The GECAL 50 was first manufactured by General Electric, then by
Lockheed-Martin, and now by General Dynamics. Early prototypes had six
barrels, but a three-barrel setup is now standard.
was originally designed as a larger more potent version of the M-134
Minigun. Due to the loss of nine helicopters in Grenada GE started
building prototypes of the weapon in both a three barreled and a six
barreled configuration. Soon it was recommended as a potential armament
for the V-22 Osprey. The magazine would be located underneath the cabin
floor and could be reloaded in-flight. However, plans to mount the gun
were later dropped. In 1999, the United States sent 28 GAU-19s to
Colombia. Oman is known to use the GAU-19/A mounted on their HMMWVs. In
2005, the GAU-19/A was approved to be mounted on the OH-58D Kiowa
helicopter. It may also be used on the Army's new Armed Reconnaissance
Helicopter. The navy of Mexico uses MDH MD-902 series helicopters with
the GAU-19/A system mounted for anti-narcotics operations.