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Technical Specifications: SHIVA 20mm HEI Rounds


PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit

Technical Document, Sigma Clearance -- Commander's Eyes Only

Filed: 19 March 2084

By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command


This is a pallet of 20mm HEI (High-Explosive Incendiary) ammunition for the SHIVA Rotary Cannon. It can contain up to 10,000 rounds.

This high-powered anti-aircraft munition consists of a hard titanium-steel shell, tipped with depleted uranium, and filled with a core of explosive incendiary compound. Once the shell penetrates the outer skin of an aircraft, the core detonates, blowing the shell apart like a fragmentation grenade and spreading incendiary compound over the target area. Critical systems may be damaged before the incendiary compound can be quenched or compartmentalised. HEI rounds are especially good at this as they pack more incendiary compound and blast it over a far larger area.

The advantage of the HEI round over the API (Armour-Piercing Incendiary) is its improved damage potential, giving each round a better chance of disabling or destroying the target if a hit is scored. HEI hits do not penetrate the target's armour as often as API hits, however. If the angle is unfavourable, HEI hits tend to bounce off without causing damage.

Each SHIVA cannon is loaded standard with a full pallet of 10,000 rounds, unless there are not enough rounds available in base storage.

Recommended Doctrine

It's a tough choice between API and HEI ammo in most situations. If we're expecting to engaging thickly-armoured enemies or have only limited aircraft available to intercept, API is the round of choice. If we're engaging heavily-armed, highly dangerous craft, then massed HEI fire may be one of the quickest ways to take it down.

We can switch out a gun's ammunition in a matter of minutes, but we can't load both types into the same gun. The variable pressure of firing different ammunition can cause misfires and may result in extreme damage to the gun and the aircraft. Both UN safety procedures and the manufacturer's manual absolutely forbid it, and I can't help but agree.



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