Thales and Nexter Systems are teamed to develop a new multi-role weapon system, called RAPIDFireNaval, to meet potential French Navy requirements and are eyeing DGA funding in the first half of 2020, according to Sylvain Richy, managing director of CTAI (a joint venture between Nexter and BAE Systems).
RAPIDFireNaval consists of a remote-controlled turret armed with the stabilised CTAI 40 mm Cased Telescoped Armament System (CTAS) that has been qualified by France and the UK for land-based applications and has been in production since early 2016.
If ordered, the RAPIDFireNaval system could be delivered on the first ship before mid-2022 and the CTAS could be supplied earlier in 2021, according to Thales and Nexter Systems.
The 40 mm CTAS has a typical cyclic rate of fire of up to 200 rds/min, although a typical burst to neutralise an incoming air threat would be less than ten rounds. Maximum effective range in the air-defence role is up to 4,000 m and the empty cartridge cases would be ejected outside of the turret. When used in the direct fire mode against surface targets, effective range is about 2,500 m.
The remote-controlled turret has 140 rounds of ready use 40 mm ammunition, with another 100 rounds of 40 mm ammunition in the stowage compartment of the turret structure.
Already officially qualified are the 40 mm armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot - tracer (APFSDS-T), general purpose round - point detonating - tracer (GPR-PD-T), general purpose round - airburst - tracer (GPR-AB-T), and target practice - tracer (TP-T). The latest target practice reduced range - tracer (TPRR-T) has been developed and internally qualified.
CTAI is also designing a new round, originally called anti-aerial airburst (A3B), that is now called the kinetic energy airburst (KE-AB). It will be developed and qualified within the scope of the RAPIDFireNaval contract and give a new capacity to the system for each ship, according to CTAI.
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