WASHINGTON – A General Dynamics defense plant in Saco will share in a $7.8 million contract to help build more than 20 gun systems for the Navy’s Super Hornet fighter jets.

The production work on the 20-millimeter gun systems will be done in Saco, where General Dynamics employs more than 400 people, the company said in a press release.

The program will be managed by a General Dynamics Technology Center in Vermont, according to North Carolina based General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products.

The Saco plant manufactures medium-caliber weapons such as machine guns for vehicles and airplanes, as well as grenade launchers.

General Dynamics doesn’t break out how much of any one contract goes to Saco versus other facilities. For instance, the company also recently won an $8.7 million contract to produce more than 650 .40-millimeter grenade launchers but not all of that work will be done at Saco, according to a company spokesman.

The 20-millimeter F/A -18 E/F gun system is made up of a lightweight, six-barrel Gatling gun, General Dynamics said. The weapons system has a maximum firing rate of up to 6,000 shots per minute and is the fighter’s “last line of defense” in an up close air battle.

The company has produced this weapons system for more than a quarter century, according to a spokesman.

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