The Canadian Forces have awarded Rheinmetall an important follow-on contract. The Canadian Navy plans to expand the MASS countermeasure systems installed on its Halifax-class frigates. The order is worth about CAD20 million (Euro 12 million). MASS (Multi Ammunition Softkill System) is an automated decoy system that protects surface combatants from advanced anti-ship missiles.
Scheduled to run for four years (2018-2022), the project will be carried out in close cooperation between Rheinmetall’s Fronau plant in Bavaria and Rheinmetall Canada Inc. in Québec. The Canadian procurement authorities have given a green light to the project, with Euro 6 million each to go to Fronau and Rheinmetall Canada.
During the course of the upgrade, the twin-launcher systems already installed on Canada’s Halifax-class frigates will be transformed into triple launcher systems. The necessary subassemblies and individual parts for the MASS systems will first be shipped to Rheinmetall Canada where they will be assembled and commissioned prior to being installed onboard.
Back in 2009, Canada contracted with Rheinmetall to equip its 12 Halifax-class frigates with MASS. The Canadian forces also ordered the accompanying Omnitrap and MASS-Dueras decoy ammunition from Rheinmetall.
MASS – and the accompanying special ammunition – is a decoy-launching system developed at Rheinmetall’s Fronau plant, specifically designed to counter the threat from anti-ship missiles. It can be installed in surface combatants of all types, integrated into existing command and weapon engagement systems or operated as a standalone system. The navies of 13 nations now deploy a total of 224 MASS launchers to protect their ships primarily from radar-guided anti-ship missiles but also from infrared threats and rocket-propelled grenades in asymmetric threat scenarios.