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30mm Cannons for QE and Tidespring

Seahawk 30mm Royal Navy

Contract note…

IGMR PT, part of the UK Ministry of Defence, intends to award a contract for the supply of 12 30mm Calibre Gun Systems to MSI Defence Systems Ltd (MSI-DSL). This is because the MDI-DSL 30 mm Calibre Gun System has been in service (in different variants) since the 1980s, installed on a range of different platforms and the additional Gun Systems are now required for installation on new platforms (HMS Queen Elizabeth and the MARS tankers). A change of supplier would result in incompatibility with the existing fleet of 72 fielded systems, including the associated support (spare components and services) and training arrangements. It would also result in disproportionate technical difficulties in operation and maintenance since both the new platforms have been designed to accommodate the installation of this tried and tested Gun System. The contract will be for a period of less than 5 years

Value excluding VAT: 16 500 000.00 GBP

Original here

Read more at MSI


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24 Responses

  1. Isn’t this the gun that the Kiwis quickly swapped out?The note seems to be making excuses for selecting it. Is it crap or just too expensive?

  2. I don’t know about the New Zealand decision, but the note is justifying a single source contract.
    There is no reason for it to be “crap” or “too expensive”, but there are legal requirements that mean you have to justify not going to competition for new gear.

  3. On our side, the CDG self defense weapons implement ground-air missiles, especially the two SAAM systems (Anti-Missile Weapons System) armed with 32 missiles Aster 15 (16 cells for Sylver launcher starboard before and 16 others on the rear port side) and two Sadral launchers armed with 12 Mistral missiles. Aster missiles on the CDG can be pulled in salvo against an omni-directional saturation attacks. They are effective by 360 °, they provide a security bubble of 10 nautical miles against all subsonic or supersonic missiles currently in service, including those who would be pulled very closely by a submarine. During the passage in some dangerous straits and canals the two Sadral launchers are supplemented by two Mistral missile launchers on tripods disposed in front and rear of the bridge. If a missile would have passed the three barriers of Aster and Mistral, the CDG has an electronic warfare system and jammers against the most modern anti-ship missiles, and low radar signatures from CDG makes the use of obsolete electronic decoy launchers. For the asymmetric defense the CDG has five 12.7 mm machine guns at fast loading and holographic viewfinder against jet skis or fast boats.

  4. Twelve guns, two carriers and four tankers, Steveo. Presumably a pair on each.

    Frigates have two stations. It seems to me that just two on a whopping great lump of aircraft carrier wouldn’t be enough, but I’m sure the Navy has a better idea of requirement than I do.

  5. Sorry TD, wrong picture, that’s the old BMARC 30mm not the ASCG. You can tell by the barrel and the ammo feed. Pedantic I know…

    Good chance that these systems will enter a rotational pool in the same vein as Phalanx. No point having an unused gun on a vessel stuck in refit for 12 months. Guns work better when they’re used regularly. So QE and the Tides will be armed up, POW will probably get already in-service units. Removing them from ships and rotating them also enhances the opportunity for deep maintenance and, if needed, remanufacture before installation.

  6. @grubbie
    The Kiwi OPVs had DS25M and separate Vistar 350 EO system, current RN version is the DS30M Mk2.

    CT40mm is only just entering trials on land and is not qualified for naval use; the Tides/QE need a solution “now”. Well, Tidespring would if she was on schedule, she’s still in Korea but never mind…. One can imagine it could be worth spending the money to qualify CT40 on T26, but one step at a time.

    Don’t forget we will have 4 more ships with Aster 30 than you guys, although at least CdG can guarantee that its missiles will be with it at all times… :-) And don’t forget that the only navy to have carriers come under fire from radar-guided anti-ship missiles started with heavy SAMs and no CIWS on its carriers, and ended up reversing that. OK, there were reasons for that, and the main reason for not having Aster 30 on CVF is money, but even so.

  7. Also for ContainerDave and the CT40, you might want to read the justification for going single source again

  8. The QEC 2 islands and no SAMs. Anymore that makes them stand out from other carriers?

  9. Won’t we need another 5 for the new OPVs? Or will they come from early decommissioned T23s??

  10. “Won’t we need another 5 for the new OPVs? Or will they come from early decommissioned T23s??”

    If the interpretation of the report is correct that current the order is for 4 x Tides (2 each) plus 4 for Queen Elizabeth then another follow-on order is presumably already anticipated for Prince of Wales. Maybe the ones for the OPVs will be included in that order.

  11. None of the Rivers have the ASCG. 20mm on the Batch 1’s, 30mm BMARC on CLYDE. No immediately obvious evidence is available confirming if the Batch 2’s will have it. Although PR imagery shows a vessel with lump that could be an ASCG-like EOD at the masthead, the 30mm image looks like an old BMARC mounting with the high ammo feed being the giveaway. But the images are not brilliant and this is guesswork.

  12. Ok so ASCG would be an upgrade then to existing vessels and commonality to boot. Despite me wanting a more advanced 40mm or 57mm on them, I’d settle for the ASCG. I hope they don’t get fitted with the older cast offs

  13. Just a further thought, however. The 30mm BMARC is still a simple and reliable weapons system and is still supported, so there’s no danger of it going out of service any time soon. ASCG as a system is not ideal, in my opinion, as it is substantially more complex to operate and maintain. The Rivers are employed for constabulary duties where one-on-one shooting matches and fending off hordes of small attackers are markedly less likely than warning shots. The advantages of ASCG over a manually operated system are enhanced air defence and enhanced surface engagement capabilities in a moderate to complex warfighting or attack scenario. Given that the cost of each ASCG system is reputed to be in excess of £1M, I think it’s still a sensible call to fit a reliable, capable, less costly system that meets the low-level constabulary requirement, rather than fitting an expensive, complex, advanced weapon system that is extremely unlikely to ever be used in its full capacity. But what do I know.

  14. Tas
    Good point, but the reality is we are spending £100m a pop on the Rivers and if the Balloon goes up you can guarantee that the RN will grab anything that floats and send them in to harms way. Some ability for the Rivers to provide some form of Air defense for itself and maybe some Mine Hunters etc from a 2,000 tonne Vessel should not be impossible.
    Lets be honest a £1m would pay of most of our mortgages, but as 1% of spending £100m each on a size of Vessel that the Russians launch Cruise Missiles from to give the poor buggers sailing it a chance isn’t asking much.
    As to QE & PoW spending Billions on Ships then making them under armed, under aircraft numbered and turning Strike Carriers in to LHP’s about sums up the muddled thinking within the MOD, for the sake of £100m they’d rather get a £5bn asset sunk.

  15. US Navy distributed lethality. Royal Navy? Hardly any missiles, ships with dodgy engines, incapable of high end ship to ship warfare, a few subs tootling about, the odd frigate to protect the homeland and two great floating gin palaces on their way. Hundreds of billions and still incapable of defending the North Sea.

  16. Anyone who orders a River-class to a war zone deserves to be shot. But I’ll refrain from suggesting that they should be shot with a 30mm BMARC or Bushmaster, North Korea style.

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