Guns for Patrol

Irving Shipbuilding of Canada has awarded BAE Systems a contract to deliver up to six modified 25-mm Mk-38 Machine Gun Systems for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) program. The award also covers spare parts, technical support, and long-term field support services. Irving Shipbuilding is the prime contractor for the ships and will build them at its Halifax shipyards.

The Mk-38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System (MGS) from BAE Systems
The Mk-38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System (MGS) from BAE Systems

«We will be working very closely with Canadian industry on this program», said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapons Systems at BAE Systems. «BAE Systems is currently selecting its Canadian partners to participate not only in the build of these naval gun systems, but also to join our Mk-38 global supply chain. This will help bring sustained economic value to Canada as part of the AOPS program».

The AOPS program will introduce six vessels that can patrol the Arctic region and remain there for longer than the service’s existing ships to support sovereignty and surveillance operations. BAE Systems’ first gun system will be delivered in 2017, with follow-on deliveries of approximately one per year through 2021, as the AOPS ships are built and become ready for launch.

Each Mk-38 System features a highly accurate gun targeting and surveillance system as well as the M242 Cannon. They will be modified for protection against arctic conditions. The Mk-38 has also been selected by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Spanish Navy.

Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship
Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship

Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS

The Mk-38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System (MGS) from BAE Systems sets the standard for shipboard defense against small, fast, and agile surface threats. With system variants deployed worldwide, the stabilized, remote control Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS is proven capable in defending against multiple surface threats – in all sea states. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS incorporates the service-proven Toplite electro-optical fire control system to optimize effective engagement of enemy targets in all weather conditions, day or night.

Weaponry. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS main weapon is the proven M242 NATO standard auto cannon with 2.5-km range and selectable rates of fire.

Lethality. The M242 fires all U.S. Navy (USN) approved 25-mm ammunition at up to 180 rounds per minute, with the Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS providing up to 200 ready rounds on-mount.

Command and Control. The Toplite Fire Control System (FCS) provides four axis gimbal stabilization and superior optics including the forward-looking infrared radar with three fields-of-view, a low contrast, low light level color television camera, and an eye-safe laser range finder.

Survivability. The Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS provides for crew-safe conditions with a remote operation console located in the Combat Information Center or in other protected ship structures.

Adaptability. The enhanced Mk-38 Mod 2 MGS is the USN’s ORDALT choice to upgrade the Mk-38 Mod 0/1 25-mm machine gun.

The system can be applied to a wide range of different ship classes and platform designs of 50 tons or greater displacement. Near term product upgrades include larger magazine, 30-mm cannon, advanced optics, and integration of laser effects.

Artist’s impression of the Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship
Artist’s impression of the Harry DeWolf-Class Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship

 

Specifications

Weight (with gun, w/o ammo) 2,300 lbs/1,042 kg
Weapon station
Train ± 15° to ± 165° adjustable to any value in range
Elevation -20° to +40°
Electro-Optical Fire Control System (relative to mount)
Train ± 165°
Elevation -20° to +85°
Gun type 25-mm M242
Ammunition feed Dual
Ammunition capacity 200 ready rounds
Rate of fire 5 rates from single to 180 rpm max
Personnel requirements
Remote 1
Ammunition loading 2
Operability tests and scheduled maintenance (average daily) 6 minutes
Ammunition reloading time 5 minutes
Availability (inherent/predicted) 99.9%

 

With more than 90 system variants deployed worldwide, the stabilized, remote controlled Mk-38 Mod 2 minor caliber gun is proven capable in defending against multiple surface threats – in all sea states

 

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