aimed light cannon of up to 40mm calibre, with improved weapons, ammunition and mountings. These are normally intended for low-intensity 'police* work, when the use of major cannon or missiles might be inappropriate, although they may also have a backup A A role in an emergency, depending on the sophistication of their mountings and sighting arrangements.

The second strand is the introduction of remotely controlled and usually radar-directed light cannon specifically intended for anti-aircraft use, with the more sophisticated versions also being intended to destroy anti-ship missiles in flight. Missiles are much more difficult targets than aircraft due to their small size, high speed and low-level approach path.

The third strand is the extension of automatic loading to all naval guns, whatever their calibre. New guns of up to 3" (76mm) have been primarily intended for the AA role with a secondary capability against small craft, with 4-5" guns being all-purpose weapons and 6-8" guns intended for surface action, including shore bombardment. These larger calibres do not strictly concern us here but mention will be made of them for comparative purposes.

Describing the development of these weapons in a coherent way is difficult because of the modern tendency for several different guns, often of different nationalities, being developed to use each cartridge, and of many different mountings, also of various nationalities, being designed for any given gun. To make matters even more complicated, mountings are often offered with different types of gun. The emphasis in this section will therefore be placed on the major strands described above, with comments on the choices made by different navies.

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