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Manufacturer:Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Range: 2700 meters
Max Rate of Fire: 180 rpm.
Caliber: 25 mm
The MK-38 is a 25-mm machine gun installed for ship self-defense to counter High Speed Maneuvering Surface Targets (HSMST).
The MK 38 was first employed aboard combatant and auxiliary ships conducting Mid-East Force escort operations and during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. MK 38 Mod 1s are maintained in a rotatable pool for temporary installation aboard deployed ships. Following the October 2000 attack on USS Cole (DDG 67), Task Force Hip Pocket identified an improved MK 38 Machine Gun System (MGS) as a means to increase shipboard self defense against small boat threats.
In 2003, the Chief of Naval Operations documented the requirement and directed the development and fielding of the MK 38 Mod 2. Installed aboard CG, DDG, FFG, LSD, LPD, LHD, LHA, LCC, PC, OSV, and USCG FRC class ships and planned for installation aboard CVN, AS, and MK VI class ships, the MK 38 Mod 2 MGS is a low cost, stabilized self defense weapon system that dramatically improves ships' self-defense capabilities.