FARNBOROUGH, England, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- BAE Systems has launched a study to integrate 155mm weapons on British Royal Navy warships.
"A team from across BAE Systems has been awarded the second phase of a (British) Ministry of Defense -- MOD -- study program 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," BAE Systems said in a statement last week.
"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 United States and Bofors in Sweden to ensure the (British) customer benefits from its global corporate experience," BAE Systems said.
"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 caliber," said Samir Patel, CORDA's program 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 of BAE Systems' Land Systems said, "This program 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 (British-)based industrial artillery design and manufacture capability is sustained."
"During the first study phase, valued at $3 billion, 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 $1.4 billion, 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," BAE Systems said.