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Damen Naval, the prime contractor for the German F126 frigate programme, has contracted Leonardo to supply and supply the OTO 127/64 LightWeight (LW) VULCANO naval gun the four F126 frigates. The contract also covers logistic support, as well as the delivery of simulators for crew training, Damen Naval and Leonardo write in a joint press release.

According to Leonardo, the naval gun with a calibre of 127 mm and a barrel length of 8,128 mm (64 x 127mm) is the core of a fully digitised system. Communicating with operators and the on-board combat management system, it offers constant support in computing firing data during mission planning.

The weapon can use the two variants of the company’s 127mm VULCANO ammunition, Leonardo writes: Guided Long Range (GLR) and Ballistic Extended Range (BER). The gun extends the defensive capability of a naval unit up to 85km.

Diehl Defence was involved in the development and qualification of the VULCANO ammunition. Diehl describes the GLR as a family of munitions featuring satellite-based navigation with laser or infrared sensors for final approach with high targeting accuracy. The insensitive multi-purpose warhead with pre-formed tungsten fragments is said to be highly effective against soft targets, vehicles, semi-armoured vehicles, infrastructures and all types of infantry command posts.

The F126 will receive the same naval defence system as the BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG class frigates (F125).

As the prime contractor, Damen Naval is to deliver four F126 frigates between 2028 and 2031. The contract includes an option for two additional units. The frigates are being built at shipyards in Kiel, Hamburg and Wolgast