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  • Long Shot
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 1:31 PM on Sep 11, 2013

    BAE Systems and Oto Melara have just submitted proposals for the Maritime Indirect Fire System (formerly known as the "gun") for the Royal Navy's future Type 26 warship. The competition is being conducted by the British defense ministry, and will run into next year, but some basic decisions have been taken. The RN is abandoning its 4.5-inch caliber standard in favor of 127-mm/5-inch, used by the U.S. Navy and most others, and is looking for a system that can grow to precision attack capabilitiues and extended range.

    Presenting its proposed solution at the Defense & Security Equipment International show in London. BAE Systems says it is leaning heavily on experience with the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) that it developed for the 155-mm Advanced Gun System used on the Zumwalt-class destroyer. In June, the company completed an initial demonstration program with a 127-mm derivative of LRLAP, the Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile (MS-SGP), designed to achieve a 95-km range when fired from the Mk 45 Mod 4 gun proposed for Type 26. Unlike Oto Melara's Vulcano long-range projectile, which is a subcaliber round encased in a sabot, the MS-SGP is a rocket-assisted shell. One challenge with such a system is cost, but BAE Systems is trying to tackle this with added volume, by seeking to market the round to land users.

    This fall, the company plans to test-fire a saboted MS-SGP from an M777 155-mm. howitzer, with a guided test following in early 2014. The near-100-km. range is well beyond the capability of the Raytheon Excalibur guided round (which has the form factor of a standard 155-mm, shell) and BAE reports interest from both the Marine Corps and the Army, "We understand how to get it to work," says BAE's international business vice-president Steve Kelly. "The key is to make it affordable." He says that BAE's advantages in the Type 26 competition include the fact that the company has demonstrated a long-range guided round and its large installed base of gun systems, as well as the engineering lessons learned in LRLAP.

    Tags: ar99, dsei13

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