The Royal Netherlands Navy’s (Koninklijke Marine) four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates are to be refitted with a 127/64 LW Vulcano 127 mm medium-calibre naval gun system supplied by Leonardo (formerly Oto Melara). All four frigates are currently equipped with the earlier Oto Melara 127/54 Compact gun, all of which were acquired second-hand from Canada after being removed from Tribal-class destroyers. The current ammunition handling system is not compliant with modern working practices. Oto Melara 127/54 Compact gun have now exceeded their 30-year design life and are increasingly unreliable and difficult to support.
The OTO 127/64 LW – Vulcano is a state-of-the-art medium calibre gun suitable for installation on large and medium size ships and intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The compactness of the gun feeding system makes installation possible on narrow section vessels. It is equipped with a modular feeding magazine, composed by 4 drums with 14 ready to fire ammunition each, reloadable during firing, and highly flexible in terms of selection of ammunition, independently from their position in the drums. Ammunition flow is reversible as rounds can be downloaded automatically.
Vulcano 127mm ammunition is conceived to give the 127/54 C and the 127/64 LW Naval Guns the capability to meet any present and future requirement for Precision Naval Fire Support and Long Range engagement of Surface Targets. Vulcano 127mm BER maintains the anti-air role as well. VULCANO 127mm rounds capitalize on new and emerging technology based upon a fin stabilized airframe with canard control for terminal guidance; mechanical interfaces are the same as standard 127mm ammunition. All the systems needed to operate Vulcano 127mm ammunition are integrated into the 127/64 LW Control Console and no mechanical modification to the 127/64 LW gun is required.
De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates are highly advanced air-defence and command frigates in service with the Royal Navy of the Royal Netherlands Navy. This class of ships is also known as LCF (Luchtverdedigings- en commandofregat, air defense and command frigate). The ships are similar to the German Sachsen-class frigates in role and mission. The primary antiaircraft weapons are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the area defence RIM-66 Standard Missile (SM-2) Block IIIA. The Mk 41 Vertical Launch System is used to house and launch these missiles. 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and 32 Standard Missile SM-2 Block IIIA are carried.