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On 16 November 2022, Damen Naval, the Dutch prime contractor for Germany’s F126 future frigate programme, announced that Rheinmetall had been selected to equip the F126 frigates with MLG27-4.0 remote weapon stations (RWSs), with each vessel to be fitted with two of the systems. Eight MLG27-4.0 RWSs have been contracted, with an option for four further RWSs to equip two further vessels if required.

Damen selected Rheinmetall to supply the next generation MLG27 gun systems for the F126 frigate. Photo: Rheinmetall

The MLG27-4.0 RWS is provided with a sight incorporating day and thermal channels, and a laser rangefinder. The digital fire control system is provided with an automatic target tracking capability, and is integrated with shipboard systems, enabling the RWS to fire to an assigned set of WGS-84 format target coordinates. The MLG27-4.0 is armed with Rheinmetall’s BK-27 revolver automatic cannon, chambered in the 27 × 145B mm cartridge. It is a gas-operated single belt-fed revolver cannon, capable of attaining a maximum sustained rate of fire of 1,700 rds/min, and is also capable of single-shot and burst firing modes. The armament has a relatively low weight of approximately 100 kg, making it suited for mounting on aircraft, and it has been used by the Eurofighter, Gripen, and Tornado. Rheinmetall has stated that over 3,000 units of the BK-27 have been delivered thus far.