Four Typhoon stabilised weapons systems have been installed onboard NUSHIP Canberra, a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) under construction for the Royal Australian Navy.
The advanced weapons systems, comprising a 25 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun and a coaxially mounted M240 7.62mm machine gun, will be tested during scheduled First of Class Trials at sea.
They have been mounted in such a way so that they cover a 360 degree arc of fire around the platform. Two are mounted forward with one located on the starboard gun deck and the other on the port gun sponson. The aft mounts are located on either side of the quarterdeck, just behind and below the flight deck.
Boatswains Mates and Combat System Operators will be in charge of the weapons’ operation, whereas three Electronic Technicians will maintain the guns.
“The typhoon is smaller than the main gun you see on a Guided Missile Frigate, but it has a much higher rate of fire. While higher rates of fire are usually associated with small ‘person-operated’ automatic machine guns, the Typhoon has a much larger round,” said Canberra’s Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Adam Simeoni.
“Basically, this means the Typhoon has a high rate of fire and decent sized rounds. This combination provides Canberra with a very effective and potent force protection weapons system, specifically suited to the requirements of the LHD platform,’ he said.
The Typhoon has a rate of fire of up to 180 rounds a minute and can be operated from the Operations Room via the Combat Management System (SAAB 9LV Mk4) or from the independent remote operating consoles, also located in the Operations Room.
NUSHIP Canberra passed the LHD Harbour Acceptance Trials in November when Australian Defence Material Organisation (DMO) conducted the first vehicle load trial on the ship.
The ship moved from its shipbuilding location at BAE Williamstown in Victoria, across the bay to Webb Dock to undertake the vehicle load trial which allowed for Army vehicles to be driven onto the ship and maneuvered within the vehicle decks of the ship.
Canberra will have a complement of 360 personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force. She will be the first of two LHDs to be introduced into service with NUSHIP Adelaide scheduled to commission in 2015.
Naval Today Staff, January 2, 2014; Image: Royal Australian Navy