DEFA 551 (30 mm)

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Revision as of 21:41, 2 March 2021 by RideR2 (talk | contribs) (General info)

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The DEFA 551 is a French 30mm revolver cannon based on the German Mauser MG 213C, an experimental cannon designed for Luftwaffe. Its production started in mid '50s and was used on some French made planes like the S.O.4050. In War Thunder it has many subversions that are used on other French jet fighters.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The DEFA 551 cannons can fire up to 1,200 rounds per minute, the AP bullets velocity is 790 m/s and for the HE bullets it is 810 m/s. The one second burst mass is 20,84 kg. Every HE shell carries 27 gram of explosive, enough to heavily damage any plane with a single hit. The only drawback of this cannon is poor accuracy, much worse than in 20mm cannons, hitting any small target from more than 800m away can be a problem.

Available shells

  • Default: AP · HEFI-T
  • Air targets: HEF-I · HEI-T
  • Armored targets: AP · HEI-T · AP
  • Stealth: AP · HEF-I
Penetration statistics
Belts Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Default 47 39 30 27 23 19
Air targets 3 3 3 3 3 3
Armored targets 47 39 30 27 23 19
Stealth 47 39 30 27 23 19

Comparison with analogues

The other cannons with similar characteristics are the Russian NR-30, the British ADEN and other subversions of the DEFA cannon. All of them share similar shell velocity close to ~800 m/s and the damage amount they cause, landing a few hits on the other plane will end up very badly for it. Bullet types used by the ADEN and DEFA cannon are basically the same, available belts too. The NR-30 has lower rate-of-fire, but much better accuracy, also its bullets have considerably more of explosive mass.

Usage in battles

Since it can carry only 100 bullets per magazine it can fire for only a few seconds, so it is the best to fire at the target when the chance of hitting it is the highest, so basically when it is flying at low speed and when it cannot perform any high speed high G manoeuvers. The other aspect that can make it difficult against the other jets is mediocre shell velocity speed compared to machine guns like the M3 Browning or the FMC T-160 revolver cannon. The AP shell penetration is quite high so it also can be used against the ground units, especially those used in air battles and tanks from the top, or the wheeled vehicles ones like the Centauro.

Pros and cons


  • High rate-of-fire
  • Very high one-second burst mass
  • Can be used in many roles, good penetration against ground units
  • Mediocre accuracy at longer range
  • Good damage output


  • Mediocre shell velocity
  • Very low amount of bullets in magazine


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of this weapon. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article.


An excellent addition to the article would be a video guide, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the weapon;
  • other literature.

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 · GIAT M781
20 mm  AN/M2 (USA) · M3 (USA) · M24A1 (USA) · M39A1 (USA) · MG 151 (Germany) · ShVAK (USSR)
37 mm  M10 (USA) · NS-37 (USSR)