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Leonardo to supply Otobreda 127/64 guns to the Canadian Navy


According to a press release published by Leonardo on April 23, 2021, the firm has been awarded a contract to supply four OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano naval guns for the Royal Canadian Navy’s new multi-role combat ships. The contract was further to a competitive international tender.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of new Canadian Surface Combatants (Picture source: Government of Canada)


Leonardo will supply to Lockheed Martin Canada four OTO 127/64 LightWeight (LW) Vulcano naval guns, including the Automatic Ammunition Handling System (AAHS) as an optional solution, for the new Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC), which will be built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc. at the Halifax shipyard in Nova Scotia.

The first three systems will be installed on-board the new naval units, while the fourth will be used for training activities. The CSC programme’s aim is the construction of 15 advanced and multi-mission combat ships as part of the broader National Shipbuilding Strategy, a long-term project focusing on the renewal of the entire Canadian fleet.

Already chosen by six navies in the last ten years, the OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano is equipped with a highly flexible architecture that allows installation on all types of platforms. Its state-of-the-art technology and complete digitalization ensures continuous assistance to operators and constant support to the on-board Combat Management System (CMS) through the calculation of possible shooting solutions during mission planning.

This system is integrated with the Vulcano 127mm ammunition, both in the Guided Long Range (GLR) and the Ballistic Extended Range (BER) versions. Additionally, Leonardo’s 4AP fuze for conventional ammunition ensures high operational flexibility based on its mission-specific configuration programmability features. The OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano operates effectively even in the absence of a crew, thanks to Leonardo's AAHS solution, which guarantees automatic gun reloading by managing both Vulcano long-range precision strike and conventional ammunition simultaneously.

The Canadian Surface Combatant, formerly the Single Class Surface Combatant Project is the name given to the procurement project that will replace the Iroquois and Halifax-class warships with up to 15 new ships beginning in the mid to late 2020s as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The replacement vessels will be somewhat larger than the existing Halifax class, and presumably provide a wide-area air defence capability, anti-submarine warfare capability, as well as anti-shipping capability. The design of these ships is currently underway and both the total number of ships and their capability will be dependent on the budget that is allocated to the project. In 2017, a new defence policy framework, entitled Strong, Secure and Engaged, was unveiled which promised significantly greater resources for the Surface Combatant Project - i.e. in the range of $60 billion.