Modular Naval Artillery Concept (MONARC) was an idea for replacing ordinary German Navy ship guns with a Pzh 2000 turret that was initially started mainly for experimental purposes. The idea was based on the thought that since these artillery units could fire on both land and sea targets, they would have been able to do so successfully fitted on a frigate as naval weapons.
According to Rheinmetall the concept was started in the early 2000s by a consortium consisting of Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and Rheinmetall W&M at the HDW wharf in Kiel on the F-124 Sachsen-class frigate Hamburg.
The goal of the project was to make as few changes as possible to an already-integrated weapon system in order to maximize the advantages of low acquisition costs, reliable spare parts availability, and well-developed operator training.
The German Frigate Hamburg armed with the new turret was declared according to sources as a technological triumph and proved to be quite reliable during the testing period.
Through the MONARC project, test firings showed the need to modify the mounted turret so the German Frigate would be able to handle the increased recoil of the Pzh 2000 Turret without damaging the vessel.
The anti-corrosion improvements that were required for the system’s integration into naval warfare proved to be substantially more complex and expensive.
For reasons that remain unclear, the issues that had been raised with this project were never fixed and was scrapped in 2007 after it was originally planned to equip the Baden-Württemberg class frigates and possibly the Sachsen-Class ships.
Sadly the main reason for the German navy’s abandonment of the project seems to be the staggering costs of modifying the Pzh-2000s turret for naval usage.
After the end of the experimental project, the new German frigates were equipped with a larger and more unwieldy Oto Melara 127/64 Lightweight (LW) naval gun system that is now used on the F125 Frigates & is planned to also be fit in the new F126 class frigates of the German Navy.
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GEOPOLITIKI.COM – With Information from open sources & Rheinmetall AG, Düsseldorf
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