Surface Forces: September 3, 2000


: The British Royal Navy is conducting final acceptance tests on the Mark-8-Model-1 cannon, which will eventually arm new British warships and may be refitted to some old ones. The tests are being conducted at HMS Cambridge, which is not a ship but the Royal Navy gunnery school. The weapon is 4.5 inches (114mm). The current contract is for eight guns, with 17 more to be ordered in 2002. These will replace the guns on Type-22, Type-23, and Type-42 warships and arm the first batch of Type-45 destroyers. The original Mark-8-Model-0 entered service in the early 1970s. The new
model is a considerable improvement, with various enhanced features: 

@ Electric drives have replaced hydraulics for everything but elevation. This improves safety and reliability.

@ Weight is reduced by four tons, and the amount of below-deck volume needed is reduced by almost half.

@ Maintenance requirements are reduced by the computer-based test and fault-finding system.

@ The gun will fire new extended range base-bleed ammunition. The first ships to receive the new guns will be the Type-23 frigate HMS Norfolk, the Type-22/3 frigate HMS Cumberland, the Type-42 destroyer HMS York, and the Type-23 Frigates HMS Iron Duke, HMS Marlborough, HMS Monmouth, and HMS Montrose.--Stephen V Cole


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