Surface Forces: The 5 Inch Turret is Unpopulated


April 11, 2007: Germany has selected the OTO/Melara 127mm/54 five inch gun for its new F125 frigates. The 127mm "Lightweight Naval Gun Mount" is an automatic cannon that is operated by remote control. There is, in effect, no gun crew in the conventional sense. The gun system weighs 25 tons, including a 40 round magazine. Actually, there are two magazines, so two different types of shells can be used (like high explosive, or anti-aircraft rounds). The gun can fire up to 35 rounds a minute. The gun barrel can be elevated 70 degrees.

The F125 frigates that will mount the "Lightweight Naval Gun Mount", displace 5,500 tons. This is larger than some destroyers, but it's become unfashionable in Europe to call a warship a "destroyer." The F125s are 431 feet long and highly automated. They have a crew of 120. Actually, they have two crews, so the F-125s can stay at sea for long periods of time, with the crews changing every four months. Armament consists of eight anti-ship missiles, two RAM anti-missile missile systems, one 127mm gun, four 27mm automatic cannon, four remotely controlled 12.7mm machine-guns, two manually controlled 12.7mm machine-guns, water cannons and berthing space for fifty commandos.


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