Finmeccanica Proposes 76mm Gun for LCS

Finmeccanica Proposes 76mm Gun for LCS

Finmeccanica is proposing that the OTO Melara 76mm gun be configured onto the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship as part of an effort to improve the lethality and survivability of the shallow-water , multi-mission vessel.

The naval artillery piece would replace the existing 57mm weapon now on board the LCS,  per the existing proposal, said Eric Lindenbaum, vice president of Navy and Maritime programs for DRS Technologies. OTO Melara and DRS Technologies are both subsidiaries for the Italian defense company, Finmeccanica SpA.

Amidst an ongoing effort to develop alternative proposals for a new small surface combatant, Navy officials are busy exploring ways to make the LCS a more survivable and lethal platform. A task force has been stood up to study requirements and technologies aimed at modifying the LCS or coming up with a new ship design.

Per direction from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who decreased the LCS ship contracted buy from 52 down to 32 ships, the Navy is looking to find new solutions to make the LCS more survivable.

The OTO Melara 76mm weapon is currently on many Navy frigates.  It is not surprising that a weapon used on a frigate would be proposed for the LCS because Hagel suggested that the alternative proposals for a new or modified LCS be modeled after a frigate.

The weapon would bring much greater range and lethality to the LCS compared to the existing weapons system, Lindenbaum added. In particular, the OTO Melara 76mm weapon, called a three-inch gun, can reach ranges out to 22 nautical miles, whereas the existing 57mm gun has a range of eight to ten miles.

“Fifty-six different navies have a 76mm weapon. The U.S. is one of those 56, however what this means is that 55 other navies can outgun the LCS,” Lindenbaum said.

In addition, the OTO Melara has a water-cooled barrel which allows the weapon to stay cool and keep firing for longer periods of time compared to the 57mm weapon.  Without a water cooled barrel, a weapon is likely to overheat after shooting a certain amount of rounds and need to therefore stop firing.

“This is a tactical advantage. The heat is dissipated through the water cooling system. The OTO Melara 76mm gun can shoot thousands of rounds during a sustained engagement,” Lindenbaum said.

The OTO Melara can shoot a variety of different ammunition from point-detonate to delayed fuses and proximity fuses, he added.

Tags: , , ,

Join the Conversation

Mounting a new gun on a piece of crap won’t change it from being a piece of crap.


Just goes to prove that off the shelf items with a known capability is much better than building a new class of ships with systems that either didn’t work or needed civilian contractors on the ship to run them. That’s only if the system was installed before setting sail for Japan.

Are you telling us that now we are going to waste more money on the LCS and the Italians will benefit?

Why not just sell all the LCS ships to the Italians and let them outfit them till the cows come home?

I think the best thing for the US Navy to do is simply stop the Modules crap and just arm them for Corvette Duty.

A 76mm isn’t even powerful enough to be a tank main gun, let alone the main gun on a major man of war.

This sort of mismanagement and F ups just never cease to amaze me !!

I honestly don’t know why they didn’t go with the 76mm gun from the start, considering that the basic ammunition and such was already in stock for the OHP class frigates.

The 57mm gun has the advantage of a smaller size and higher rate of fire, so it probably would have a better chance to kill incoming anti-ship missiles. Yet as far as I know the LCS doesn’t have the fire control systems to enable that capability for the 57mm gun. So it really doesn’t have much of an advantage over the 76mm in this situation.

Supposedly the 57mm guns planned as a secondary weapon for the DDG-1000 have been cut and replaced by cheaper 30mm chain guns as part of a cost reduction effort. If the LCS is up-gunned maybe the surplus 57mm guns can be used for the DDG-1000 although they’d need to change the turret housing.

“Fifty-six different navies have a 76mm weapon. The U.S. is one of those 56, however what this means is that 55 other navies can outgun the LCS,”
How true. Now for some more missiles.

The LCS isn’t supposed to be a head to head warship.


lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig

a 2,500 tonn WWII warship had FIVE 5″ guns, plus lot of other weapons plus a crew of 325 AND it was tough as nails, they could take a pounding and still fight back. So now a 3000 tonn LCS is going to mount a 75 and they’re going to call it a warship now.

I think the LCS mafia sees the hand writing on the wall and they are getting desperate.

USN Sailors benefit with a more capable main battery. BTW — the 57mm is Sweedish, and BAE is Brittish… So you don’t like LCS, or you don’t like foreign companies…or both?

it will — it will blackowl

if the LCS is a crap — so do with those who make some opposing comments — who by the way — are not experts on the fields. They thought that by reading some comments on the net which somehow convince them — they are now considering themselves — EXPERTS — how sad!!!

The 57mm isn’t a module. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

If it’s good emough for a frigate why wouldn’t it be good enough for a smaller ship?

Replacing the little gun with a slightly larger gun won’t do much to fix the flawed concept that is the LCS. It can’t stand up to a frigate in a slug fest, an despite its touted “speed advantage”, it can’t run from a missile. RAM notwithstanding its a liability for its crew in a real knife fight. Despite what the Pentagon and DON spin-mongers say, this is not a real warship. It lacks offensive firepower, lacks the ability to take a serious punch and keep fighting, and its small crew size places serious restrictions on damage control. I can’t imagine this thing taking a hit like SAMUEL B. ROBERTS or STARK and surviving.

I hope no fleet commander is ever forced to put this thing in harms way without serious adult supervision and protection. We would run the risk of another PUEBLO incident if this thing were to be put near the coast of NOKOR or Iran.

Shows how light and ill-equipped this ship is. Anything short of a 5 inch gun is too light for a any Naval vessel who has deck arms. Its sad we have to buy this from Italy cant we make our own Naval guns? Its just sad. Wish we can cancel this mistake and go all for new Destroyers.

The idea of designing ships to be modular so they can be more easily upgraded as new technologies or weapons systems present themselves is sound, and makes sense for the long run.

How about a Abrams turret bolted to the deck of the LCS? How’s that for modular? I am kind of kidding but at the same time not. The LCS is supposed to operate close to shore and In my own opinion that would be a sweet weapon mount. It already has the ability to track targets and the like.

I have to agree with this. Why buy foreign parts and pieces for your military when those parts and pieces can be cut off on a whim for any reason. American materials and parts only for the military.

The 120mm smooth bore gun does not have the range of the 76MM gun they are going to upgrade to

Modern warships armor is not comparable to that of a modern main battle tank.

Scrap the LCS all together and buy 1 of the excellent modern foreign frigates. Oh yea, we’re America so we can’t do that. LOL!

The joint chiefs of staffs main function is to apologize to the american people for all the money they are wasting and then to turn around and ask for more money they can piss away. I firmly believe that the chicoms will surpass us in quality and quantity in the next decade. all the DOD will do is issue another apology and keep buying weapon systems that don’t work and that are so expensive you can only buy two of them. that is one of the reasons the American people are arming themselves.

So size really does matter. I have been lied to for years now.

Isnt the LCS made out of aluminum? How thick? Anybody know? I saw that it was but it was on the internet and they cant put anything on the internet that isnt true so I have to ask.

You can license-manufacture in the US — that way, if we go to war with Italy, we can keep mfr’ing the guns. The advantage of buying designs from other countries is that you don’t have to spend years reinventing the wheel.

A 76mm gun doesn’t really sound all that formidable considering that a WWII Sherman tank carried essentially the same weapon. By the way, why are we buying this weapon from Italy? Finmeccanica must have hired Beretta ‘s lobbyists .

the LCS is so thin that bullets and shells will simply pass through it like aluminum foil-that’s a design feature by the way , it’s called the “Passive protection aluminum foil defense module” LOL

and who are you, a gypsy crystal ball reader? That’s how you get your “expertise?”

Not as silly as you might think. Its already been proven it can work just needs water tight hatches. Other than that you just have to convince the Navy brass to use an Army piece of equipment.

This isn’t for shore bombardment or dealing with heavy armor. It’s for dealing boats, aircraft, helicopters, or just about anything else in range. Yes the caliber is small but the tradeoff is that it fires at maximum rate of 120 rounds per minute.

For some things it makes sense. Yet basic gun armament and CIWS should be integral. I don’t see the reason why they would have excluded the typical surface vessel torpedo tubes like the OHP class had. Maybe a small VLS for the Enhanced Sea Sparrow would have made sense too.

It’s part of the creation of a paper US Navy. It is well know that aluminum warships are little more than coffins when subjected to naval combat. There are ENORMOUS risks taken. You can deliver weapons systems and project military might up until the day your opponents start shooting back.

If we hated foreign companies we’d have to ditch the 105 and 120mm tank guns…though we briefly were about to jump to 140mm.

WW2 DD’s aside from anti-sub and AA capabilities were designed to close in on capital warships like cruisers and battleships and deliver relatively short ranged torpedoes and then retreat. They were not design for shallow littoral waters like the LCS although they could as some did at Normandy. That was an exception. At most they had one inch plates and not Class A armor like cruisers and up designed to defeat armor piercing projectiles. Armor piercing projectiles like an 8 inch or 14–16 inch would go clean through destroyers without detonating. Yes they were tough. But we lost more destroyers to the Japanese at Guadalcanal and the Solomons through part of 1943 than any other ship. If you look at kamikaze attacks from late 1944 through 1945, destroyers were routinely sunk. Even though many destroyers at Okinawa survived multiple kamikaze hits, for the most part they were no longer fit for combat. Some could have been rebuilt if the war had continued. The LCS was never designed to be a destroyer in any sense. The old days of WW2 and direct ship to ship combat of those times are long gone.

I think you meant “It’s not the size of the gun that matters, it’s how its bored” in this case. ;)

Small corvettes and OPV in navies around the world mount 76 mm guns. Some frigates go with 100 or 127 mm. A vessel with nothing larger than a 57 mm main gun would be better employed chasing drug smugglers or fish poachers. Kind of like the USCG does.

Give the LCS to the Coasties, and build a blue water frigate.

also somebody wont get there vacation trip paid for by the company wanting our money.

Piece of crap or not, won’t change fact they need keep them till there something else.
Independence won’t be able to mount the gun anyways. However, the new Naval Strike missiles will improve things.

I think they didn’t want the bigger gun because they didn’t plan this thing in blowing the crap out of smaller ships. It wasn’t meant for frontline action against warships its size and bigger. Its too bad they didn’t envision this happening in the first place, Independence narrow hull isn’t going allow 76mm to be installed unfortunately. Too bad they could widen the beak of that thing nose’s bit more.

I think up gunning to the 76 is a good idea. On rapid rate it does 120 rds per minute with a 16 kilometer range. (Being an old M1A1 Master Gunner, my opinion mounting the M1 turret is not a viable idea. No auto loader and its effective range are only 4 kilometers and ammunition packages are not made for ships. It’s great on tanks but not on ships.) It could use an additional AGM missile launcher for anti-ship. The rest of the armament seems adequate. Remember its mission, shallow water. At one time, I worked at the shipyard that is building this ship. It is in Marinette, Wisconsin, not Italy. This was also a joint venture with Lockheed Martin. As to the Italians, yes they own an American Shipyard, Marinette Marine. I am sure that other foreign people have stock in some of our other defense companies too. If you want more information on the Freedom class and the Independence class littoral combat ships, look on Wikipedia. There is a good amount of information there on them.

mount a 76mm or 5inch on the bow, and a 54mm on each side to combat the small boat threat and give the Corps some firepower for shore missions…arm with a lot of griffins and stingers, and voila.…a viable vessel with high speed and a lot of mission flexibility

I agree wit you Master Gunner 92. Let us not forget the reason why LCS was made on the first place. It is created for the littoral and not on the open sea. Open sea are already occupied by the Arleigh Burkes and the Cruisers. I just cant understand why the “so call experts” bloggers would bark and the wrong tree. They had been barking the wrong moon for a long period of time.

Your solution Sandy sounds good. Perfect. Add hell fire missiles as propose and anti sub capabilities then, LCS will be good to go on any littorals.

Range of the 76mm gun “22 nautical miles”… ?

Since when?

22km surely, but 22 nautical?
That’s just over 25 statute miles, or almost 41km.
I knew they were working on extended range variants of the DART and even a Volcano in 76mm, but 22 nautical miles?

If we expect any measure of accuracy, that means guidance section in the projectile, and for a 76mm munition, or more likely a sub-caliber projectile, that means warhead shrinks.
I’m curious to know how accurate the 76mm can deliver at 22 nautical, and with how lethal a warhead, that a small rocket (circa 5-6inches in diameter, surface launched) couldn’t do it better.

At the rate the US is losing money to do R&D that other countries have already done, it might be cheaper just to give that bastard his holiday. He can only spend at most, what? 1 million? 2? The US wastes HUNDREDS of millions on repeated R&D and projects that don’t work. >2% of the cost to get an item into service is a great deal IMO.

Example: Israel’s Jumper or Spike NLOS. The US paid so much to duplicate it on a Netfire NLOS system which didn’t live up to expected specs and the LCS had to end up with dinky Griffons.

instead of attacking me mr “expert” Big-Dean — why not tell me if indeed you are expert in these fields? kindly tell me what training have you been with respect to the field? i am not an expert Big Dean. I am not. What about you? Are you?

have you been to a “naval academy? if so, what school? how long have you been serving in the navy, if any? as what?

Modifications of the Independence class could allow them to fit it. that said naval guns are of little issue, Todays world of naval warfare it comes down to missiles and the Independence has room for plenty of them (Forward of the bridge and above the bridge/hanger area).

Fitted with CEA’s phased array radar would give them 360 degree view at all times and is very accurate against missiles. So far the system has only been used in naval use though South Africa is using the same system in conjunction with an AA weapon for land use (development stages). Is estimated the system could be evolved into an offensive system targeting enemy aircraft and ships with larger missiles and using ESSM’s against small fast craft.

If foreign companies were no go the US wouldn’t have half the stuff it has at the moment. Some of the most powerful weapons systems the US has have been developed over seas or jointly with other countries, The latest ESSM upgrades Australia helped with. Maybe should ditch those for a less capable all US missile that out of date? =) voodkokk needs to be realistic

The LCS classes should all have at a minimum (And they are capable of supporting these systems) 76mm gun (Most assume bigger gun is better but when was the last real ship to ship gun engagement? WWII), 12 VLS tubes mix of quad packed ESSM’s and others, and CEA phased array radar, Most advanced radar in world for ships of their size.

Would allow them to retain and mature the modular systems while being a capable combatant as needed.

No 22nm is correct though to be accurate its in the development stage so while it can achieve the range they still have bugs and kinks to work out.

I don’t agree that it’s too narrow:
query La Combattante class, the Sparviero and Pegasus class hydrofoils, and any number of other FACs that are gun– and missile-armed.
And how wide is a Perry/FFG-7’s blockhouse/superstrucrure where its 76mm system is mounted?

There are a lot of considerably smaller/narrower vessels (than either LCS) that have no issues mounting, and SAFELY firing, the 76mm OTO guns.

My understanding in the choices for the 57mm instead of the 76mm was in a large part due to the Bofors 3P multi option programmable fuze, and the burst rate the 57 could throw down in the anti air and anti missile role with those 3P fuzes.
Problem is though: the LCS are having enough issues as it is trying to hit surface targets while the ship is moving at any pursuit speeds in any water beyond calm seas. Now we still think it should be able to engage aircraft AND inbound missiles accurately enough as well?
Suggesting the RAM system is for anti-air and anti-missile work negates half the reasons the 57mm was chosen in the first place.

Everyone forgets that years ago, FMC was the US naval gun builder, then became UDLP, then were absorbed into BAE.
BAE’s naval gun facilities located in the US are perfectly capable of producing
the 57mm (BAE had a stake in Bofors, so acquired the proper production license authority),
76mm (license production acquired by UDLP from OTO Melara years ago),
and 127mm guns in the US, for the US.
They are doing the 155mm gun system in the AGS for the Zumwalts as well, thus securing their monopoly on US ship artillery.

Still looking for a proper definition of littoral.
Does it mean shallow water? If so, subs cannot safely operate there, even the newer small SSKs need a measurable depth to operate safely and not risk running aground.
If subs can operate safely, then the water is safely deep enough for a proper destroyer (Burke) and its same SeaHawk helos to conduct ASW.
Is mine warfare the concern? Generally mine warfare is for disruption/delay of commerce lanes: today’s commercial ships need deep water channels, not shallows, to safely navigate thru.

I’m just saying: two of the LCS primary described missions are going to be in deeper, not shallower, waters.
It’s the pirate dhows and other nations’ FACs that operate in shallow waterways and near-shore coastal zones. And the pirates are the least threatening.
And the closer to shore lines a shallow draught offers me, the closer I get into range of shore-based defenses, missile systems, artillery, and armored vehicles that an LCS will have difficulty in countering.

In theory the 57mm sounded good and it may become a viable platform in the future however for the time being they should cut the losses and go with the proven 76mm Oto untill the 57mm can be matured.

As for the RAM system, Rip that out and throw in CEA phased array radar system and a VLS system. With the CEA radar system the Aussie Anzacs have proven it to be very decent system better at shooting down incoming missiles then the Aegis on the bigger US ships.

So where does the 57mm requirement come from anyway? Was it just an afterthought that now is a problem?

I imagine that the 57mm was a planned weapon from the get go other wise Austal/GD would have modified the front as needed to take a 76mm Oto etc.

better yet, rig them for unmanned operation and give them to the Marines so they can use them as decoys during an opposed landing for the enemy to shoot up

The Navy hasn’t convinced Congress, or a great many civilians, that the extraordinary tradeoffs in firepower or survivability made for the sake of sprint speed are worthwhile. The Congress doesn’t understand the concept of operations (not that I do either) upon which these tradeoffs are justified. Congress does understand that the modules take far, far longer to swap in and out than the Navy intended, or claimed; that many of the modules are well away from being proven and debugged; that unit prices have doubled; and that the build quality of these ships has been spectacularly bad. The Navy understands this too, although there may be too much pride invested to admit error. And Congress may understand something that the Navy may not: the loss of a warship of this size would be a political catastrophe. The loss of face, the perception of American helplessness that would be engendered by one of these ships being lost, would end American popular willingness to support whatever cause led to the deployment of the ship in the first place. That sense of political risk is probably what did in the “streetfighter” platform in the recent past.

It all comes back to that concept of operations, and I hope someone well familiar with it will step in and discuss same. I don’t think going from 57 mm. to 76mm. begins to address the problem.

The best thing do do now is upgrade the Freedom Class with a 76 mm gun, 30 mm gun, Anti-Ship missiles, the Hellfire for swarm attacks and anti-submarine torpedo’s and let is serve as Surface and Anti-sub package. Take the Independence class upgrade the gun to 76 mm, add the Naval Strike missile for anti-ship or land attack, add mine warfare package and use it for Mine/Anti-mine and small USMC transport ship. Build the sixteen planned of each and then build a new frigate.

We will probably find that the LCS frame cracks under sustained 76mm use or something sad like that. Or it cannot carry as many 76mm rounds as the Navy would like. Or that the 76mm doesn’t give it enough “anti-swarm” defense which is the Navy’s big fetish.

Navy should have returned to naval airships. Hah.


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.