Naval drone defence [CANSEC17D2]

01 June 2017

BAE Systems is showing its latest naval artillery product at CANSEC (Booth 709). The 30mm cannon installation builds on the well-known Mk 38 25mm weapon, but not only features a larger calibre, but also a much greater elevation capability that allows it to engage small aerial targets such as UAVs.

BAE Systems has teamed with Rafael to offer the Israeli company’s Typhoon naval stabilised weapon systems. The 30mm version was first shown in April at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Washington, DC, and it is making its CANSEC debut at this year’s show. The weapon system is being proposed for inclusion in the CSC (Canadian Surface Combatant) warship programme, although the 25mm system is also on offer.

Canada has previously selected the 25mm weapon for the Arctic and O shore Patrol Ship, and also employs the smaller Mini- Typhoon on the Halifax class vessels. The 30mm version of the Typhoon has been supplied directly by Rafael to the Peruvian navy.

In its 30mm form, the system comprises a stabilised pedestal that does not penetrate the platform and matches the footprint of the 25mm Typhoon, using the same power supply, interfaces and other connections. The weapon itself is an Orbital ATK Bushmaster 30mm cannon, with two separate feeds.

This allows two different types of round to be red by means of a simple switch selection. Up to 200 rounds of ammunition can be held in boxes on either side of the mount. Spent cases are ejected forwards through an aperture next to the barrel, while links eject into the void beneath the gun.

An electro-optical director turret provides a target acquisition and aiming capability, and the gun can also be targeted through radar and other systems. In typical usage, larger vessels would have one system installed on each beam, controlled from the combat information centre, or maybe from the bridge. The electro-optical sensor turrets are used to provide a continuous surveillance capability around the ship.

The Typhoon has been adopted by many navies to provide a rapid-response defence against the small surface craft that have become a major threat to naval vessels.

However, in the 25mm Mk 38 version, elevation is limited to 40°.

The 30mm version, however, can elevate the barrel to 70°, giving the gun a powerful capability against UAVs, drones and the other LSS (low, slow, small) threats that have proliferated recently, especially when used in conjunction with an airburst round.

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