The Phalanx CIWS is an anti-air turret found on surface warships of many allied navies of the US, with the US themselves being the main user. The USS Essex is one example of a Phalanx-equipped ship. The turret is a CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) that acts as a last line point defense layer against anti-ship missiles, UAVs, and aircraft. It can be manually controlled by a gunner or computer controlled, allowing it to autonomously detect, select, track, and engage targets without any other inputs.
Its M61A1 Vulcan gatling cannon has a rate of fire of 4500 rounds per minute, and the ammunition drum holds 989 rounds (Phalanx Block 0) or 1550 rounds (Phalanx Block 1 and newer variants). The Phalanx uses Mk 149 Mod 4 Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) catridge with a tungsten kinetic energy penetrator.
There is also a land based version of the system, known as the Centurion C-RAM, used by the US Army to defend military bases and important high value sites.
The Phalanx CIWS made its first and only appearance in Battlefield 2. It is an combined gun and missile anti-aircraft emplacement, and can only be found on the USS Essex (LHD-2). One Phalanx can be found at the stern of the ship, while the other can be found on the ship's superstructure. Consequently, it appears on maps that have the ship in them, like Iron Gator and Wake Island 2007.
The turret's armament is a M61A1 Vulcan 20mm gatling cannon capable of a high rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute and a high accuracy, with its set deviation being as tight as the M242 Bushmaster on the M6 Linebacker, at a value of 0.1. The shells are fired at the same velocity as the mobile air-defense vehicles' cannons at 500 m/s. Its takes about 13 seconds to overheat, and takes about 6 seconds to cool down, with a penalty of 1.25 seconds if the weapon is completely overheated before it starts cooling down. The cannon has an unlimited supply of ammunition. Its HE shells deal devastating damage to aircraft of all types, and are also deadly against approaching RHIBs. Just like other anti-aircraft weaponry, its shells are very weak against armored vehicles, and will take a very long time to destroy them.
The emplacement also comes with a Sea Sparrow launcher with 8 RIM-7 missiles per magazine and an unlimited reload, controlled through the Phalanx in the same manner as mobile air-defense vehicles. Both turrets are capable of 360 degree traversal. The missiles are ejected from the launcher with a velocity of 20 m/s. Unlike the anti-aircraft missile launchers on mobile air-defense vehicles and FIM-92 Stinger/SA-18 Igla anti-aircraft emplacements, this launcher has no set deviation, allowing the missiles to be fired accurately. However, the missiles, being anti-aircraft missiles, still fly upward after traveling a certain distance, making surface attacks past that distance impossible. The missiles can lock onto enemy aircraft, and can be fired off in decently rapid succession, whether locked on or not. In fact, it uses the AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, the same missile used on US and EU aircraft. It takes 2 missiles, maximum, to shoot down any type of aircraft. Just like its cannons, while the missiles are deadly against aircraft, they deal very low damage to armored vehicles, requiring multiple shots to kill even an APC.
The emplacement also has very low armor, and it takes only one SRAW or ERYX missile to destroy it, and aircraft can easily destroy the emplacement if the operator is caught unaware. However, this is compensated for by the emplacement's quick respawn time. One thing to note is that the opposite factions of the respective maps (e.g. People's Liberation Army) cannot control the emplacement, and only the US team members can take control. This is done to prevent spawn-killing of US assets and infantry on the ship.
- The Phalanx in Battlefield 2 has a much lower fire rate compared to the real system, being only a fifth of the real life system's fire rate. This is also true for mobile air-defense vehicles in the game, with the real Tunguska capable of 3900 - 5000 rpm combined fire rate for both of its cannons and the real PGZ-95 capable of 2400 - 3200 rpm combined fire rate for all 4 cannons. The exception to this is the M6 Linebacker - its 225 rpm fire rate is generally true to real life.
- Also, the real life Phalanx CIWS doesn't have the 360 degree traversal capability of the in-game counterparts, nor does the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow launcher is controlled through the Phalanx. The real Phalanx can only traverse 300 degree - 150 degree to either side of the neutral position.
- As mentioned, the real Phalanx CIWS fires Mk 149 APDS shells instead of explosive shells. In Battlefield 2 however, the Phalanx uses high-explosive fragmentation tracer-self destruct ammunition, making it more similar to the real life Centurion C-RAM than the Phalanx.
- Just like some other cases in the game and out of convenience reasons, the in-game emplacement used the AIM-9M Sidewinder as its missile instead of the real RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. As such, its power compared to both the real Sidewinder and Sea Sparrow is much weaker, as both of the real missiles travel at much faster speeds, and for the case of the Sea Sparrow, much bigger warhead than that of the Sidewinder.