20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24 (20 mm)

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The 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24 on the PT-811.


The 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24 is a rapid-firing anti-aircraft cannon that was developed in the 1940s by the Swiss company Oerlikon. This weapon system is a modification of the earlier Mark 4 and Mark 20 models, and it features an improved rate of fire, better accuracy, and a more efficient cooling system. The Mark 24 cannon has been widely used by the United States Navy and other navies around the world, and it has proven to be a reliable and effective weapon system in combat.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24 features a belt-fed mechanism that allows for rapid fire rates of up to 450 rounds per minute. It has a range of approximately 2,000 m and can penetrate armor up to 20 mm armour. The cannon's lightweight and compact design make it ideal for use on various naval vessels.

Available ammunition

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Comparison with analogues

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Usage in battles

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Pros and cons

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The adoption of the 20 mm Oerlikon cannon has made it the staple short-range anti-aircraft armament in both the US Navy and the Royal Navy. By 1944, the US Navy still sought to increase the 20 mm firepower on its ships, but was soon coming into manpower and weight issues as so many single-mount Oerlikons are being placed onto ships. The US Navy also wanted to increase the number of 40 mm Bofors autocannons present without compromising 20 mm firepower.[1][2] Weight reductions provided in succeeding Oerlikon models culminating with the Mk 10 in mid-1943 that weighed around 1,000 lbs (assembly includes gun shield),[3] but each gun attached to a ship required a crew of three (four if gun is equipped with a Mk 14 gun sight) to operate at its full efficiency.[4]

An Oerlikon Mark 24 on the deck of a Fletcher-class destroyer.

To maintain the same 20 mm firepower while reducing the number of crews on a ship, or increase the 20 mm firepower while maintaining the same manpower, it was decided to create twin-mounts of the Oerlikons. Twin-mount prototypes were created with the Mk 20 based off the Mk 4 while the Mk 21 was based on the Mk 10.[1][5] The production version was standard on September 1944 as the Mark 24.[3] The Mark 24 weighed at 1,400 lbs including the gun shield and gun sight, which was a considerably light increase in weight compared to the Mk 10 with the benefits of having an additional gun barrel. The Mark 24 also benefited from being built from a Mk 10 pedestal, allowing the twin-mount design to be used in the same mountings as a single-mount.[5] The twin-mounted version would eventually replace the single-mounts throughout the war and in the post-war period as well, only eventually being discontinued once jet aircraft made the 20 mm Oerlikon obsolete as a short-range anti-aircraft armament.

One experimental twin-mount armament based off the Mark 24 was the Mark 25, which saw the Oerlikon guns of the Mark 24 replaced with two 20 mm T31 aircraft cannons. Though it had a higher rate of fire, it caused excessive vibration onto the mounting and was not followed up on.[2]


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Other 20 mm Oerlikon cannons

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 DiGiulian 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 Friedman 2013, 802
  3. 3.0 3.1 Campbell 1985, 153
  4. Mohl et al. n.d.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Friedman 2013, 913
  • Campbell, John. 1985. Naval Weapons of World War Two. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press.
  • DiGiulian, Tony. 2020. "20 mm/70 (0.79") Oerlikon Marks 1, 2, 3 and 4." NavWeaps. Last modified April 22, 2020. Website (Archive)
  • Friedman, Norman. 2013. Naval Anti-Aircraft Guns & Gunnery. Great Britain: Seaforth Publishing.
  • Mohl, Michael and Pieter Bakels. n.d. "NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive - 20mm Oerlikon." NavSource. Accessed March 23, 2022. Website (Archive)

USA naval cannons
20 mm  20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark V · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24
25 mm  25 mm/87 Mk.38
28 mm  1.1 inch/75 Mk.1
37 mm  AN-M4
40 mm  Bofors L/60 Mark 1 · Bofors L/60 Mark 2 · Bofors L/60 Mark 3
76 mm  3 inch/23 Mk.4 · 3-inch/50 Mk.10 · 3-inch/70 Mk.37 · 3-inch Mark 10 · 3 inch Mk.33 · 3-inch Mk.34
102 mm  4 inch/50 Mk.9
127 mm  5 inch/25 Mk.11 · 5 inch/25 Mk.13 AA · 5 inch/38 Mk.12 · 5-inch/50 Mk.5 · 5 inch/51 Mk.7 · 127 mm/54 Mark 18
152 mm  6 inch/47 Mk.16 · 6 inch/47 DP Mk.16 · 6 inch/53 Mk.12 · M81
203 mm  8 inch/55 Mark 9 · 8 inch/55 Mark 12 · 8 inch/55 Mark 14 · 8 inch/55 Mark 16
305 mm  12-inch/45 Mk.5 · 12 inch/50 Mk.7 · 12 inch/50 Mk.8
356 mm  14 inch/45 Mk.8 · 14 inch/45 Mk.12 · 14 inch/50 Mk.11

Britain naval cannons
20 mm  20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark V · 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mark 24
40 mm  2pdr QF Mk.IIc · 2pdr QF Mk.VIII · 2pdr Rolls Royce · QF Mark V · QF Mark VII · QF STAAG Mark II
47 mm  3 pdr QF Hotchkiss
57 mm  6pdr 7cwt QF Mk IIA · 6pdr QF Mk.V
76 mm  3 inch 12pdr 12 cwt QF Mk.V · 3 inch/70 Mark 6 · 76 mm/45 QF 3in 20cwt HA Mark I · 76 mm/50 12pdr 18cwt QF Mark I · OQF 3in 20cwt
102 mm  4 inch/40 QF mark III · 4 in QF Mark V · 4 inch/45 Mark XVI · 4 inch/50 BL Mark VII · BL Mark IX
114 mm  4.5 inch/45 QF Mark IV · 4.5 inch/45 QF Mark V · 8cwt QF Mk I
120 mm  4.7 inch/45 Mk.XII
133 mm  5.25 inch/50 QF Mark I
152 mm  6 inch/45 BL Mark VII · 6 inch/45 BL Mark XII · 6 inch/50 BL Mark XXIII · 6 inch/50 QF Mark N5
190 mm  7.5 inch/45 BL Mk.VI
203 mm  8 inch/50 Mark VIII
305 mm  305 mm/45 Mark X · 12 inch/50 Mark XI
343 mm  13.5 inch/45 Mark 5(H) · 13.5 inch/45 Mark 5(L)
381 mm  15 inch/42 BL Mark I
20 mm  Rh202 (Germany)
40 mm  Bofors L/60 Mark 2 (USA) · Bofors L/60 Mark 3 (USA)
76 mm  3 inch Mk.33 (USA) · 76 mm/62 OTO-Melara Compact (Italy)