KNDS Shows RAPIDFIRE 40 mm Weapon on 8x8 Truck

KNDS Shows RAPIDFIRE 40 mm Weapon on 8x8 Truck

During Eurosatory 2024, French-German JV KNDS displayed its updated version of the RAPIDFIRE 40 mm autocannon on an 8x8 truck. Janes reported that the 8x8 version is the baseline variant of RAPIDFIRE for naval platforms with minimal design changes. Thales previously exhibited RAPIDFIRE on a 6x6 truck. Ground-based RAPIDFIRE is envisioned as a low-altitude air defence solution, especially against UAVs.

The 8x8 variant of ground-based RAPIDFIRE will be detachable from the Truck entirely, like a container. This can allow for emergency deployment of a RAPIDFIRE unit while the Truck returns to the base to mount a new one. RAPIDFIRE uses a 40 mm CTAS autocannon firing the unique cased telescopic (CT) ammunition. Compared to the 40 mm all-up round used by Bofors autocannons, CT ammunition is more compact in length due to the bullet being buried inside. 

40 mm CT ammunition is offered in APFSDS-T, HE and airburst variants. 40 mm CTAS autocannon can engage targets up to a range of 4000 m with a fire rate of 200 rounds per minute. The turret assembly carries 70 to 120 rounds. During the exhibition, BAE Systems exhibited a similar truck-based solution, Tridon MkII. However, Tridon MkII uses a modified Bofors 40 Mk4 naval gun with an onboard two-axis electro-optical system for target acquisition. While both 40 mm options offer a significant range and lethality advantage, the absence of a target acquisition or searching radar is a flaw, especially under poor visibility. The ammunition load is another concern, even though both weapons will utilise airburst ammunition.