BAE Systems press release
The shipbuilding company Kership will install the guns on the fleet of 12 mine hunting vessels – six for Belgium, six for the Netherlands – with the first ship scheduled for delivery to the Belgian Navy in 2024.
The Bofors 40 Mk4 is a flexible, highly versatile gun system designed to react quickly in coastal environments. Lightweight and compact, the naval gun system combines long range and a high rate of fire, giving the mine hunting vessels a greater level of defense against surface, air, and shore-based threats.
“The Bofors 40 Mk4 is a highly automated naval gun which will provide the Belgian and Dutch navies with significant firepower and great range. This latest contract expands the number of European nations using the Bofors 40 Mk4, and reflects the growing interest we are seeing in the region.”
Lena Gillström, managing director for BAE Systems Bofors in Karlskoga, Sweden. “
Offering high survivability and tactical freedom at all levels of conflict, the Bofors 40 Mk4 also provides optimized ammunition types, including the cost-efficient programmable 3P ammunition. The ability to automatically switch between different types of ammunition gives a high level of combat flexibility in the face of new threats such as UAVs.
The Bofors 40 Mk4 naval gun is the latest generation in the 40mm family and is used by numerous navies and coast guards around the world. The system was most recently selected by Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Naval News comments:
The selection for the Belgian and Dutch rMCM was long due: Artist impressions of the vessels showing them fitted with 40Mk4 main guns were released in late 2019. Japan became the second export customer of this gun system after Brazil, the launch customer. The Swedish Navy placed an order in 2019. It will be the secondary gun aboard the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigate. It was also selected by the Finnish Navy for the Hamina-class upgrade program.
The Belgian Ministry of Defense officially notified the consortium Belgian Naval & Robotics (formed by Naval Group & ECA Group) on May 22, 2019, a contract to supply 12 motherships and associated equipment to the Belgian and Dutch Navies.
According to Commander Bultot, rMCM Project Leader, the first steel cut of the first-in-class ship is set to take place at the Kership (Piriou) shipyard in Concarneau, France, on 21 June 2021. The program achieved preliminary design review in December 2020.