Rheinmetall Denel Munition wins big new 155 mm ammunition orders

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Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has secured two new contracts for its 155 mm Assegai artillery ammunition, worth nearly €60 million or R1.1 billion.

Rheinmetall said in a press release that an international customer has ordered propellant charges worth around €40 million from RDM while another customer, a NATO state, has placed an order with Rheinmetall Denel Munition for 155 mm Assegai ammunition worth €17 million.

“We’re very pleased that two customers – including a NATO member state and a non-NATO country – have again placed their trust in our globally proven Assegai indirect fire technology”, said Jan-Patrick Helmsen, managing director of Rheinmetall Denel Munition. “As a systems maker, we work constantly to improve our cutting-edge technologies so that we can provide our customers’ soldiers with the very best, most reliable solutions possible.”

The latest contracts come on the back of an uptick in business, most likely due to the war in Ukraine. In December 2022, for example, RDM announced a NATO country order for 155 mm Assegai ammunition valued in the “mid three million digit Euro range”. The five year framework contract provides for delivery of 155 mm M2005 V-LAP (velocity enhanced long range artillery projectile) rounds, M92 modular charges and various fuzes.

Jointly owned by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (51%) and Denel, RDM produces a variety of ammunition ranging from 155 mm artillery ammunition to 60, 81, and 120 mm mortars, 40 mm grenades, 76/62 mm naval rounds, aircraft bombs and mine breaching systems. The RDM product range also includes ammunition filling plants for export and missile sub-system manufacture.

Rheinmetall emphasised that back in 2019, it succeeded in setting a new maximum range record in South Africa with the Assegai family and other Group products like the new Extended Range Charge from Rheinmetall’s subsidiary Nitrochemie AG. Thanks to the Assegai system approach – from fuse to projectile to propelling charges – long ranges were attained with various artillery systems. A non-NATO 155mm artillery gun with 52 calibre lengths and a 25-litre propelling charge chamber achieved a record range of 76 kilometres.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition is already working on other future artillery technologies, the company said. For example, the rocket motor in conventional 155 mm Assegai projectiles is being improved. In addition to this, a new development is on the way that will boost the maximum range to over 155 kilometres.

The Assegai family of artillery ammunition can be fired from any NATO STANAG-compatible artillery system, including the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer. Germany has supplied a number of PzH 2000s to Ukraine, which is using them against Russian forces, while Lithuania has supplied ammunition. The system is also in service with Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary, Qatar, and Croatia.