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Euronaval 2022: Nexter and Thales display RapidFire Naval turret in final configuration

A full-scale mock-up of the Thales and Nexter RapidFire turret is pictured on display in its final configuration at the Nexter stand at Euronaval 2022, Paris. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

Nexter and Thales displayed a full-scale version of their 40 mm RapidFire Naval gun in its final design configuration at the Euronaval 2022 maritime exhibition in Paris.

RapidFire Naval is a multirole, artillery, medium-calibre 40 mm gun developed by Thales and Nexter to meet the French Navy's requirement for a close-in self-defence capability against air and surface threats. The naval version is based on the 40 mm cased telescoped armament system featuring an increased elevation arc and gyrostabilised electro-optic sensor head.

Speaking to Janes at Euronaval 2022, Olivier Laporte, head of strategy and business development for CTA International, said that the first unit had been delivered to the French Navy and was undergoing final qualification trials ahead of its integration onboard the French Navy's first new logistic support ship (LSS), Jaques Chevallier (A 725), in early 2023 – ahead of the ship's sea trials. Jaques Chevallier is the first of four new LSSs being built by shipbuilders Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Fincantieri for the French Navy to fulfil its Flotte logistique (FLOTLOG) programme requirement.

The RapidFire Naval close-in weapon system (CIWS) comprises a non-penetrating gun mount fitted with the 40CTA gunfire control system, a gyrostabilised optronic sight with infrared and daylight channels, and a high-rate laser rangefinder built into the turret. Other features include an ammunition magazine for around 140 ready-to-fire rounds, gun control equipment, and an automatic ammunition handling system.

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