New BAE Systems 40 Mk4 Naval Gun is 40 Percent Lighter Cheaper and Smaller

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NAVDEX 2013 Daily News - BAE Systems at IDEX 2013
 
 
 
New BAE Systems 40 Mk4 Naval Gun is 40 Percent Lighter Cheaper and Smaller
 
Sea trials at the end of 2012 marked the end of the development phase for a new naval gun from BAE Systems’ Weapon Systems & Support business at Karlskoga in Sweden. The latest version of the 40Mk4 naval gun uses electrical power rather than hydraulic systems to aim the gun. As a result it is at least 40 per cent lighter, smaller and cheaper, making it ideal for smaller patrol and anti-piracy craft.
     
Sea trials at the end of 2012 marked the end of the development phase for a new naval gun from BAE Systems’ Weapon Systems & Support business at Karlskoga in Sweden. The latest version of the 40Mk4 naval gun uses electrical power rather than hydraulic systems to aim the gun. As a result it is at least 40 per cent lighter, smaller and cheaper, making it ideal for smaller patrol and anti-piracy craft.
40 Mk4 gun during firing tests
(Picture: BAE Systems)
     
About 60 rounds were fired during the trials from the old Swedish Navy vedette boat HMS Jageren, mainly to test the feed mechanism and stabilization. The trials were documented from another boat and a helicopter.

The latest version of the gun began life in 2009 as a result of an in-depth market analysis.
During the development, every component, except for the gun itself, was scrutinized and replaced with more up-to-date, smarter and more cost-effective alternatives. The new Mk4 weighs about 2 metric tonnes, 1.5 tonnes less than its predecessor.

Integrated Systems Director Ulf Einefors said: “We have now verified the complete prototype system with good results.”

The basic demands included maintaining or increasing target engagement performance, introducing more modern technology and a significantly lower price than its predecessor 40Mk3.
Karlskoga is also planning a similar value-engineering exercise on the 57mm/Mk110, which fires a larger version of the versatile “3P” ammunition.
     
Sea trials at the end of 2012 marked the end of the development phase for a new naval gun from BAE Systems’ Weapon Systems & Support business at Karlskoga in Sweden. The latest version of the 40Mk4 naval gun uses electrical power rather than hydraulic systems to aim the gun. As a result it is at least 40 per cent lighter, smaller and cheaper, making it ideal for smaller patrol and anti-piracy craft.
BAE Systems 40 Mk4 gun mounted on HMS Jägaren patrol boat for the sea trials
(Picture: BAE Systems)
     
Smart 3P round gets smarter!

The “smart” 3P fuze for BAE Systems’ 57 and 40mm ammunition is one of the most advanced products on the market. But technology is developing all the time so the BAE Systems team at Karlskoga plans to develop it still further to improve ease of manufacture, reduce costs and address obsolescence.

Live firing of the improved ammunition will begin during 2013. During 2014/2015 the design qualification takes place and in mid-2015, it will be ready for series production.

“Electronics companies have stopped producing some of the components that today´s 3P contains,” explains Project Manager Hans Melcher.

“We are working with a new, powerful integrated processor, which gives us the ability to use software to change the functions and parameters that formerly were handled in an analog way.
“Using this approach also helps us ‘future-proof’ the fuze by giving us flexibility to carry out adjustments and updates simply by changing the software.”

“Modern digital components also allow us to use the volume of the fuze more effectively – we have a very small space in which to squeeze a lot of components,” explains Hans.

The new version of the fuze will feature only commercially available components where possible. This approach avoids supplier dependency and cost by making use of well-proven components already in volume production. The digital environment also simplifies production tests and produces shorter lead times.

Nonetheless, extensive qualification will be carried out to meet safety requirements including transportation, handling and ability to withstand long periods of storage under varying conditions.

One round for any target

The programmable 40 and 57 mm Bofors 3P (Pre-fragmented, Programmable, Proximity) fuzes can be programmed to one of six different modes to provide optimized effect against any aerial, surface or shore target.

It provides forces with a superior response to traditional threats such as anti-ship missiles, aircraft, ships and shore targets, including those with armor protection as one round can be used to attack any target.

It also provides functions such as airburst modes to deal with threats that previously were impossible to engage, such as small, fast-maneuvering boats and concealed targets.

Each 3P fuse is automatically and individually programmed immediately before firing by a programmer which receives data from the fire Control system.

Link to Bofors 40 Mk4 naval gun system datasheet
 

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