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Leonardo to supply Sovraponte guns for new ASWFs

Leonardo's 76/62 Sovraponte medium-calibre gun will equip the new frigates. (Leonardo)

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Leonardo a contract for the supply of four 76/62 Sovraponte lightweight medium-calibre guns to equip a new class of Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (ASWF) on order for the navies of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Announced by the MoD on 20 July, the contract includes an option for additional Sovraponte mountings scheduled for the Royal Netherlands Navy's (RNLN's) amphibious and logistics ships. No value has been disclosed.

The Netherlands MoD – through the Materiel and IT Command (Commando Materieel en IT: COMMIT) – awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract in June for the design, construction, and delivery of four new ASWFs – two for the RNLN and two for the Belgian Navy – to replace each navy's existing M-class multi-purpose frigates. A second contract was awarded by COMMIT to Thales Nederland for the supply of the ships' Above Water Warfare System fire-control cluster and sensor suite.

Each ASWF will be fitted with a single Sovraponte mounting forward. Designed for use against air, surface, and land targets, the Sovraponte gun is around 30% lighter than the standard 76/62 Super Rapid mounting and does not penetrate below decks.

As well as standard 76 mm rounds, the Sovraponte gun can fire Leonardo's DART (Driven Ammunition with Reduced Time of Flight) guided ammunition for defence against stressing air targets. In the case of the ASWF, targeting and guidance of DART rounds will be performed by the Thales Nederland Pharos fire-control director.

COMMIT has contracted with Leonardo for the supply of the four Sovraponte systems, with deliveries scheduled to start in early 2027. The mountings will be provided to Damen as government-furnished equipment.

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