MG 151 (20 mm)

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This page is about the German autocannon MG 151 (20 mm). For the 15 mm version, see MG 151 (15 mm).

Description

The Mauser 20 mm MG 151/20 is a German 20 mm aircraft cannon converted from the 15 mm MG 151/15 cannon to a 20 mm after combat evaluation proved a larger high-explosive shell to be more effective than a high-velocity shell.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Fighters 
Bf 109 F  Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop · ▃Bf 109 F-4
Bf 109 G  Bf 109 G-2 · ▄Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-6 · ▄Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · ▄Bf 109 G-14/AS
Bf 109 K  Bf 109 K-4 (Suspended)
BV 155  BV 155 B-1
C.202  C. 202EC
C.205  C. 205 serie 3 · C. 205N2
Fw 190 A  Fw 190 A-4 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-5/U12 · ▅Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · NC.900
Fw 190 C  Fw 190 C
Fw 190 D  Fw 190 D-9 · ▂Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13
G.55  G.55 sottoserie 0 · G.55 serie 1 · G.55S
G.56  G.56
IAR-81  IAR-81C
Ki-61  Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I hei Tada's
Mörkö-Morane  Mörkö-Morane (Modification)
Pyörremyrsky  Pyörremyrsky
Re.2001  Re.2001 CN
Re.2005  Re.2005 serie 0
S-199  S-199 (Modification)
S.O.8000  S.O.8000 Narval
Ta-152  Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1
Twin-engine fighters  Do 17 Z-7 · Do 217 N-1 · Do 217 N-2 · Ju 388 J · Me 410 A-1/U2 · Me 410 B-1/U2 · Ta 154 A-1
Jet fighters  He 162 A-2 · Me 163 B-0
Strike aircraft 
Bf 110  Bf 110 F-2 (Suspended) · Bf 110 G-2 (Suspended) · Bf 110 G-4 (Suspended) · ▄Bf 110 G-4 (Suspended)
Do 335  Do 335 A-0 (Suspended) · Do 335 B-2
Fw 190  Fw 190 F-8
He 219  He 219 A-7
Hs 129  Hs 129 B-2 · Hs 129 B-2 (Romania) · Hs 129 B-2 (Romania)
Me 262  Me 262 A-1a/U1
Me 410  Me 410 A-1 · Me 410 A-1/U4 · Me 410 B-1 · Me 410 B-2/U4 · Me 410 B-6/R3
SM.91  SM.91
SM.92  SM.92
Bombers  BV 138 C-1 (Defensive) · BV 238 (Defensive) · Do 217 E-2 · Do 217 E-4 · He 177 A-5 (Defensive)
  Ju 87 D-5 · Ju 188 A-2 (Defensive) · Ju 288 C (Defensive) · M.B.175T · Me 264 (Defensive)
Jet bombers  Ar 234 C-3
Heavy tanks  AMX-50 Surblindé
Tank destroyers  Lorraine 155 Mle.50
Motor torpedo boats  LS 4 Esau

General info

The 20 mm MG 151 has a fire rate of 700 rounds per minute. The gun is reasonably accurate with decent shell trajectory.

Available ammunition

The key features of the MG 151 is the special Minengeschoß (lit. "mine shell") high-explosive ammunition. This Minengeschoß round was specifically made with a thin tungsten casing to contain more explosive filler (usually 50% more than regular HE shell) and thus were extremely effective against enemy aircraft.

Aircraft

  • Default: IT · IT · APHE · HEI
  • Universal: IT · HEI · HEI · AP-I
  • Air targets: AP-I · HEI · HEI · HEI · HEI · IT
  • Armoured targets: APHE · APHE · APHE · IT
  • Tracers: FI-T · FI-T · FI-T · IT · IT
  • Stealth: HEI · HEI · HEI · APHE · AP-I


  • Default (turret): IT · HEI · APHE · AP-I
  • Armoured targets (turret): AP-I · AP-I · APHE · IT · AP-I
  • Universal (turret): IT · HEI · HEI
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 27 25 18 12 8 6
Universal 27 25 18 12 8 5
Air targets 27 25 18 12 8 5
Armoured targets 27 25 18 12 8 6
Tracers 26 25 18 12 8 6
Stealth 27 24 18 12 8 6
Default (turret) 27 25 18 12 8 6
Armoured targets (turret) 27 25 18 12 8 6
Universal (turret) 26 25 18 12 8 5

Tanks

  • Default: HEFI-T · AP-I
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 26 24 17 11 7 5

Ships

  • Universal: HEFI-T · API-T · API-T
  • 20 mm HE belts: HEFI-T · HEFI-T · HEFI-T · API-T
  • 20 mm AP belts: API-T · API-T · API-T · HEFI-T
Penetration statistics
Belt Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Universal 26 24 18 12 8 6
20 mm HE belts 26 24 18 12 8 6
20 mm AP belts 26 24 18 12 8 6

Comparison with analogues

Give a comparative description of cannons/machine guns that have firepower equal to this weapon.

Usage in battles

The 20 mm MG 151 is very dangerous against air targets due to the Minengeschoß shell, which makes the MG 151/20 arguably the best 20 mm cannon against air targets. Unless other ammunition is needed for a specific reason, always choose the ammo belt with most Minengeschoß available.

With "air targets" belt, it usually take a short burst of 20 - 30 rounds to take down an average fighter, 30 - 50 rounds for a heavy fighter or a ground attack aircraft, and 100 - 150 rounds for a heavy bomber. Due to the gun's fast rate of fire, however, it is quite easy to empty all of the ammo before you managed to finish the targets without proper aiming, especially without the help of gun pods. Thus, the MG 151 will often requires trigger discipline for better results, with an ace being achiveable in a single sortle with a proper ammo conservation.

However, despite the MG 151's stellar characteristics, the gun is also infamous due to its poor stock performances. Owning to the fact that only 1/4 of its stock belt contains the "Minengeschoß" round, while the other rounds were a near-useless incendiary shell with a performance akin to that of a practice shell found on the Hispano autocannons, as well as a poor APHE rounds that often over-penetrates the enemy airframe and thus were unable not detonate. Due to this, it is best to treat the stock MG 151 like an oversized heavy machine guns. Firing a long burst to get more chance of hitting the enemy with Minengeschoß rounds until the upgraded belts is available.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Minengeschoß shell (an improved HEI shell) provides a lot of hitting power against aircraft
  • Larger ammo count than the other German 20 mm cannons
  • Higher muzzle velocity than the other German 20 mm cannons
  • Faster firing and less prone to jamming than the Allied Hispano variants

Cons:

  • Its stock belt is notoriously unreliable due to the ineffective incendiary and APHE shell
  • Still lower muzzle velocity compared to most machine guns
  • Ineffective against armoured ground targets, even with APHE shells
  • Tracer and HEI (Minengeschoß) have slightly different trajectories which reiterate knowing your ammunition

History

The MG 151 was originally developed for a 15 mm cartridge which was small enough to fit between the cylinder banks of their V-12 aircraft engines and offered a higher velocity compared to the 20 mm cannons of their Allied opponents. However, in 1941, Germany recognized that, in air combat, explosive power was more important than high velocity. As a result, in 1941, the MG-151 was re-chambered to fire a 20 mm shell based on the cartridge used by the MG FF, but necked up and with a longer case body meaning that the conversion mostly involved changing the barrel. The MG 151 was introduced on the Bf 109 F-4, would remain one of the main fighter cannons for Germany during World War II, and would be popularly exported to other nations in the Axis, such as mounting on the Japanese Ki-61-I hei, Italian Re.2005 serie 0, and Romanian IAR-81C fighters. However, Germany's attempt to make an explosive shell for the MG 151 became its downfall. The Minengeschoß (Mine Shell) rounds were ineffective against the Allied heavy bombers taking about 15-20 hits to down one while a 30 mm cannon such as the MK 103 needed only 3 or 4 hits to down. As a result, the MK 103 and its shorter-barrelled cousin the MK 108 began to replace the MG 151 as the Luftwaffe's (German Air Force) main cannon near the end of the war and it was adapted by the Volkssturm (German national militia) for use as an anti-aircraft weapon along with being used to upgrade the 15 mm armed Sd.Kfz.251/21. After the war, the MG 151 was used by the French Armée de l'Air (Air Force) and Aviation légère de l'armée de Terre (Land Army Light Aviation). In both fixed and flexible configurations, the MG 151 was used by the French in multiple aircraft including helicopters such as their H-21C Workhorse and H-34 helicopters used in Algeria. The flexible variants were modified with insulating sleeves to protect the user's hands. The MG 151 was also used in the Portuguese and Rhodesian versions of the SA 316B Alouette III, and a variant of the cannon called the Vektor GA-1 was built by Denel in South Africa.

Media

Images
Videos

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


USA aircraft cannons
20 mm  AN/M2 · Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 0 · Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 3 · FMC T-160
  M3 · M24A1 · M39A1 · M39A2 · M39A3 · M61A1 · M195 · M197 · Mk 11 · Mk 11 mod 5 · T31
30 mm  M230E-1 · XM140 · GAU-8/A · GAU-13/A
37 mm  M4 · M9 · M10
40 mm  M75 · M129
75 mm  M10 · T13E1
  Foreign:
20 mm  Hispano 404 (France) · Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · MG 151 (Germany) · Type 99 Model 1 (Japan)
30 mm  ADEN Mk.4 (Britain)

Germany aircraft cannons
15 mm  MG 151
20 mm  MG 151 · MG C/30L · MG FF · MG FF/M
30 mm  MK 101 · MK 103 · MK 108
37 mm  BK 3.7
50 mm  BK 5 · Mk.214a
75 mm  BK 7.5
  Foreign:
20 mm  Hispano Mk.V (Britain) · M24A1 (USA) · M61A1 (USA) · ShVAK (USSR)
23 mm  GSh-23L (USSR) · NR-23 (USSR) · VYa-23 (USSR)
30 mm  DEFA 552 (France) · GSh-30-2K (USSR) · NR-30 (USSR)
37 mm  N-37D (USSR)

USSR aircraft cannons
20 mm  B-20E · B-20M · B-20S · ShVAK
23 mm  GSh-23-2 · GSh-23L · NR-23 · NS-23 · NS-23K · PTB-23 · VYa-23
30 mm  2A42 · GSh-6-30 · GSh-30-2 · GSh-30-2K · NR-30
37 mm  N-37 · N-37D · NS-37 · SH-37
45 mm  NS-45
  Foreign:
20 mm  Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · MG 151 (Germany)
37 mm  M4 (USA) · M10 (USA)

Japan aircraft cannons
20 mm  Ho-1 · Ho-3 · Ho-5 · JM61A1 · Type 99 Model 1 · Type 99 Model 2
30 mm  Ho-155 · Type 5
37 mm  Ho-203 · Ho-204 · Type 94
40 mm  Ho-301
57 mm  Ho-401
75 mm  Type 88
  Foreign:
20 mm  M61 (USA) · M61A1 (USA) · M197 (USA) · MG FF (Germany) · MG FF/M (Germany) · MG 151 (Germany)
30 mm  M230E-1 (USA)

Italy aircraft cannons
20 mm  Hispano 404 (France) · Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · Hispano Mk.V (Britain) · M24A1 (USA) · M61A1 (USA) · M197 (USA)
  MG 151 (Germany) · MG FF (Germany) · MG FF/M (Germany)
30 mm  DEFA 552 (France) · Hispano HS 825 · MK 103 (Germany) · MK 108 (Germany)
37 mm  BK 3.7 (Germany) · Breda Model 39 37/54
102 mm  102/35 mod 14

France aircraft cannons
20 mm  GIAT M.621 · Hispano 404 · Hispano HS.9 · M50
30 mm  DEFA 541 · DEFA 551 · DEFA 552 · DEFA 552A · DEFA 553 · DEFA 554 · GIAT M781
  Foreign:
20 mm  AN/M2 (USA) · Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 3 (USA) · Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · M3 (USA) · M24A1 (USA) · M39A1 (USA) · MG 151 (Germany) · ShVAK (USSR)
37 mm  M4 (USA) · M10 (USA) · NS-37 (USSR)

Sweden aircraft cannons
20 mm  Akan m/41A · Akan m/45 · Akan m/47B · Akan m/47C · Akan m/49 · Oerlikon FF
30 mm  Akan m/55 · Akan m/75
57 mm  Akan m/47
  Foreign:
20 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
23 mm  GSh-23L (USSR)
30 mm  2A42 (USSR) · M230E-1 (USA) · MK 108 (Germany)

Israel aircraft cannons
20 mm  Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · Hispano Mk.V (Britain) · M50 (France) · M61A1 (USA) · M195 (USA) · M197 (USA) · MG 151 (Germany) · Mk 11 mod 5 (USA)
30 mm  DEFA 551 (France) · DEFA 552 (France) · DEFA 552A (France) · DEFA 553 (France) · M230E-1 (USA)
40 mm  M129 (USA)

France tank cannons
20 mm  20F2
25 mm  SA34 L/72
37 mm  SA18 L/21 · SA38 L/33
47 mm  SA34 L/30 · SA35 L/32 · SA37
75 mm  APX · SA35 L/17 · SA44 · SA49 · SA50 L/57
90 mm  D.911 APX · CN90 F2 · CN90 F3 · CN90 F4 · D915 · DEFA F1 · SA45
100 mm  SA47 L/58
105 mm  CN-105-F1 · Modele F2 · PzK M57
120 mm  GIAT CN120-25 G1 · GIAT CN120-26 F1 · SA46
142 mm  ACRA
155 mm  L'Obusier de 155 Modèle 1950
  Foreign:
15 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
20 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
37 mm  M6 (USA)
40 mm  Bofors L/60 · QF 2-pounder (Britain)
75 mm  KwK42 (Germany) · M3 (USA) · M6 (USA)
76 mm  M7 (USA)
90 mm  M3 (USA)
105 mm  M4 (USA)

Germany naval cannons
15 mm  MG 151
20 mm  2 cm/65 C/30 · 2 cm/65 C/38 · 2 cm/65 Flakzwilling 38 · 2 cm/65 Flakvierling 38 · MG 151/20
30 mm  MK103/38
37 mm  3.7 cm FlaK-Lafette C/36 · 3.7 cm FlaK-Lafette LM/42 · 3.7 cm SK C/30 · FlaK.36 · FlaK43
40 mm  4 cm Bofors Flak 28 · 40 mm/70 MEL58
52 mm  52 mm/55 SK L/55
88 mm  8.8 cm/76 SK C/32 · 8.8 cm S.K.C/35 · FlaK.18 · Flak.36 · 88 mm/45 AA SK L/45 · 88 mm/45 casemate SK L/45
100 mm  100 mm/55 MLE model 53
105 mm  10.5 cm SK C/32 · 10.5 cm SK C/33 AA
120 mm  L45
127 mm  12.7 cm SK C/34
150 mm  150 mm/45 SK L/45 · 15 cm/48 KC/36 · 15 cm/55 SK C/28 · 15 cm/60 SK C/25
203 mm  20.3 cm/60 SK C/34
283 mm  283 mm/45 SK L/45 · 283 mm/52 SK C/28 · 283-mm/54,5 SK C/34
305 mm  305 mm/50 SK L/50
380 mm  38 cm SK L/45
  Foreign:
30 mm  AK-230 (USSR)
37 mm  V-11 (USSR)
76 mm  76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact (Italy)
100 mm  100 mm/56 B-34 (USSR)