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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

22 February 2016

Rheinmetall and German Navy Conduct HEL Maritime Tests

It was announced last week that Rheinmetall and the German Armed Forces (Bundewehr) have successfully tested a high-energy laser (HEL) effector installed on a German warship operating on the high seas. To carry out the test, Rheinmetall mounted a 10kw HEL effector on a MLG 27 light naval gun, designed to engage air, surface, and land targets.

Rheinmetall's 10kW high-energy laser (HEL) effector installed on a MLG 27 light naval gun on a German Navy warship.

The test programme included tracking of potential targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and very small surface craft. Furthermore, the HEL effector was also tested against stationary targets on land. For the first time, according to Rheinmetall, the effectiveness of Rheinmetall HEL effector technology was demonstrated in a maritime environment, and revealed insights important for the development of future HEL naval effectors.

The MLG 27 is an autonomous weapon system, controlled remotely from its dedicated operations console. The system is equipped with a laser range finder, day/night vision capability and a modern automatic tracking system with multiple tracking modes (manual, semiautomatic and automatic). Integrating the MLG 27 into an overall combat management system (CMS) or linking it directly to other fire control system sensors (radar, EW, IR and TV) is straightforward, further enhancing the effectiveness of this globally leading gun system. Moreover, the lightweight MLG 27 can be installed on nearly any naval surface vessel without deck penetration, and Rheinmetall has supplied 150 MLG 27 light naval gun systems to navies all over the world. The BK27 revolver cannon used in the MLG27 is in service with the German Air Force and Navy, as well as the armed forces of several other NATO and non-NATO countries. Worldwide more than 3,000 cannons have been sold to date. Its effective range is typically between 100-4,000 metres. The revolver gun’s high rate of fire (up to 1,700 rounds per minute) and highprecision optics make the MLG 27 an extremely effective naval gun system. The last of 12 MLG 27 for four new F125-class frigates and the new combat supply ship BONN have been delivered to the German Navy in 2013. Furthermore, a customer in East Asia
has procured the MLG 27 for a training vessel, which has already been delivered and integrated.