Naval forces are exposed to several threats with complex behaviors, such as unmanned air andsurface vehicles, light aircraft and missiles. RAPIDFire leverages the combined expertise of Thalesand Nexter to meet the very short-range defense requirements of the armed forces. The solutionfeatures a latest-generation multi-threat (air and surface), multi-environment (land and naval) gunsystem, with a cost of engagement commensurate with the value of the threats.
RAPIDFire is a gun system that offers high precision thanks to its optronic fire control systemintegrated onto the turret, its advanced algorithms, powerful gun and automatic ammunitionmanagement system allowing the best reactivity and efficiency for the operator. RAPIDFireincorporates the new reference medium caliber 40 mm gun developed by CTAI, the internationalsubsidiary of Nexter Systems and BAE Systems, which equipped new armored vehicles in France,UK and Belgium. The system is compatible with the full range of ammunitions developed for landforces programs and is predisposed to the use of future ammunition as the smart Anti AerialAirburst (A3B) round.
Nexter and Thales formed a temporary consortium for RAPIDFire as part of a work program and roadmap put in place 10 years ago. The program is currently in the development phase. When development is complete, the weapon systems will enter production, and the first delivery is scheduled for 2022. Developed in a surface-to-air approach allowing use at sea but also from land, the project also provides an option to prepare for future use on land carriers. RAPIDFire, a true joint solution, will thus be a gun system capable of equipping naval, land and air forces.
“We’re delighted to be supporting the French Navy as it enhances the self-defense capabilities of its warships. With its combination of fast-into-action time and firing accuracy, RAPIDFire, developed in cooperation with Nexter, provides the best response for protecting Navy vessels against modern threats. It has the potential to become a key component of our offering of advanced force protection solutions,” said Thomas Got, Vice-President Integrated Airspace-protection Systems, Thales.
“The 40 CTA has unrivalled power and compactness, making it a gun system that is particularly suitable for protecting surface vessels. With RAPIDFire, Nexter is delighted to extend the CTA40’s range of use in cooperation with Thales and the French Navy,” said Michel Vatrey, Systems and Programs Director, Nexter.
Nexter, the leading French land defense company and third-largest European player in the ammunition sector, is part of the KNDS Group. The scope of its business includes the supply of weapon systems and munitions for air and naval forces. Nexter also provides systems and protection solutions in the field of homeland security. The company continues its international development policy with 69% of order intake in 2019 destined for export markets. In France, Nexter is fully committed to meeting the objectives of the SCORPION program, through the upgrade of the Leclerc tank and the development of the VBMR Griffon and EBRC Jaguar vehicles within the temporary consortium between Nexter, Thales and Arquus, as well as the VBMR-L Serval.
The company’s product range also includes the VBCI, ARAVIS® and TITUS® armored vehicles, the CAESAR®, TRAJAN® and 105LG1 artillery systems, smart munitions (BONUS), wide- ranging equipment and customer service, support and revaluation.
Nexter’s 2019 turnover amounted to €1.1 billion, of which 16% is allocated to Research and Development activities.
Thales is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations - connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies. The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers – businesses, organizations and states – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process.
With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months).