This follows the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) receiving its first cannon and the CTAI factory now ramping up to full production.
The cannon will be used in the MOD’s next generation armoured vehicles, AJAX and Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), to give the enhanced capability of a 40mm Cased Telescoped Armament System. Even on a single-shift basis, CTAI’s factory in Bourges, France, now has the capability to produce 20 cannon systems per month, allowing CTAI to fulfil both its order for the MOD and allow capacity for other customers’ requirements.
Craig Fennell, Managing Director of CTAI, explained: “Going from concept to full production of an entirely new cannon system – the first new cannon system for the MOD since the 1960s – takes skill, ingenuity and persistence. BAE Systems and Nexter Systems are proud to have made this world-first achievement which offers a unique product to military customers.”
Making components which can withstand firing thousands of high explosive rounds is a challenge most manufacturers don’t have to face. Craig explained: “We’re building a product that has to perform over and over again, in the most intense and challenging environments. It has to function in all temperatures and humidity levels, whilst travelling over rough terrain and under enemy fire.
“Additionally, the cannon has to be safe for those operating it. The vehicle crews will be in a confined space, surrounded by explosive rounds, so the cannon system cannot compromise their safety.”
Cannon production includes frequent quality checks with a Coordinate Measuring Machine checking all components from the supply chain before assembly. Frequent testing throughout the production process culminates in test firing each cannon at the on-site range in Bourges, before it leaves the factory.
This innovative cannon and ammunition system will transform the capabilities of the vehicles that use it, allowing them to engage a greater variety of better protected targets.