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Navy, Coast Guard tap BAE for Mk 38 machine guns

By Stephen Carlson
Navy, Coast Guard tap BAE for Mk 38 machine guns
Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Kirt Robinson scans the horizon before firing the MK 38, 25mm machine gun aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge as it transits to Fleet Week Port Everglades on April 29, 2018. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Roys/U.S. Navy

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- BAE Systems Land and Armaments has received an $18.5 million basic ordering agreement for the Mk 38 machine gun system coaxial kit under a previously awarded contract.

The order, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, will provide materials and services required to manufacture and ship coaxial kits for the Mk 38 machine guns used by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

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Work will be performed in Louisville, Ky., and Mesa, Ariz., and is expected to be complete by June 2020. Navy fiscal 2017 and 2018 weapons procurement funding and Coast Guard fiscal 2018 weapons procurement funding in the amount of $18.5 million will be obligated by order on time of award.

The Mk 38 is a 25mm machine gun used by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard for point defense against high-speed surface targets such as speedboats.

The weapon is capable of single shot or fully automatic fire up to 180 rounds per minute, and has a maximum effective range of roughly 2,500 yards. It is self-stabilizing for accuracy while the deploying ship is in motion and is remotely operated using a computerized targeting system.

Swarms of small high speed boats are considered a serious threat to larger ships due to their ability to overwhelm defensive systems designed for more conventional long range engagements.

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Countries like Iran deploy such small boats in large numbers to help counter U.S. superiority in surface warfare vessels.

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