The growing threat of hit-and-run and suicide attacks on naval vessels operating in littoral water is motivating the world navies to equip their vessels with advanced, high performance close-in defenses capable of repelling such attacks. Remotely controlled gun turrets are among the systems considered for this role. The US Navy is fielding the Mk 38 Mod 2, based on the Typhoon weapon station, developed by RAFAEL while the German Navy selected the Italian HITROLE system for its F125 frigates.
The US Navy received the first shipment of 67 Mk 38 Mod 2 remotely controlled M242 25mm Gun systems from BAE Systems this week (video). More systems will be delivered from spring 2007 through March 2008 to equip various platforms, including Guided Missile Cruisers, Landing Ship Docks, and DDG Class ships. The system mounts 25mm, remotely controlled gun to provide self-protection at distances up to 2000 meters. The system mounts the RAFAEL Typhoon stabilized, naval weapon station, armed with a 25mm M242 chain gun and Toplite electro-optical target acquisition optronic payload.
The German Navy will also equip its new F125 frigates with remotely controlled machine guns. Germany has selected the remote-controlled HITROLE 12.7mm naval turret. Each ship will mount five systems, utilizing the new Naval Tilting (NT) version, designed and produced to meet the requirements of the German navy. The total order will include 25 HITROLE systems and will cost about EUR 10 million. OTO Melara announced today it has secured another contracts from the procurement arm of the ministry of Defence (BWB) to supply five 127/64 LW (Light Weight) naval gun systems to equip the German frigates. Four turrets will be installed on the four ships while the fifth will be used for training.