GAU-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannon

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GAU-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannon
UNSC Hawk Chaingun.jpg

Concept art of the GAU-23.

Production overview




Ammunition type:

20mm ammunition

Feed system:

Linkless feed


Fully automatic


The GAU-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannon is a weapon used by the UNSC Marine Corps, mounted on AV-22 Sparrowhawks[1][2], AV-14 Hornets[2] and AC-220 Vulture gunships.[2][3][4]


Design details[edit]

The GAU/23 is a tri-barreled autocannon found equipped on many UNSC aircraft. It is capable of engaging a number of enemy units of various types, ranging from infantry, to armored vehicles and aircraft.[5] The version mounted on Sparrowhawks can fire the full range of 20mm aircraft ammunition, though the standard loadout is either M718 SAPHEI or PGU-42/B API, with a depleted uranium core.[6]

When mounted on certain variants of the AV-14 Hornet, the GAU/23 is mounted on the craft's chin as a rotary cannon. Two of the weapons can be mounted on the wingtips of the Sparrowhawk, while the AC-220 Vulture can host four wing-mounted guns.

Operational history[edit]

During the early Human-Covenant War, the GAU/23 was mounted on variants of the AV-22 Sparrowhawk, AV-14 Hornet and AC-220 Vulture gunships employed by the UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Harvest campaign, Battle for Arcadia and Battle of Trove.[7]


There is discrepancy among sources as to the GAU/23's ammunition type. The Halo Wars: Official Strategy Guide makes note that the GAU/23 fires .50 BMG ammunition, which would make it 12.7×99mm Armor-Piercing ammo similar to that used by the M41 Vulcan. The later Halo: The Essential Visual Guide indicates the weapon to fire 30mm ammunition, while a later Halo Waypoint Canon Fodder post focusing on the Sparrowhawk identifies the ammunition type as 20mm.[6] This article assumes the latter source as definitive information.

Additionally, the described properties of the GAU/23 as seen on the Sparrowhawk and Hornet in Halo Wars do not match the appearance of the weapon used by the Vulture gunship. The former two aircraft use the GAU/23 as a tri-barrelled autocannon for light targets, while the Vulture appears to only have one barrel per weapon firing at a slow rate of fire.


Dirt makes mention of a chin-mounted machine gun on a Hornet aircraft, though it is unconfirmed if this is the GAU-23.[8]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 182
  2. ^ a b c Halo Wars: Official Strategy Guide, page 45-46
  3. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 202
  4. ^ Halo Waypoint, AC-220 Vulture gunship (Retrieved on Mar 25, 2011) [archive]
  5. ^ Halo Wars Limited Edition, Personnel profile - Ellen Anders [archive]
  6. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Local Units (Retrieved on Jun 30, 2021) [archive]
  7. ^ Halo Wars, In-game models
  8. ^ Halo: Evolutions - Dirt, page 113