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C4iSR: Air

BAE Systems providing C-UAS prototype to USN for Mk 38 testing

08 December 2017
BAE Systems will be adding a C-UAS capability to the USN’s Mk 38 MOD 2 gun. The company will provide four prototype systems for testing. Shipboard installations are expected to occur in September 2019. Source: USN Petty Officer 3rd Class Deanna Gonzales

Key Points

  • The capability is not expected to use lasers or rely on signals jamming
  • The USN intends to install the prototypes on ships in September 2019

The US Navy (USN) is expected to issue a sole source contract to BAE Systems to add a counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) capability to the Mk 38 MOD 2 25 mm gun weapon system.

BAE Systems will design and produce four prototype Mk 38 MOD 2 anti-UAS kits and then conduct performance testing of the system at navy test ranges.

The USN needs the C-UAS kits to be designed and developed by 31 March 2019 in order to certify them for shipboard installation by 30 September 2019, AC Shepherd, navy programmes manager for BAE Systems, told Jane’s .

According to a source, the C-UAS capability will not use lasers or any electronic or radio frequency jamming technology to defeat UAS.

One option, according to Shepherd, could be to leverage BAE Systems’ optics and fire-control system (FCS) to swiftly develop a C-UAS solution that would make the Mk 38 machine gun system (MGS) more effective against UAS.

The Mk 38 is fitted with an integrated state-of-the-art FCS, which includes the TOPLITE electro-optical sensor, which can engage enemy targets, day or night, and in all weather conditions, Shepherd said.

“Our stabilised, remotely controlled Mk 38 MGS fires all US and NATO standard 25 mm by 137 mm ammunition, with adjustable rates of fire up to 180 rounds per minute and 168 ready rounds on-mount,” he added. “The Mk 38 can also fire the co-axially mounted 7.62 mm gun with adjustable burst times at a rate of fire of 570 rpm, with up to 750 ready rounds on-mount.”

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