Star Wars Fan? The US Navy has an R2D2

The Navy’s USS Boxer has a Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS). It is nicknamed R2-D2 for its similar dome shaped top and automatic nature. Actually if you watch the video below, the supports are somewhat shaped like R2-D2 legs. Watch the tower pivot and spin. It really resembles an R2 Astromech droid. Just with a large gun protruding from the crotch.

The Phalanx fires a mere 4,500 rounds per minute which equates to 75 rds per sec.

It fires a 20mm round at 3,600 fps.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Giolli Joker

    Get your manliness crushed by discovering that the puny R2D2 packs a 20mm cannon between his legs. 🙁

  • Bacon Chaser

    Spent the formative years of my youth wrenching on a Block 1 Phalanx. When I wasn’t busy in various ports drinking alcohol, making foreign women love me and foreign men hate me.

    Ex-Navy FC2(SW/AW)

    • Rooftop Voter

      Humpty Dumpty in Naples, anybody remember her?

      A02 Ordie

  • Evan

    R2D2 with a woody

  • Given that prototype Phalanx systems existed as early as 1973, perhaps the film’s model makers were inspired by shape of the Phalanx system instead of vice-versa?

  • Iggy

    While the design obviously works well and it is a relatively portable system, I’ve always preferred the aesthetics of the Russian equivalent:

    • Iggy

      And I just realized what it reminds me of…

  • LazyReader

    It’s nothing new, this weapons been around since 1979. Replace that 20mm Vulcan with a 25mm Equalizer and shrink that package of electronics.

    • Rooftop Voter

      So that’s why I can buy pull down 20 mm powder for a decent price. 100 lb drum for 7 bucks a pound.

  • Hamma Hamma

    I want this R2D2 for Star Wars. Can we hire him?

  • politicsbyothermeans

    The Phalanx is ground based too. If you were on an installation that had them in Iraq or Afghanistan you may (or may not?) have some pleasant memories of them quickly coming to life and swatting something down.

    • josh

      you’re welcome.

  • Kevin Harron

    The Phalanx has been known as the R2D2 for freaking years. Nicholas C continues with his usual quality of ‘journalism’.

    • Kevin Harron

      And the Phalanx is mounted on almost every major surface combatant in the US Navy.

  • LCON

    R2D2’s bigger meaner elder Brother.

  • Karl Vanhooten

    Don’t you mean a Dalek?

  • TheWarriorWorkshop

    First time I heard one of those go off, I was a few decks down and it woke me. Once I figured out what the hell it was, I fell in love. Those things are pure awesome

  • >’w'<

    a huge ——

  • WFDT

    Phalanx is older than Star Wars, so maybe George Lucas is a fan of Navy weapons systems instead of the other way around.

  • KnifeKnut

    Looks more like the bastard son resulting from angry sex between BT-1 and R2-D2