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According to a so-called “voluntary ex ante transparency notice” on the European Union’s Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) website, the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Agency (DALO) is in the process of awarding a contract for 76 mm ammunition to Leonardo SpA in Italy.

The ammunition is intended for the 76 mm Oto Melara (now Leonardo) Naval gun. Initially, the ammunition will be tested and certified for the Danish Navy’s Knud Rasmussen class offshore patrol vessels, Thetis class ocean patrol vessels and Iver Huitfeldt class air defence frigates, following mid-life upgrades to the weapons systems of these vessels. The upgrade encompassed a total of 19 guns across the above ship classes. Secondarily, the contract will also supply ammunition for the Danish Navy’s readiness stockpile.

Specifically, the contract concerns ammunition fitted with the 4AP (4 Actions Plus) fuze. The 4AP is a multi-mode electronic fuze that can be programmed in the gun, by an integrated fuze setter, or by separate portable fuze setter, in one of several fuzing modes:

  • Proximity
  • Height of burst
  • Time
  • Point detonation
  • Delayed point detonation

The 4AP fuze is compliant with STANAG 4187 safety design standards, and includes an interrupted fuze train requiring two independent arming stimuli (acceleration set-back and spin).

The use of this type of multi-function ammunition on an off-shore patrol vessel makes a lot of sense, since space limitations for onboard ammunition stowage make it difficult to carry useful quantities of several different, dedicated ammunition types. Multi-function ammunition, such as the type being contracted by Denmark, allows a round to be used effectively for a broad spectrum of tasks, such as anti-ship missile defence, air defence, naval fire support and surface target engagements. The notice does not specify the quantity of ammunition being procured, but the total value was stated as DKK 53 M, or approx. EUR 7.1 M. Provided that no complaints are lodged against the notice, the contract is expected to be awarded 10 days after publication of the notice.

Thomas Nielsen