BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by General Dynamics to provide two additional Mk110 Naval Gun Systems for the Independence variant of the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.

The company say that the additional guns are part of a follow-on to a current contract, bringing the total number of Mk110 systems to 15 for the Independence variant.

“BAE Systems’ Mk110 Naval Gun, together with our advanced 3P programmable multi-purpose ammunition, provides a unique capability to address multiple air, sea, and land threats,” said Lena Gillström, general manager of Weapon Systems Sweden at BAE Systems.

“This additional Mk 110 order for the LCS is evidence that this system is among the best medium-calibre naval guns in the world. Sailors benefit from its adaptability, robust endurance, and pointing accuracy, even in high wind waves and swells.”

According to BAE:

“The fully automatic Mk110 gun system, known internationally as the Bofors 57Mk3, is the deck gun of choice for the LCS. It is a multi-mission, medium-caliber shipboard weapon, effective against air, surface, or ground threats without requiring multiple round types.

The system is capable of firing up to 220 rounds per minute at a range of more than 9 nautical miles using BAE Systems’ six-mode programmable, pre-fragmented, and proximity-fused (3P) ammunition.”

16 COMMENTS

    • Good question. Would this 57mm constitute a close in weapon system able to provide ‘protection against air attacks as expected in constabulary operations’?

  1. I’ve read somewhere that the 57mm gun takes up more space below decks than the 76mm. Anyone able to confirm that?

    • Wouldn’t be surprised, sustaining a 220rpm fire rate for a practical length of time would require a pretty impressive ammo handling setup

  2. Not really much to do with the U.K, the corporate structure of BAE means that all the benefits to this stay within the US.

  3. Some questions. So does anyone know if there is a coherent strategy for replacing the Mk8 4.5in? If so is it simply 1 for 1 with the Mk45 5in or is the Type 31 going tempt the RN to introduce an additional calibre gun? Given that Type 31 will have auto directed 30mm and mini guns on each side aren’t these enough to protect against FAC? And if Sea Ceptor is fitted for air attacks ( and since it is supposed to be budgetted for all the Type 23s why wouldn’t it?) what advantage (other than not being european) does a 57mm provide over the Oto 76mm and the Mk8 both of which have heavier hitting power and longer range?

    • The gun is made in Sweden, where it was designed, so it is a European weapon. Of course, the US required it to be made in the USA if their navy was to use it – as they did for the Oto 76/62.
      In theory the 57mm has a greater hitting power than the 76/62 and Mk8, as it fires 220 round/min against 120 and 25, but how long could it keep that up? Maximum and effective ranges for HE shells are similar for the 57 and 76, but the Mk8 can fire a lot further.
      This gun could meet the core Type 31e constabulary requirement, but the adaptable requirement is to support NGS with a gun greater than 76mm; so either the Mk8 4.5 inch or the Mk45 5 inch. The latter has a lower personnel requirement and is common with Type 26. The only advantage for the Mk8 is if they could be reused from Type 23.

  4. The gun (Not the mount or control system) is the same basic design as the standard L70 40mm Bofors of WW2 vintage that I first worked on in the early 1980s prior to the introduction of newer weapons post Falklands.
    The feed system and servo system are obviously modern and use programmable shells to enhance lethality. The barrel like the L70 40mm is air cooled only which will cause issues.
    220 rounds per min is a figure that is of little practical use and is just a headline grabbing figure.
    You would never go for a sustained 220 RPM…there are not enough rounds on mount for a start and you couldn’t get new rounds into the loading system fast enough. Barrel burn out and round cook off are other issues you want to avoid from high rates of fire which is why a normal engagement is conducted in bust fire mode.

    Its all going to be down to what the T31 is going to be used for. If NGS is a requirement then you will need a 4.5″ or 5″ gun. If you want to do anti piracy type work a 30mm, 40mm or 57mm would do.
    For policing roles If you want to standardise and keep logistics costs down I would suggest a 30mm Bushmaster which is in service with the RN and Army already. The naval variant of the 40mm CTA would be an option as the ammo and gun are common to the army version on Ajax but the naval mount and the all important control system would need to be new. Thats a big additional cost to absorb so my best guess is a 30mm bushmaster

  5. @Gunbuster and Marcus. Thanks.
    I think I understand selection of the 30mm for River 2; for policing work. And I understand why you would need the 4.5 or 5in for NGS. But I am still confused by the published RFI. The doc stipulates a core requirement for a medium calibre gun of at least 57mm, while the adaptable requirement for a NGS gun of greater than 76mm is indeed consistent with either 4.5 or 5in. So far so good.
    But as my old boss used to say I have an itch I can’t scratch: could it happen that because of the £250m price constraint the core Type 31 ends up with a 57mm and no Sea Ceptor?

  6. Could you see a package deal for all five ships where fit outs could be different. Say for the fixed price bid for 5 ships you get 3 or 4 with 57mm main gun and 1 or 2 with the 5 inch gun?

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