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Naval Warfare

French Navy takes aim at RapidFire

27th October 2020 - 17:09 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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​Close-in weapon system to arm French naval vessels with additional potential to install it on land platforms

French procurement agency DGA has chosen the RapidFire close-in weapon system, developed by a consortium between Nexter and Thales, to arm future French Navy vessels.

RapidFire incorporates the new medium-calibre 40mm gun developed by CTAI, the international subsidiary of Nexter Systems and BAE Systems. The system is compatible with the full range of ammunition developed for land programmes; it is also designed to use future ammunition as the smart Anti Aerial Airburst (A3B) round.

An EO fire control system is integrated with the turret and an automatic ammunition management system allows ‘the best reactivity and efficiency for the operator’, Thales noted in a 27 October statement.

Shephard Defence Insight notes that RapidFire would typically be linked to a Thales ControlMaster 200 or ControlMaster 60 C2 station. 

Nexter and Thales formed a temporary consortium for RapidFire as part of a roadmap put in place 10 years ago.

The programme is currently in the development phase. When development is complete the weapon systems will enter production; first delivery of RapidFire is scheduled for 2022.

There is even the option for land vehicles to use the gun system in future.

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