BAE Systems Naval Gun to Equip US Navy’s New Multi-Mission Frigates

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BAE Systems has been awarded a $26 million contract to equip US Navy’s Constellation-class frigates with the fully-automatic 57mm Mk 110 naval gun.

Set to be delivered in 2026, the new Constellation-class of multi-mission guided-missile frigates will eventually replace the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship which are deployed in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea.

Designed for operations in littoral and blue water environments, the new Constellation-class frigates can also operate independently or as a part of a strike group, according to the US Navy.

The contract, awarded earlier in October, includes engineering support and calls for two Mk 110s for the USS Constellation  and USS Congress, BAE Systems said.

“The selection of the Mk 110 for US Navy’s Constellation-class frigates signifies confidence in the gun system and its ability to meet current and future needs in shipboard defence,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems “The Mk 110 gun system provides this next-generation frigate with the continued performance that our surface fleet has come to expect from its intermediate calibre guns.”

This contract also includes providing a Mk 110 system to  US Coast Guard’s third Argus-class Offshore Patrol Cutter, USCGC Ingham. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2023 under the contract with Naval Sea Systems Command Integrated Warfare Systems 3C (NAVSEA IWS). 

The gun system, known internationally as the Bofors 57 Mk 3, is a multi-mission, medium-calibre 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 an effective range of more than 9 nautical miles using BAE Systems’ six-mode programmable, pre-fragmented, and proximity-fused (3P) ammunition.

The 57mm Mk 110 is currently in service on the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship and the US Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter. To date, BAE Systems is providing 39 Mk 110 guns to the Navy and 15 to the Coast Guard. Worldwide, 103 Mk 110/57 Mk 3 naval gun systems are under contract with nine nations.

The Bofors 57 Mk3 is also the main gun for Royal Malaysian Navy’s Maharaja Lela-class of littoral combat ships.  The Indonesian Navy or Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL) has also selected BAE Systems’ Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun system for the country’s KCR-60 fast-attack vessel programme. The initial contracts with state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL Indonesia include four 57 Mk3 gun systems. Earlier configurations of the naval gun — the  Mk1 and Mk2 — is in service with many naval forces in the region including Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. —shp/adj/mgm (Photo: BAE Systems/US Navy)