Look At All The Real-Life Weapons The Navy Used To Kill Aliens In 'Battleship'

weapons of battleship

Photo: imfdb

During its opening weekend at the U.S. box office, we checked out Battleship and watched intently.We were there for one reason: to compile a list of military weapons spotted in the action flick.

Inspired by the famous board game by Hasbro, Battleship pits the U.S. Navy against an invading fleet of alien forces equipped with insane firepower. It just so happens the aliens land off the coast of Hawaii when the Navy is hosting a massive war gaming exercise.

While watching the likes of Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch fight for mankind on the big screen — so help us — we made mental notes of which assault rifles, machine guns, missile launchers, and anti-ship weapons we noticed.

We even had to play an interactive game on the movie’s official website, so we could “unlock” hidden content —  Let us know if you’ve identified any weapons we haven’t listed here. 

With help from the Internet Movie Firearms Database, check out the scenes that caught our attention.

*Spoiler alert*

It's the GAU 17 — a six-barreled machine gun

Scene: A huge unidentifiable vessel appears on the horizon, looming from the sea. As sailors wonder if it's part of an elaborate naval exercise, a guard boat heads out to make contact -- Petty Officer Raikes mans a GAU 17 (generically known as a M134 Minigun).

Weapon: A 7.62mm multi-barrel Gatling-style gun -- its barrels rotate and the weapon is externally powered. Capable of firing 2000 to 6000 rounds per minute, it has a maximum effective range of 1000 meters. Manufactured by General Electric.

Also seen in: Iron Man 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Mr. and Mrs Smith, Terminator franchise, Top Gun, Apocalypse Now, The Matrix, The Dark Knight...

Source: imfdb and Destroyer Experience

#2 During filming, this weapon destroyed a $300,000 camera on set

None other than a .50-calibre machine gun

Scene: 'Who are we shooting at?!' -- this mounted weapon is seen several times throughout the movie as sailors engage alien enemy forces at sea.

Weapon: The Internet Movie Firearms Database identifies this .50 cal machine gun as the Browning M2. It's rate of fire is 450 to 635 rounds per minute.

Also seen in: Black Hawk Down, Battle: Los Angeles, Contagion, The War of the Worlds, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket...

#3 Missiles from both forces rain down on the Pacific Ocean


Thanks in part to the MK-41 Vertical Launching System

Scene: The board game for which the movie is named comes to life on the big screen when sailors track down enemy ships using a grid -- 'Fire on E-21!'

Weapon: The MK-41 VLS is a below deck multi-missile launcher, capable of launching SM-2, SM-3, SM-6, ESSM, Tomahawk, and Vertical Launch ASROC missiles. It has several mission areas:

Anti-Air Warfare (AAW)
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Ballistic Missile defence (BMD)
Land Attack/Strike

Also seen in: There were 750 missile firings by the MK 41 VLS during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Source: U.S. Navy


#4 Assault rifles are spotted too

Like the M4A1 Carbine

Scene: Crew members arm themselves knowing there's an alien onboard, somewhere. They start clearing hallways with the M4A1 Carbine in their hands.

Weapon: Made by Colt, the M4 Carbine is a 14.5-inch barreled assault rifle. The Internet Movie Firearms Database points out that Battleship characters carry a M4A1 with 'foregrip, flashlight, and advanced combat optical gunsight.'

Also seen in: Deep Impact, Black Hawk Down, Air Force One, The Sum of All Fears, X2: X-Men, Hulk, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Avengers, Salt, The Amazing Spider-man (not yet released)... the movie list for this weapon is particularly extensive.

#5 What does Raikes do when she's disarmed?

Wastes no time in drawing a SIG-Sauer P220 series pistol

Battleship scene: Raikes is disarmed of her M4A1 and immediately draws a pistol and fires.

Weapon: It's a SIG-Sauer P220 series pistol, which has a version (P226) used by the Navy SEALS. 'SIG' stands for Swiss Industrial Society.

Also seen in: Live Free or Die Hard, A History of Violence, Edge of Darkness, Brooklyn's Finest, Heat...

Source: imfdb

Which is guided and fired from a remote computer system

Scene: This gun has its shining moment with Rihanna's character at the remote controls when she sets up an extremely close-range attack.

Weapon: This 5-inch naval gun mount can be used against surface (Anti-Surface Warfare, air (Anti-Air Warfare, and land attack (Naval Surface Fire Support) targets. It has a range of 13 nautical miles, and can fire 16 to 20 rounds per minute of automatic, conventional ammo.

Also seen in: Let us know if you've seen this in any movies.

Source: U.S. Navy

#7 Sailors rely on this radar-guided interceptor to blast away alien missiles

It's the 20mm Phalanx CIWS

Scene: Sailors use the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System to intercept alien projectiles that release killer shock waves when they land.

Specifications: Built by defence company Raytheon, the 20mm Phalanx CIWS is a 'rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in air and surface threats.'

Also seen in: Installed on nearly the entire U.S. Navy fleet of combatant ships. The Phalanx CIWS is also used by 22 other U.S.-allied countries.

Source: Raytheon

#8 The historical USS Missouri battleship makes a comeback and joins the fight


Especially when her 16

Scene: The hopeful protagonists board the out-dated U.S.S Missouri ('Mighty Mo'), which has been a museum at Pearl Harbor since 1998. It seems her weapon systems are still functional...

Weapon: These 16 inch .50-calibre guns can fire 2700-pound armour piercing projectiles. Each gun can fire two rounds per minute.

Also seen in: In real life, the USS Missouri fought during WWII -- notably shelling Japan, and engaging in the battles of Iwo Jimo and Okinawa. She also served in the Korean War.

Source: USS Missouri official website

BONUS — the HK416 gets a cameo

You might see it: When Lt. Colonel Mick Canales takes it from a destroyed police vehicle.

Weapon: An assault rifle made by Heckler & Koch. Find out more about the HK416 here.

Also seen in: The Town, The Expendables 2, Hancock, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra....

BONUS #2 — the Browning M3 Heavy Machine Gun appears briefly, if you pay attention

You might see it: When the aliens attack the helicopters at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Weapon: Used as an aircraft gun, the .50 calibre Browning Machine Gun (BMG) can fire 1150 to 1250 rounds per minute (fully automatic firing mode).

BONUS #3 — the flight deck of an aircraft carrier

AND FINALLY: a close-up of who the Navy is dealing with

Don't miss what else the military has in store

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