Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has been awarded a multi-million euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges from a NATO customer, and began deliveries last month.
Rheinmetall Denel Munition is supplying several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (Base Bleed and V-LAP) as well as M92 Assegai tactical modular charges. Delivery commenced in December 2020 and is to be complete by May 2021. The order is worth around €25 million, Rheinmetall said.
“Thanks to our current product portfolio and new products in the development pipeline, we want to offer customers the full range of possibilities for indirect fire support and maintain our lead in artillery ammunition technology. This applies especially to our new developments in artillery projectiles, which we aim to meet our goal of attaining ranges of over 155 kilometres with. In addition, Rheinmetall Denel Munition is eager to support the troops with our new uni-modular charges, which achieve better performance and simplify the logistics, especially in gun systems with automatic loading,” said Jan-Patrick Helmsen, Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s CEO.
The tactical modular charges of the Assegai series are intended to propel artillery shells from 155 mm gun systems. The charge system is fine-tuned to the customer’s specific weapon systems and artillery shells for maximum effectiveness, RDM said. Their modular design simplifies logistics and makes handling in self-propelled artillery systems easier. They also offer other advantages: Assegai charges reduce barrel wear (RDM’s Barrel Wear Reducer/BWR) and produce lower muzzle flash (RDM’s Muzzle Flash Reducer/MFR); the former results in longer barrel life, the latter makes the artillery system harder for the enemy to detect.
Rheinmetall emphasised its long track record with indirect fire systems and noted that during a test fire event held at the Alkantpan test range in 2019, Rheinmetall and Rheinmetall Denel Munition achieved several new range records for indirect artillery fire with various guns, attaining maximum ranges of up to 76 kilometres.
“This display of technological achievement and capability sparked the interest of artillery users across the globe. Rheinmetall Denel Munition has embarked on a phased development approach, including the continuous improvement in range capability of artillery ammunition. The range demonstration showed the potential of the first phase and reinforces Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s goal of meeting a user-specified range requirement of more than 155 km.”
Jointly owned by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (51%) of Germany and Denel (Pty) Ltd, RDM has a product portfolio encompassing eight key competencies with artillery ammunition at the core. RDM contributes almost 10% (200 million euros) of turnover to the Rheinmetall Group.
RDM in 2020 said it has a lot of demand for artillery ammunition. In April it said it would produce artillery charges worth more than $80 million for an international customer, which ordered several hundred thousand Tactical Modular Charges. Deliveries were set for 2021.
In December last year RDM announced an order for 40 mm grenade and 76 mm gun ammunition from an international client, with deliveries to conclude in 2021.
Rheinmetall Denel Munition is a part of a massive ammunition framework agreement between Rheinmetall and the Dutch armed forces, which could be worth up to €500 million. The framework agreement encompasses the supply of 35 mm medium-calibre ammunition for infantry fighting vehicles, 40 mm ROSY smoke/obscurant cartridges, and a family of 155 mm artillery ammunition – RDM would be responsible for the latter.