Home Europe Dutch air-defense frigates getting new 127mm guns from Leonardo

Dutch air-defense frigates getting new 127mm guns from Leonardo

Photo: Dutch MoD

The Netherlands’ Defense Materiel Organization has contracted Italian defense company Leonardo for the delivery of new 127mm guns for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s four air-defense and command frigates.

Thales Nederland will be in charge of integrating the guns with the De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates’ combat systems.

All four units in the class are expected to have their new cannon by 2026. As explained by the defense ministry, the frigates will receive the 127/64 LW system that is compatible with Leonardo’s Vulcano ammunition, which provides extended range and improved precision.

The Vulcano 155mm rounds are offered as “ballistic extended range” (BER) unguided multi-role ammunition with a multi function (altimetric, impact, delayed impact, time, self-destruction) programmable fuze, and “guided long range” (GLR) with canard control actuated by IMU + GPS guidance system for navigation (gliding trajectory )and possibility of terminal guidance (pull down) with optional semi-active-Laser (SAL).

The navy said the guns will feature a fully automated ammunition delivery system, with an ammunition magazine composed of 4 barrels with 14 grenades each.

De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates were delivered by Dutch shipbuilder Damen, and started entering service in 2002. They feature the SMART-L radar for long range surveillance and APAR multifunction radar. The frigates carry the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and SM-2 Block IIIA missiles for anti-air warfare, in addition to Harpoon missiles and Mk. 46 torpedoes for anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.