M230E-1 (30 mm)

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The 30 mm M230E-1 is a 30 mm American autocannon armament. The weapon was developed for use on the Apache attack helicopters and its variants.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Attack helicopters 
AH-64  AH Mk.1 Apache · AH-64A · AH-64A (GR) · ▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64A Peten
  AH-64D · AH-64DJP · AHS · Peten · Saraph · YAH-64

General info

The M230E-1 is a 30mm American autocannon developed by Northrop Grumman Systems. It was designed for the Boeing AH-64 Apache, being the primary weapon on these helicopters. In War Thunder, it is featured on every AH-64 Apache variant.

Available ammunition

  • Default: HEDP
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 51 51 51 51 51 51
Belt details
Belt Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Default HEDP 805 0.34 0 0 26.88 62° 69° 73°

Comparison with analogues

The Russian 2A42 is quite similar to the M230E-1, being a 30mm autocannon. The 2A42 is generally better for most situations as it is far more accurate, has APDS belts to engage armored targets, and has a higher rate of fire than the M230E-1. However, the 2A42 on the Ka-50/52 helicopters are mounted on a rather awkward firing position on the right side of the helicopter that has limited horizontal traverse which means that the pilot must turn the entire helicopter to get the guns on target if using the Ka-50/52. Keep this in mind when fighting either as you have a slight advantage in this factor.

Usage in battles

The M230E-1 is a very versatile turret. On Apache attack helicopters, it can be used to attack both planes and tanks, dealing with both fairly easy at close ranges. However, dealing with tanks requires the helicopter to get fairly near to enemy vehicles due to the lacking penetration of HE-DP (51mm) and the relatively inaccurate projectile spread. This puts the pilot at a high risk of being downed by dedicated AA, ground vehicles, enemy planes, and even other helicopters. You can engage ground targets from the top and get some ground target kills, but mind your surroundings, as a well-placed shot will send the Apache back to the respawn menu surprisingly fast if the enemy team is aware of your presence.

If an enemy plane decides to engage you, be very careful. If you already know that the plane is approaching you, turn the helicopter in the general direction of the plane ASAP and follow the steps below. If the plane has taken you by surprise, prepare to take evasive maneuvers and deploy countermeasures as a missile may already have been fired at you.

  1. If the enemy plane is approaching you on from a head-on position, lock the plane by going into gunner view (V key by default) and pressing F, turn off hover mode if it is enabled (H key by default) and simply press the button to fire the 30mm (LMB by default). The computer should automatically track the enemy plane and fire rounds; you should see a red crosshair over the plane indicating that the gun is tracking automatically.
  2. Fire off a 1-2 second burst in the plane's direction if the plane attempts a head on and fire an anti-air missile if you have them. Quickly roll upside down after that to avoid incoming fire and deploy countermeasures if a missile is fired at you. The plane should now pass over you and turn back upright.
  3. Reduce your COLL if set at 100% to maximize turn rate and immediately turn toward the plane (make sure you use your rudder and your mouse/gamestick in conjunction). If you are carrying anti-air missiles (AAMs), fire one off at the plane; if you turn quickly enough the exhaust of the plane should be facing toward you which is what you want as IR missiles track the best from this position.

At this point if you are not carrying AAMs there's not much you can do except wait for him to turn and reengage you as the gun is not accurate enough to deliver a critical blow at longer ranges. Wait for a teammate to assist you or see if you can disengage.

Fighting enemy helicopters is easier as your gun has a larger and slower-moving target to track. You should be able to deal with enemy helicopters at max 1.5km solely using the gun. If you are fighting a Russian helicopter, be mindful of your distance as their autocannons outrange you and some mount the Vikhr AGM which are very effective against air targets due to a proximity fuse.

Pick your fights and avoid initiating an engagement against other helicopters or planes if you only have your autocannon and no AAMs unless it is absolutely needed, or they initiate the fight.

Pros and cons


  • Turret mount on Apaches have a very flexible turret mount, able to aim in multiple directions without repositioning the entire helicopter.
  • 30 mm can deal with most ground targets from the roof, sides, or the rear.
  • Large ammo pool, some freedom to spray 'n pray at targets.
  • Decent RoF, able to get many rounds on target while shooting.
  • Able to shred through planes if shots land since each of the 30 mm rounds have 26.88g of explosive filler.


  • Helicopter must get very close to the battle to effectively make use of the turret.
  • Very large amount of projectile spread, inconvenient for long range shooting or targets that move frequently.
  • Compared to other nation's helicopter turrets, the M230E-1 has less range and is significantly more inaccurate.
  • No tracer rounds at all, aiming must be either done by locking the target optically or by spray n' pray tactics.


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of the weapon in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the weapon and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Weapon-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />.



See also

Shipunov 2A42 (Russian analogue to the M230E-1)

Apache Helicopter Family

External links

USA aircraft cannons
20 mm  AN/M2 · Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 0 · Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 3 · FMC T-160
  M3 · M24A1 · M39 · M39A1 · M39A2 · M39A3 · M61A1 · M195 · M197 · Mk 11 · Mk 11 mod 5 · T31
30 mm  M230E-1 · XM140 · GAU-8/A · GAU-13/A · LR30
37 mm  M4 · M9 · M10
40 mm  M75 · M129
75 mm  M10 · T13E1
20 mm  Hispano 404 (France) · Hispano Mk.II (Britain) · MG 151 (Germany) · Type 99 Model 1 (Japan)
30 mm  ADEN Mk.4 (Britain)

Britain aircraft cannons
20 mm  Hispano Mk.I · Hispano Mk.II · Hispano Mk.V · Oerlikon KAD-B
25 mm  ADEN 25
30 mm  ADEN · ADEN Mk.4
40 mm  Rolls-Royce Type BH · Vickers S
47 mm  Vickers P
57 mm  Molins Class M
20 mm  GI2 (South Africa) · Hispano 404 (France) · M61A1 (USA)
27 mm  Akan m/85 (Sweden) · Mauser BK27 (Germany)
30 mm  M230E-1 (USA)

Japan aircraft cannons
20 mm  Ho-1 · Ho-3 · Ho-5 · 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
20 mm  M39A3 (USA) · M61A1 (USA) · M197 (USA) · MG FF (Germany) · MG FF/M (Germany) · MG 151 (Germany)
30 mm  GAU-13/A (USA) · M230E-1 (USA)

Sweden aircraft cannons
20 mm  Akan m/41A · Akan m/45 · Akan m/47B · Akan m/47C · Akan m/49 · Oerlikon FF
27 mm  Akan m/85
30 mm  Akan m/55 · Akan m/75
57 mm  Akan m/47
20 mm  MG FF (Germany) · MG 151 (Germany)
23 mm  GSh-23L (USSR)
30 mm  2A42 (USSR) · M230E-1 (USA) · MK 108 (Germany)

Israel aircraft cannons
20 mm  GIAT M.621 (France) · 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)