Euronaval 2022: Nexter and Thales unveil new design of RAPIDFire turret

Source: Nexter/Thales

The temporary consortium formed by Nexter and Thales is exhibiting the RAPIDFire system turret in its final form on the Nexter stand at Euronaval. This remotely operated naval and land artillery system provides platforms with a close-in self-defence capability against air and surface threats. One of the first systems produced will be installed on French Navy fleet replenishment tanker Jacques Chevallier in early 2023 ahead of the at-sea qualification phase.

A new close-in protection system

Designed to protect platforms from low-level air threats, including drones, RAPIDFire is one of the only air defence systems that can autonomously and automatically acquire, identify and destroy a threat using target designation data provided by a combat management system. With a ready rack of 140 rounds of ammunition, corresponding to about 30 interceptions, the system offers effective firepower against drones and swarms of drones, avoiding attrition of surface-to-air missiles in the event of a saturation attack.

Thanks to automatic real-time selection of different types of ammunition, RAPIDFire is the only system capable of defeating all types of threats, including personal watercraft, free-floating mines, ships, loitering munitions, unmanned aerial systems, fighter jets, attack helicopters and missiles at ranges of up to 4,000 metres.

RAPIDFire is extremely accurate and can defeat threats with no risk of collateral damage thanks to the coupling between the fire control system and the turret, and ultimately through the use of Anti Aerial Airburst (A3B) munitions.

A3B rounds are time-fuzed for greater effectiveness against all types of targets and cannot be jammed, decoyed or triggered by clutter.

RAPIDFire is built around the 40 mm CTA gun suite and ammunition and has already been adopted by the armed forces of France, the United Kingdom and Belgium.

A powerhouse of advanced technologies

  • Compact, modern architecture accommodating the 40 mm CTA gun, ammunition and sighting system to autonomously ensure high interception accuracy while retaining a non-penetrating turret design
  • 40 mm CTA gun compatible with the full range of 40 mm telescoped munitions from CTAI, including the future Anti Aerial Airburst (A3B) round against airborne targets
  • High-precision optronic fire control system from Thales, with a multispectral sight and high-rate laser rangefinder built into the turret
  • Multi-target capability with fast-into-action time and automatic selection of different types of ammunition.

A multi-domain system

RAPIDFire can be readily adapted for land-based platforms such as the CAESAR MkII truck chassis. Thanks to its intuitive user interface and on-the-move firing capability, this system can be seamlessly integrated into a fixed or mobile air defence system to protect combat units on the ground as well as military bases, logistics convoys, sensitive sites and high-value assets.


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