With the Multi Role Support Ship, the British and Dutch design the assault helicopter-carrying cruiser

Last June, the British and Dutch announced that they had committed to jointly developing the Multi Role Support Ship. Halfway between the LPD assault helicopter carrier and the large logistics support ship, the MRSS was then presented as a building close to certain existing classes, like the San Antonio of the US Navy or the Chinese Type 71.

On the occasion of the DSEI show which has just opened its doors in the London suburbs, a new visual, in the main illustration, of the ship has been presented by Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

However, this differs radically first visuals released last June, and reveals a new approach for ships. At first glance, the ship looks like an assault helicopter carrier of which many exist.

The Multi Role Support Ship much better armed than the LPDs

We see, in fact, that the armament of the ship is much more substantial than on classic LPDs. Thus, in addition to an imposing naval gun at the front, probably 5 inches (127 mm), the ship is protected by two smaller caliber artillery systems on the bridge and the roof of the aircraft hangar.

Sea Ceptor CAMM-ER Quadpack
The Sea Ceptor system and the CAMM-ER missile were designed to allow the integration of four missiles per vertical silo, as for the American Mk41 VLS.

Given the size of the turrets, it is likely that these are medium caliber guns, between 40 and 57 mm, specialized in close-in anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense.

With such a caliber, the ship simultaneously has powerful anti-missile CIWS (Close-incoming Weapon System) systems as well as close self-defense capabilities against aircraft, drones and naval craft.

16 vertical silos and 8 anti-ship missiles

A system of 16 vertical silos appears behind the main artillery piece. These are most likely missiles intended for the ship's anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense, such as the CAMM-ER or the ESSM, both capable of carrying four missiles per silo with the Mk41 system.

Each ship would then have 64 short and medium range anti-aircraft missiles, capable of intercepting supersonic targets up to 50 km away, to protect itself, while its naval artillery will provide a second defensive curtain.

In other words, where modern assault ships often fail in their self-defense capabilities, the Multi Role Support Ship seems particularly well equipped in this area.

Harpoon missile Fleet assault | Defense Analysis | Amphibious assault
The four-crossed containers seen in the main illustration of the MRSS are typical of the classic layout of heavy anti-ship missiles like the Harpoon, NSM or MM40.

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