Damen Naval has partnered with Rheinmetall to provide defense systems for the German Navy’s future F126 frigates.

Under the agreement, Rheinmetall will supply eight MLG27-4.0 naval guns. Each vessel will receive two of the systems once delivered.

The contract offers additional MLG27-4.0 systems to be fitted onto two German frigates.

The latest milestone will add to ongoing development for four German frigates at Wolgast, Kiel, and Hamburg. Alongside Damen and Rheinmetall, the program is supported by Blohm+Voss Shipyards and Thales Netherlands.

The first frigate is expected to be delivered in 2028.

“We are extremely pleased to join forces with Rheinmetall on the F126 project for the German Navy,” Damen Naval Managing Director Hein van Ameijden said.

“The broad range of capabilities make their MLG27-4.0 weapon system the right choice for the F126 frigates.”

Rheinmetall’s MLG27-4.0

The MLG27-4.0 is part of Rheinmetall’s remote-controlled, semi-automatic, and stabilized weapons family, “SeaSnake.”

It uses a 27-millimeter revolving gun, the BK-27M, which can be configured for burst mode, single shots, and sustained firing of up to 1,700 rounds per minute. 

Rheinmetall’s MLG27-4.0 defence system. Photo: Damen Naval

Early versions of the MLG27-4.0 are still in service as the second gun of present German F125 frigates.

According to Damen, the next-generation defense system features innovations such as a daylight camera, laser rangefinder, and infrared sensor.

Its new digital architecture enables direct impact with target coordinates in the standard WGS-84 format.

The system can be integrated with current shipboard command systems.

“Our MLG27-4.0 weapon system and basically the entire SeaSnake family, have proven highly effective against asymmetric threats,” explained Roman Köhne, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition.

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“We’re very pleased to be taking part in the ambitious F126 programme and to be supporting Damen Naval in building the frigates.”