Typhoon-30-mm-Rafael
Rafael’s Typhoon Mk30c to be unveiled at Pacific 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

The Rafael Typhoon Mk30c is the latest version of this enduring stabilised, small caliber naval gun.

There are two rapidly developing threats to naval vessels at sea, according to Doron L. [name redacted], marketing and business development manager at Rafael’s naval systems directorate.

“We enhanced it by increasing the elevation level up to 70 degrees to deal with all kinds of aerial targets (previously this was around 40 degrees). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of all kinds are now a serious threat to any navy and we needed to come up with an answer to that. In addition, we enhanced the algorithms for fire control essential for aerial targets and improved the tracking capacity to deal with these aerial targets,” he said.

The gun mount had to be redesigned to accommodate room for gun’s increased elevation, although overall the gun is now slightly lighter from 1,350kg to 1,200kg even when fully loaded.

The amount of ammunitions stored and ready to fire has also been increased from 165 rounds of NATO standard 30mm x 173mm to 200 rounds. Using aerial burst ammunition is the best option to defeat small target Mr. Doron. The reload time has also come down to around five minutes and with the added ammunition the gun will be able to engage more targets in less time.

The Typhoon Mk30c is also being hailed as an answer to the threat posed by small, usually fast moving surface craft with speed up to 50 knots (92 kilometres per hour) which may be used in swarm attacks. These can be equipped with explosive and made into suicide boats or mount guided missiles for a powerful punch against much larger and more expensive naval ships.

“If you take one of those and multiply if by five or ten similar craft and you have a serious threat. You need the power to deal with that at sea,” said Mr. Doron.

There is also an increasing demand for the system to be integrated into a ship’s combat management system (CMS). “The real estate inside the command centre is precious so more and more needs to be embedded into the same physical footprint. It is easy today to transfer the information into the situation to allow an operator to switch from one task, perhaps into gun mode.”

Training sailors to use the weapon can be carried out onboard the vessel or on land at a training school. “The trainer is much more realistic with manoeuvring targets as well as aerial targets. An embedded trainer is included in the full system, but increasingly there is a need for off-board training which allows for an inter-learning experience with other skills,” said Mr. Doron. However, the training system can be decoupled from the operating system to make it fully synthetic.

The Typhoon was designed to be automatic from its first design “because accuracy means so much – the difference between a manned and unmanned guided capability is tremendous,” Mr. Doron concluded.

by Andrew Dwriega