COW 37 mm gun

COW 37 mm gun

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The COW 37 mm gun was a British automatic cannon that was developed as a heavy-calibre aircraft weapon.
It was trialled in several installations and specified for the Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
-See also:-References:* James, Derek N. Westland Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-847-X.* Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1992...

. However they did not yield results and the weapon did not enter general service.

Design and development


Coventry Ordnance Works
Coventry Ordnance Works
Coventry Ordnance Works was a British manufacturer of heavy guns, particularly naval artillery. The firm was based in the English city of Coventry.-History:...

 had been set up in 1905 by a consortium of British shipbuilding firms (John Brown
John Brown & Company
John Brown and Company of Clydebank was a pre-eminent Scottish marine engineering and shipbuilding firm, responsible for building many notable and world-famous ships, such as the , the , the , the , the , and the...

, Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird, one of the most famous names in British shipbuilding during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, came about following the merger of Laird, Son & Co. of Birkenhead and Johnson Cammell & Co. of Sheffield at the turn of the twentieth century.- Founding of the business :The Company...

 and Fairfield
Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company
The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited was a British shipbuilding company in the Govan area on the Clyde in Glasgow. Fairfields, as it is often known, was a major warship builder, turning out many vessels for the Royal Navy and other navies through the First World War and the...

) in order to compete with the duopoly of Vickers
Vickers
Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999.-Early history:Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &...

 and Armstrong-Whitworth in producing naval guns.
Besides the larger naval gun, COW worked at the smaller end on anti-aircraft guns. There was a demand for a gun that could be mounted on an aircraft. Their first attempt at an automatic gun was a "1-pounder" (the nominal weight of the shell) from a rimless 37x94 cartridge. This developed into a 1½-pounder using a longer 37x190 cartridge in a five-round clip. The gun was ready to produce only as the First World War came to an end and was only in service briefly fitted to a pair of Airco DH4s.

Post war it was tried in a number of different aircraft, mostly flying boats such as the Blackburn Perth
Blackburn Perth
-External links:** Popular Science, January 1934* Popular Mechanics, March 1931...

, where it was seen as being effective against small vessels but also in fighters. The Air Ministry
Air Ministry
The Air Ministry was a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964...

 specifically requested designs that could use the weapon, such as the Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
-See also:-References:* James, Derek N. Westland Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-847-X.* Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1992...

 and the Vickers Type 161
Vickers Type 161
|-See also:...

.

After Vickers acquired the Coventry Ordnance Works, the COW 37 mm was used as for the development of the 40mm Vickers S gun which was used by Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

s as an anti-tank weapon.

In the Second World War, COW guns were used as the armament for the Mk III version of the Armadillo armoured fighting vehicle
Armadillo armoured fighting vehicle
The Armadillo was an extemporised armoured fighting vehicle produced in Britain during the invasion crisis of 1940-1941. Based on a number of standard lorry chassis, it comprised a wooden fighting compartment protected by a layer of gravel and a driver's cab protected by mild steel plates...

; the COW gun with its shield on the rear part of the flatbed. The vehicle was used by the RAF for airfield defence and later the Home Guard.

Use



Specification 4/24
  • Westland Westbury
    Westland Westbury
    |-See also:...

     - Twin-engined 2 x 37 mm COW moveable
  • Bristol Bagshot
    Bristol Bagshot
    -External links:**...

     - Twin-engined 2 x 37 mm COW moveable


Specification F9/27
  • Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
    Westland C.O.W. Gun Fighter
    -See also:-References:* James, Derek N. Westland Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-847-X.* Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1992...

     1 x 37 mm COW fixed
  • Vickers Type 161
    Vickers Type 161
    |-See also:...

     - 1 x 37 mm COW fixed


flying boats
  • Armstrong Whitworth Sinaia
  • Short Cromarty
    Short Cromarty
    |-See also:-References:*"". Flight, 14 December 1922, pp. 725—740.*Barnes, C.H. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London:Putnam, 1967.*London, Peter. British Flying Boats. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7509-2695-3....

  • Vickers Valentia - tested
  • Blackburn Iris
    Blackburn Iris
    The Blackburn Iris was a British three-engined biplane flying boat of the 1920s. Although only five Irises were built, it was used as a long-ranged maritime reconnaissance aircraft by the Royal Air Force, where it equipped a squadron for 4 years, being used to carry out a number of notable...

  • Short Sarafand
    Short Sarafand
    -See also:- External links :*...

  • Blackburn Perth
    Blackburn Perth
    -External links:** Popular Science, January 1934* Popular Mechanics, March 1931...

     - fitted
  • Short Sunderland
    Short Sunderland
    The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber developed for the Royal Air Force by Short Brothers. It took its service name from the town and port of Sunderland in northeast England....

    - planned but not fitted

External links