The U.S. Air Force developed a new assault rifle that breaks down into two pieces, allowing it to be stored in the ejection seat of modern jets. The GAU-5A carbine is designed to provide the firepower necessary for aircrew to defend themselves until rescue reported military.com.
The GAU-5A was designed by the Air Force Gunsmith Shop, which, according to Military.com, was formed in 1958 to repair and refurbish all small arms for the Air Force, from pistols to .50-caliber machine guns. The Air Force maintains a large arsenal of firearms carried by security forces, mounted on vehicles, and packed away for aircrews.
The GAU-5A is a modified M-4 carbine, the same weapon used by U.S. Army and Marine Corps personnel, as well as Air Force security personnel. The gun is modified into a “takedown” weapon, breaking down into two major pieces for storage purposes. The gun and four 30-round magazines loaded with 5.56-millimeter ammunition are designed to fit in a 16 x 14 x 3.5-inch compartment in an ACES II ejection seat.
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