In 2018 Thales and Nexter launched the naval version of the 40mm RAPIDFire Naval gun based on the land forces version qualified for use by the French and British Armies in 2014. The gun fires 40CTA cased telescoped ammunition. The technology building blocks developed for the army version were reused for the naval version supplemented by an anti-air capability to knock out aircraft, UASs and missiles. Using the gun’s built-in fire control unit, the operator can rain fire on air targets at ranges from 50 to 4000m and at rates up to 200 rounds/min (with 140 rounds in the turret). The development team laims that the weapon can typically defeat even sophisticated targets by firing just a dozen rounds. This capability is attributed to the gun’s inherent accuracy and target-specific munitions. Types include: the armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot (APFSDS) round that can penetrate 140mm armour at 1500m; the general-purpose round-point detonating (GPRPD) round with a timing fuze that projects fragments in all directions; and the new A3B anti-air round with a charge that projects tungsten pellets.
The RAPIDFire turret can be integrated with most hulls as a 3t bolt-on non-penetrating module with a deck footprint close to that of a 20mm machine gun. On smaller vessels it can serve as the main gun; on larger ones as an additional anti-missile self-defence weapon.
More information in Mer et Marine Euronaval 2018 Special issue : "Naval Forces : focus on french technology"