Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) will manufacture and supply artillery ammunition for the Hungarian military as part of a comprehensive ammunition deal awarded to Germany’s Rheinmetall Group that is worth several hundred million euros.
The order, announced by Rheinmetall on 30 March, encompasses ammunition for infantry fighting vehicles, main battle tanks, artillery, and decoy systems. Deliveries will start in 2023 and are to be complete by 2031. Most of the ammunition will be manufactured in Hungary, but the artillery rounds will be manufactured in South Africa by RDM.
The package includes three variants of 30×173 mm ammunition; 120 mm tank ammunition; and 155 mm artillery shells, including propelling charges and fuzes. Also on order are 40 mm and 76 mm decoy cartridges for the Rosy and Maske smoke/obscurant systems, plus 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm machinegun ammunition.
“We are extremely honoured that Hungary has once again entrusted us with the task of modernising its military”, declared Rheinmetall chief executive Armin Papperger. “We’re delighted to be cooperating with our Hungarian friends in another key military capability.”
Rheinmetall said the new order makes it one of the Hungarian military’s top ammunition suppliers as the Rheinmetall Group will be supplying ammunition for Hungary’s three main ground combat systems: the Leopard 2A7+ main battle tank, the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer and the new Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Hungary set the process of modernizing its army into motion in 2020 when it ordered 218 Lynx infantry fighting vehicles from Rheinmetall to replace ageing Soviet-era systems.
The Rheinmetall Group’s portfolio ranges from infantry and medium-calibre ammunition to tank cartridges and mortar and artillery shells, including propelling charges and decoy cartridges.
Rheinmetall Denel Munition produces a wide variety of ammunition such as the 105 and 155 mm artillery shells, 60, 81 and 120 mm mortars, 40 mm grenades and 76/62 mm shells, and mine breaching systems. RDM also builds ammunition filling plants for export and manufactures missile subsystems.
RDM is the sole supplier to the South African National Defence Force of large calibre artillery munitions, aircraft bombs, and naval ammunition as well as various mortars. It has been awarded numerous international 155 mm contracts in recent years, including from Australia and several unnamed international and NATO customers.
In November 2021 Rheinmetall received an order for illumination and smoke/obscurant shells from the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation as part of a massive ammunition framework agreement between Rheinmetall and the Dutch armed forces, which could be worth up to 500 million euros. RDM is responsible for some of the rounds, with Rheinmetall in Germany manufacturing the smoke boat tail and base bleed ammunition.
RDM said its record-setting artillery rounds have sparked interest across the globe – at a test fire event held at the Alkantpan range in South Africa 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.