( 14 September 2005 ) UK Type 23 Frigates are to receive one of the most advanced small-calibre gun systems in the world thanks to a £15 million deal with MSI Defence Systems.
Designed specifically to deal with threats from fast attack craft such as high-powered inflatables or speedboats, the new weapons - the DS30 Mk2 Automatic 30mm Naval Gun - will use the latest optics and sensors to detect, track and destroy ‘close-in’ threats.
The contract will see 26 systems delivered. Each system consists of an Electro Optic Gun Fire Control System integrated with an upgraded mount and the ATK Bushmaster II cannon.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Drayson said: “There is a need to protect our ships from small, fast moving craft and this system will give us the flexibility, rate of fire, accuracy and dependability we require.
“A proven track record, use of cutting-edge target acquisition equipment and advanced target tracking algorithms coupled with good value for money made it the obvious choice to equip our Type 23 frigates.
“Although we will always have a human in control of the system, it has the ability to detect and track targets entirely automatically, and the Bushmaster cannon can fire a range of ammunition making it flexible, suitable for future growth and ideal for a range of tasks including air defence.”
The system uses a laser range finder, a thermal imager, an electro-optical director and a colour TV camera to locate and identify potential targets.
The system is expected to enter service towards the end of 2006. Two will be fitted to each Type 23 frigate over an eight year programme. All production of the gun systems will be done by MSI Defence Systems in Norwich.