Armscor looking into new 20 mm gun for SA Navy


Armscor has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new 20 mm close range gun for the South African Navy.

The RFI, issued on 13 June, “is investigative in nature only” and is to obtain technical information of potential solutions to satisfy requirements.

Armscor said “the current 20 mm close range gun capability consists of the 20 mm weapon, mount and additional target acquisition equipment such as sights. The 20 mm gun capability is a man-turreted system whereby it can be mounted on a fixed naval platform. The system must be capable of engaging accurately surface targets at 2 000 metres and air targets at 1 500 metres. The ammunition is the Practice and High Explosive rounds that are possible anti-aircraft fused.”

The RFI calls for a description of a new weapon and mount, target acquisition system, specifications and types of ammunition as well as logistics requirements and capabilities (including potential anti-drone and anti-missile capabilities).

“The 20 mm close range gun shall be of a qualified design based on proven building blocks which are already successfully in service with other clients with no technical risk.”

Responses are expected within 42 days of the RFI being issued.

Several South African Navy platforms use 20 mm cannons, including the refurbished strike craft/offshore patrol vessels (which are each fitted with two 20 mm guns as well as a 76 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machineguns), the Valour class frigates (two 20 mm guns each), the resupply vessel SAS Drakensberg (four 20 mm guns) and the River class minehunters (one 20 mm gun). These are all Oerlikon weapons.

The Navy needs new 20 mm weapons for the three inshore patrol vessels (IPVs) that are currently under construction by Damen Shipyards Cape Town. Reutech has been contracted to supply Super Sea Rogue turrets, as well as machinegun turrets and radars, for the three IPVs and the hydrographic survey vessel being acquired under Projects Biro and Hotel.

Reutech will supply three 20 mm Super Sea Rogue turrets for the three inshore patrol vessels and four 12.7 mm turrets for the hydrographic survey vessel being acquired from Southern African Shipyards under Project Hotel. The machinegun turrets will be the same as those already fitted to the SA Navy’s four Valour class frigates.