Leonardo to supply naval guns for Dutch-Belgian ASW frigates

By Defence Industry Europe

On July 20, the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands placed an order for Sovraponte 76mm automatic guns from Leonardo for four ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) frigates, which will be built for the navies of Belgium and the Netherlands - two for each country.

Leonardo will also provide a spare gun. This additional cannon can be immediately installed during maintenance or in case of a malfunction, serving as a replacement for the gun on the respective ship, ensuring its firepower remains unchanged.

The contract also includes an option for the delivery of three additional Sovraponte guns. Two of these are designated for the logistic support ship Zr.Ms. Karel Doorman and the transport ship Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt. This artillery will replace the currently used Thales Nederland Goalkeeper close-in weapon systems with 30mm guns. The third gun is intended for the new combat support ship Zr.Ms Den Helder, which will be commissioned in 2025. The gun will be installed on it at a later date.

The Sovraponte guns for the ASW frigates will be delivered from early 2027.


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Sovraponte is the latest version of the automatic, universal 76mm naval guns produced by the Italian company Oto Melara (now part of the Leonardo corporation). It is characterized by the absence of an under-deck ammunition storage and supply system. Instead, special cassettes (parki) for ammunition are directly attached to the turret. This feature allows the Sovraponte gun (over-deck) to be installed on almost any ship without significant modifications to its structure.

The guns can use Leonardo Oto Melara DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of flight) corrected trajectory artillery ammunition. Thales is currently developing the multi-channel radar fire control system, Pharos, to guide the DART munitions in flight. Pharos is designed to cooperate with short and very short-range air defence systems. Thales conducted tests of this solution in 2015 off the coast of Den Helder.



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