATO round, which is widely used in air defense systems. By replacing the barrel it can also fire the 50mm Supershot. The 35mm model can usually be identified by its ernormous muzzle brake, although some are fitted with a two slot muzzle brake as fitted on the 30mm model.

Caliber35x228mm NATO
MechanismExternally powered, chain driven
Barrel2.785 m, rifled
Dimensions4.02 m long, 430 mm wide, 478 mm tall
Weight218 kg overall, 113 kg barrel
FeedingDouble belt feed
Rate of fireSingle shot, 200 rpm
Muzzle velocity1.300 m/s
Recoil62 kN
RemarksMuzzle brake


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