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Rheinmetall awarded contract to supply light naval guns for German Type 126 class frigates

Rheinmetall's state-of-the-art MLG27-4.0 defence system. (Rheinmetall)

German technology group Rheinmetall has been awarded a contract by Damen Naval to supply its next-generation MLG27-4.0 light naval gun for the German Navy's new Type 126 frigates.

Under the contract, announced on 17 November, Rheinmetall will initially supply eight MLG27-4.0 weapon systems – two for each of the four frigates on order. The contract includes an option to equip two additional frigates with the weapon system.

Dutch-owned Damen Shipyards was awarded a design and construction contract, in June 2020, to deliver the four new Type 126 frigates for the German Navy in co-operation with German shipyards Blohm+Voss and Lürssen (the latter working in co-operation with Kiel-based German Naval Yards). French-based mission system specialist Thales will be responsible for the full integration and delivery of the mission and combat system.

The four ships will be built at Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Lürssen's Peene-Werft yard in Wolgast, and at German Naval Yards in Kiel, with construction of the lead ship planned to start from around 2023. Deliveries are scheduled to take place from 2028 to 2031 (with an option for two more ships after 2032).

The MLG27-4.0 light naval gun is the latest member of Rheinmetall's SeaSnake family of remote weapon stations (RWS) and features a fully digital system architecture. The core element of the system is the Mauser BK-27M 27 mm calibre revolver gun, which can operate in single-shot mode, in adjustable bursts, or at a sustained rate of fire of up to 1,700 rounds per minute.

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