New Automated Ammunition Handling System Combined with Mk45 Gun for UK Royal Navy

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BAE Systems, Inc. has received a $219 million (GBP181 million) contract to equip the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates with five Mk 45 Maritime Indirect Fire Systems (MIFS). The system combines the 5-inch, 62-calibre Mk 45 Mod 4A naval gun system with a fully automated Ammunition Handling System (AHS). 

“We have innovated and customised the Mk 45 system to provide a critical and reliable fully-automatic ammunition handling solution that revolutionises medium and large calibre naval gunnery,” said Brent Butcher, vice president of the weapon systems product line at BAE Systems, Inc.

“The customised, lightweight and compact Mk 45 gun system with AHS provides our customers commonality with the US Navy, a highly-reliable system with security of lifecycle support, and access to future technology upgrades. We look forward to continuing to build these critical partnerships and delivering the MIFS system to our UK customer,” he said in a Feb 28 statement.

The Type 26 frigates, the first of which is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s, will be one of the world’s most advanced classes of warships, with the primary purpose of anti-submarine warfare.

In addition to its range of advanced weapons and sensors, it will also be capable of countering piracy, delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

As part of the ships’ world-class capabilities, this innovative, automated naval gun solution will help the Royal Navy increase crew productivity, reduce sailor safety hazards, and improve the operational capability of these advanced warships as they deliver protection to the Royal Navy’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group.

Engineering and programme support for the new contract will be performed at BAE Systems’ Minneapolis and Louisville, Kentucky production facilities. BAE Systems shipped the main equipment for the first MIFS system at the end of 2022 with installation to follow in 2023. –bae/adj/mgm (Pix: BAE)