Rare video shows Japanese F-15 Eagle firing M61 Vulcan 20mm gun

Interesting footage shows a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15J using its M61 gun.

On Jun. 20, some 24 hours before Japan’s military was put on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force posted an interesting 27-minute video on their Youtube channel.

The clip, titled “Protecting our Peaceful Sky,” shows all the JASDF weapons systems at work and includes an F-15J firing its M61 six-barrel Gatling-style rotary cannon during a training intercept mission: you won’t find many air-to-air videos showing the Vulcan cannon at work on the Eagle.

The scene can be seen at 07:06 in the video.

The M61 Vulcan, that equips several modern combat planes including the F-16, the F/A-18 and the F-22, fires 20mm rounds at a rate of about 6,000 rounds per minute.

H/T Alert 5


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • There F-15 fleet is going through a very slow phased upgrade with new new radars, custom inbuilt IRST above the radar dome and probably air frame life extension. With no formal replacement plans they’ll probably have to serve another 20 years. Japan’s fighter gap is probably worse the the US Air Force’s because of a lack of funds and suitable aircraft available to replace the F-15s.

  1. Is there a more widely used aircraft gun than the Vulcan? Many aircraft have used it over the years:
    Super Hornet
    Japanese F-2
    Taiwan F-CK-1
    A-7 Corsair II
    (There was even a YF-12 Blackbird concept that would have carried one.)

  2. even thought I couldn’t understand 99 words out of 100, I really enjoyed the video. I have a bizarre interest in everything JSDF so this was right up my alley. Cheers

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