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The RAPIDFire system, developed by a consortium of Thales and Nexter, has been selected by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to equip future ships of the French Navy with new artillery. This system will provide the navy's surface ships with effective close-range defense against modern air and ground threats.

Naval forces are exposed to various threats with complex behaviors, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and land vehicles, light aircraft and missiles. RAPIDFire leverages the combined expertise of Thales and Nexter to meet the defense needs of the armed forces at very short distances. The solution is characterized by a multi-threat (air and ground) and multi-environmental gun system (land and naval forces) of the latest generation, whereby the costs of use are in reasonable proportion to the value of the threats.

Artillery Common

RAPIDFire is a gun system that offers high precision thanks to its optronic fire control system built into the turret, its sophisticated algorithms, its powerful cannon and its automatic ammunition management system, which allows the operator the best responsiveness and efficiency. RAPIDFire includes the new 40mm medium caliber reference cannon developed by CTAI, the international subsidiary of Nexter Systems and BAE Systems, which will equip new armored vehicles in France, the UK and Belgium. The system is compatible with the entire range of ammunition that was developed for the land forces' programs and is predestined for the use of future ammunition such as the intelligent A3B ammunition (Anti Aerial Airburst).

Thales & Nexter Artillerie für französische Überwasserschiffe
Thales & Nexter Artillerie für französische Überwasserschiffe

Nexter and Thales formed a temporary consortium for RAPIDFire as part of a work program and roadmap launched 10 years ago, the program currently under development. When development is complete, the weapon systems will go into production and the first shipment is scheduled for 2022. The project, which was developed using a surface-to-air approach that enables deployment at sea but also from land, also offers an option to prepare for future deployment on land carriers. RAPIDFire, a real joint solution, will thus be a gun system capable of equipping naval, land and air forces.

Jack Richardson