POTD: German Ramp Gunner with .50 BMG M3M/GAU-21

    Photo Of The Day – The ramp gunner in the mighty Sikorsky CH-53G helicopter. Initially, the German CH-53Gs had two 7.62×51mm MG3 machine guns in the side doors, but they have been replaced by heavier .50 BMG M3M/GAU-21 machines guns, one in the door and one on the ramp, depending on the mission, of course.

    The helicopter has a six-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.

    Below we have a ramp gunner with the FN M3M (GAU-21) in 50 BMG (12.7x99mm) NATO.

    The FN M3M (GAU-21) is a single barrel rapid-fire machine gun with 1,100 rounds per minute rate of fire. It’s an open-bolt gun and has a dual recoil buffer system.

    Do you have a fear of heights? Then this is not the job for you.

    The German military is actually looking for a replacement for Sikorsky CH-53G, as it’s been in service since the late 1960s and 70s.

    All photos by Mr. Christian Rastätter / K-ISOM Air Ops.