FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom --- A team from across BAE Systems has been awarded the second phase of a UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) study programme to examine the possibility of increasing the firepower of the Royal Navy fleet by integrating a 155mm gun on future warships. The study will also assess the possibility of fitting the more powerful system to existing ships.
Led by CORDA, BAE Systems’ specialist consultancy arm, and the Company’s Land Systems business, the study will be delivered in conjunction with QinetiQ, Surface Fleet Solutions and Integrated System Technologies. BAE Systems is also exploiting the breadth and depth of experience in wider business units such as Armament Systems in the US and Bofors in Sweden to ensure the UK customer benefits from its global corporate experience.
“This research could provide the Royal Navy with access to a more capable and wider range of munitions and allow them to benefit from land sector investments in 155mm calibre,” says Samir Patel, CORDA’s programme manager. “The conversion will also present opportunities for significant through-life support savings as the Army and Royal Navy could potentially use a common stock.”
John Kelly from BAE Systems’ Land Systems, said “This programme not only has the potential to provide the Royal Navy with a low-cost route to a significant enhancement in capability but will ensure a UK based industrial artillery design and manufacture capability is sustained.”
During the first study phase, valued at £1.5 million, CORDA examined a low risk route to fitting an AS90 self-propelled howitzer ordnance onto the existing 4.5 inch Mk8 Mod 1 gun mounting structure. The second phase, worth around £700 thousand, will build on this research and examine in more detail some of the technology risks of the proposed solution. Should this phase of research prove successful, a further work package will be undertaken in 2008 to perform initial land-based firing trials.
The study is one of eight covered by a three-year Maritime Surface Effects (MSE) research programme, which examines a number of modern naval issues, including offensive and defensive surface warfare, coastal suppression and naval fire support and the role of unmanned surface vehicles.
BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 96,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15 billion (US $27 billion) in 2006 on a pro forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc for the whole of 2006.
155mm Study Looks to Pack More Punch Into the Royal Navy's Fleet