27 mm MLG 27 Light Naval Gun System
Updated 09 August 2009
This is the navalized version of the 27 mm BK 27 aircraft gun used on the Tornado and Gripen fighter aircraft.  Fire control is provided by a system from STN Atlas Elektronik with target tracking, fire control computation as well as gun control performed from a remote operator console.  Sensors include a thermal imager, TV camera, laser range finder and automatic target tracking system with a video tracker.

This weapon was designed by Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH, a Rheinmetall DeTec subsidiary, to replace older 20 mm and 40 mm guns and the mounting does not require deck penetration.  Can be operated remotely or locally with a joystick.  83 of these weapons have been ordered by the German Navy.

This weapon is a gas-operated automatic revolver cannon.  Can be assembled for either left- or right-hand feed, and uses linkless ammunition with a case recovery system.


27 mm MLG 27
Photograph copyrighted by Rheinmetall AG


Gun Control System
Photograph copyrighted by Rheinmetall AG


Muzzle View
Photograph copyrighted by Rheinmetall AG


Aircraft HE rounds
The Naval FAPDS round in similar in size

Gun Characteristics
Designation 27 mm MLG 27 Light Naval Gun System
Ship Class Used On 122, 123 and 124-class frigates, 332 and 333-class minehunters and minesweepers, 352-class mine countermeasures ships, 404-class tenders and 702-class supply ships
Planned for K 130 corvette class
Date Of Design about 1990 (Original aircraft design)
Date In Service 2003 (Navalized Version)
Gun Weight 37.5 lbs. (17kg)
Gun Length oa 91 in (2.310 m)
Bore Length N/A
Rifling Length N/A
Number Of Grooves N/A
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume N/A
Rate Of Fire 1,700 +/-100 rpm cyclic, lower training rates possible
Type Fixed
Weight of Complete Round FAPDS - 1.14 lbs. (0.516 kg)
Projectile Types and Weights FAPDS - 0.57 lbs. (0.260 kg)
Bursting Charge
(see Note 1)
None (Frangible Bullet)
Projectile Length FAPDS - 4.53 in (11.5 cm)
Complete Round - 9.6 in (24.3 cm)
Propellant Charge N/A
Cartridge 27 x 145 mm
Muzzle Velocity 3,600 fps (1,100 mps)
Working Pressure N/A
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun 90 rounds on mount

1) The Frangible Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (FAPDS) round is used only with the Naval mount and consists of a brittle tungsten alloy penetrator ejection molded in a plastic sabot with a integral plastic band.  The penetrator is designed to fragment even at low impact angles against thin plates.  After the penetrator has punched through the outer shell of a hard or soft target (including those made of composite materials), the round disintegrates into fragments, which then progressively break up into a cascade of ever-smaller particles.  The result is a high-energy cloud of fragments intended to cause severe damage to the interior of the target.

2) Aircraft use HE and HE-SD ammunition.

Against small, highly agile surface targets, helicopters and sub-sonic aircraft 2,730 yards (2,500 m) effective
Against on-shore targets and warships 4,370 yards (4,000 m) max
Mount / Turret Data
Designation Single Mount MLG 27
Weight  1,874 lbs. (850 kg)
Elevation  -15 / +60 degrees
Elevation Rate N/A
Train -170 / +170 degrees
Train Rate N/A
Gun recoil N/A

1) This mounting features a Gyro system which is LOS (Line of Sight) stabilized in two axes and powered by brushless servo-motors.

2) Although this weapon does not require deck penetration, it does require an 115 Vac @ 60 Hz electric supply.

Data from
"Jane's Ammunition Handbook:  Ninth Edition 2000-2001" edited by Terry J. Gander and Charles Q. Cutshaw
Mauser-Oerlikon Press Releases
Rheinmetall AG Press Releases
Page History

21 May 2006 - Benchmark
09 August 2009 - Added projectile sketch
19 May 2012 - Updated to latest template