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Successful firing of Oerlikon Millennium during trials of the Royal Danish Navy's first Absalon-class flexible combat support ship, HDMS Absalon


Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm naval gun systems successfully engaged surface and air targets during live-fire trials aboard HDMS Absalon, the Royal Danish Navy's first Absalon-class flexible combat support ship. The trials took place during the first and third weeks of November.

The test firings formed part of sea trials and Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) off the Danish coast. Practice ammunition and Oerlikon Ahead ammunition – like the guns, both made by Rheinmetall subsidiary Oerlikon Contraves – were used to engage both air and surface targets. Danish personnel operated the guns, having already received operation and maintenance training during summer 2007. According to DALO (Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization), the firings with the two Oerlikon Millennium guns were successful and its SAT was completed during the third November week.

The HDMS Absalon is equipped with two Millennium guns, one forward and one aft. The Royal Danish Navy is the launch customer for series production of the Oerlikon Millennium naval gun system, having ordered six guns in 2004 with an option for a further four. Production for further customers is also underway. Absalon-class final SAT for the Millennium guns and the 127 mm gun is planned for week 13 or 14 in 2008.

The Royal Danish Navy decided to equip its Absalon-class ships and patrol vessels with Millennium because of Oerlikon's state-of-the-art Ahead ammunition and revolver gun technology, both of which assure an outstanding multi-mission capability. The Oerlikon Ahead principle – a proprietary development of Oerlikon Contraves – significantly increases the probability of hits, aided by a high rate of fire. The Millennium can fire 1,000 rounds per minute, with each round containing 152 tungsten sub-projectiles. This advanced ammunition, combined with sustained firepower and high precision, enables numerous engagements at extended ranges before reloading.

Taken together, these make Oerlikon Millennium ideal for the following roles:

* air defence against missiles at distances three to four times greater than conventional close-in weapon systems (CIWS);

* anti-surface warfare, fulfilling US Navy requirements against Fast Incoming Attack Crafts (FIAC) threats;

* naval gunfire support: the effect of Oerlikon Ahead ammunition on infantry and lightly armoured targets enable highly effective suppression of enemy fire during operations to extract friendly personnel.


Rheinmetall AG
Corporate Sector Defence
Press and Information
Oliver Hoffmann
Rheinmetall Platz 1
40476 Düsseldorf
Phone: +49 211 473-4748
Fax: +49 211 473-4157

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