The asymmetric threat posed by swarms of fast inshore attack craft and/or suicide boats – recently brought home by the suicide attack on the Saudi frigate Al Madinah in the southern Red Sea – is driving many regional navies to reassess their defensive anti-surface warfare capability.
Rheinmetall (Stand 09-A10) is responding to this growing requirement by introducing its new Sea Snake-27 stabilised shipborne 27mm mounting to market at IDEX.
Based on the proven MLG-27 lightweight naval gun – in service with the UAE Naval Forces, among others – Sea Snake-27 uses the same gas-operated automatic revolver cannon firing 27mm x 145 ammunition.
According to Rheinmetall, Sea Snake-27 is a “highly effective all-round effector for engaging targets at short and very short ranges [and] is ideal for neutralising asymmetric threats, whether employed as a suppression weapon or in high-precision single-shot mode”.
Equipped with its own electro-optical sensor suite for multi-target tracking, Sea Snake-27 can be employed either in standalone mode, or integrated into the ship’s combat management system. The revolver cannon offers a high rate of fire (>1,600 rounds per minute) and an effective range of up to 4,000m.
As an option, the Sea Snake-27 can additionally be fitted with an adjunct high-energy laser effector.
The Sea Snake-27 mounting itself is lightweight, and can be installed without the need to penetrate the upper deck of the vessel. Rheinmetall sees the system serving as the primary armament of smaller surface combatants, such as fast attack craft or fast patrol boats, or being used as a secondary armament for larger vessels.