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MSI-Defence begins deliveries for MK 38 Mod 4 GWS programme

MSI-Defence has commenced deliveries of an initial batch of Seahawk DS30M A2 30 mm gun mountings to the US Navy for test and qualification in support of the MK 38 Mod 4 gun weapon system (GWS) programme.

The MK 38 Mod 4 mount is intended to introduce greater accuracy, lethality, and effective range for counter-unmanned aerial systems and counter-unmanned surface vessel capability by integrating a 30 mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II gun and ammunition with a highly accurate electro-optical fire-control system.

The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) told Janes that the MK 38 Mod 4 programme is being pursued as a Maritime Accelerated Acquisition, with the aim to complete the first installations “on two DDG 51 guided missile destroyers at the end of 2022 to support at-sea test events”. The MK 38 Mod 4 will be integrated with the Aegis combat system and will be operated utilising a government-owned fire-control system, NAVSEA added.

MSI-Defence's Seahawk DS30M A2 dual-feed single 30 mm mounting and associated off-mount electro-optical sensor system was selected late last year as the basis for MK 30 Mod 4 ahead of a rival BAE Systems/Rafael 30 mm solution evolved from the current MK 38 Mod 3 mounting. The downselection followed a series of comparative evaluations performed by NAVSEA.

MSI-Defence Systems US Inc – the company's US business – was subsequently awarded a contract for the supply of an initial seven systems, the first of which has now been delivered directly to the USN. “We are hopeful that these sales may well lead to follow-on production orders,” said parent company MSI International in its latest annual report.

NAVSEA is now undertaking MK 38 Mod 4 GWS qualification and logistics development. In parallel, work is continuing to evaluate candidate 30mm ammunition, including air-burst munitions.

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