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Leonardo’s LIONFISH family ready for evolving operational scenarios


Operational scenarios are becoming increasingly asymmetrical and multi-domain. In response, solutions must draw on evolving technologies that can respond to modern threats, such as unpredictable airstrikes or fast attack ships. In this context, modern defence systems must be light, modular and easily deployable as well as being able to accurately track and identify all types of threat at long range, to ensure a quick response.





The LIONFISH® family of remotely controlled, small calibre naval gun systems, designed and produced by Leonardo, are able to meet these requirements.

The family comprises four models: Ultralight, Inner Reloading, Top (12.7 mm calibre) and 20 (20 mm calibre). All feature a light and compact cannon architecture that allows for ease of installation on multiple ship types, including as primary armament on small ships or a secondary armament on larger ships, with no need for deck penetration.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish 20 naval gun (Picture source: Leonardo)


The lightweight systems can be installed and disembarked for quick configuration changes, in order to assure dual-use in the most challenging and unpredictable scenarios

The new turrets draw on the company’s heritage with its 76/62 Super Rapido and 127/64 LW Vulcano gun systems. The LIONFISH® family represents a leap forward in terms of advanced technology, reliability, reduction in maintenance time, and competitive cost.

The Ultralight is the lightest turret in the LIONFISH® family, weighing less than 180 kg. It is suitable for multidomain operations where coverage is required against both surface and aerial targets, such as drones and helicopters. Already successfully tested on the SWAD (Sea Watch Dog) Unmanned Surface Vehicle, it stands out as having the smallest deck interface and the best trade-off between performance and price.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish Ultralight naval gun (Picture source: Leonardo)


The Inner Reloading model comes with stealth coverage, which makes it difficult to track by hostile radars. This model provides the operator with the ability to reload ammunition from below deck, improving safety during operations.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish Inner Reloading naval gun (Picture source: Leonardo)


The Ultralight and Inner Reloading models can also be used on land vehicles or point defence installations.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish Ultralight on board of Sea Watch Dog Unmanned Surface Vehicle or SWAD USV (Picture source: Leonardo)


Weighing under 300 kg, the Top variant delivers high performance even against threats that are close to the hull, thanks to its maximum depression range up to -30°. It is equipped with a stealth shield and suitable for the most demanding Asymmetric Warfare (ASyW) requirements due to its large magazine and wide training and elevation ranges.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish 12.7 Top naval gun (Picture source: Leonardo)


The 20 model stands out for having the longest operative range and the highest rate of fire in the LIONFISH® family that make it an effective solution as the primary weapon for small vessel or secondary weapon on larger ships.

All four variants integrate state-of-the-art technologies, including the new suite of Mini-Colibrì electro-optical sensors. The Mini-Colibrì system can be fitted with an uncooled infrared sensor or a cooled infrared sensor able to sight and identify a threat at a greater distance.

Designed and produced by Leonardo, the LIONFISH® family’s highly accurate coaxial Electro-Optical (EO) sensor suite includes daylight and infrared camera and a laser rangefinder that ensures effectiveness during complex scenarios and overnight operations.

The turrets deliver high accuracy by independently performing ballistic and target trajectory calculations using an ammunition range table and Own Ship Data to generate stabilised firing coordinates.

High manoeuvring and fast targeting are allowed thanks to an advanced auto-tracking device that ensures maximum performance in targets engagement even when installed on high-speed vessels.

Any Lionfish turret is designed to interface an external Firing Control System either limited to receive data for target designation or to be fully remotely controlled.

The Lionfish family all share the same user-friendly, IP65-certified Local Control Console. This includes a widescreen, high-resolution monitor equipped with a touch screen, presenting the turret’s command and control in a graphical user interface.

The 17” touch screen is able to display images from the turret’s electro-optical sensors, allowing operators to manage the system effectively even during dangerous scenarios such as fire actions. The easy-to-use interface also minimises the time required for crew training.

A pair of multifunctional, ergonomic joysticks that can control the touch screen commands allow for full control of the turret, further ensuring security.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lionfish Console and Joystick (Picture source: Leonardo)


Several customers around the world have already chosen LIONFISH® family turrets for their modularity and effectiveness.