Denel PMP recently demonstrated a range of ammunition manufactured by Norwegian company Nammo at the Murray Hill South African Special Forces range as part of efforts to market Nammo products in South Africa.
Besides Denel PMP having a collaboration agreement with Nammo for distributing Nammo products, it also has the capability of Lapping (loading and packaging) certain Nammo products utilising selected locally manufactured Denel PMP components (i.e. cartridge cases and primers).
Carel van der Merwe, Executive Manager R&D and Innovation at PMP, told defenceWeb that the demonstration was held on 11 May in the presence of representatives from the South African Army, South Africa Police Service, Denel and Armscor. The local military is the key market PMP is aiming at.
Although PMP can offer the whole Nammo ammunition range, products it demonstrated were 7.62 mm armour piercing (AP) rounds, 12.7 mm multipurpose rounds, 20×139 mm multipurpose rounds and M72 LAW 66 mm shoulder unguided anti-tank rockets.
PMP and Nammo first agreed to collaborate on ammunition three years ago, particularly regarding Nammo ammunition in calibres and types PMP does not produce, such as 7.62 mm armour piercing. Nammo, via PMP, had previously sold some of the latter type to South Africa’s Special Forces. Under the terms of the agreement, PMP can only sell Nammo ammunition in South Africa.
Van der Merwe told defenceWeb that PMP is acquiring the Nammo 30×173 mm armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS) round for local production as it does not make this type. Local production may involve buying components from Nammo and doing things like loading and packaging locally.
The Nammo cooperation agreement is one of several PMP has established with foreign companies. For example, it has evaluated some polymer cartridges from US company PolyCase, has agreements with Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and explored cooperation with Brugger and Thomet of Switzerland, particularly with regarding to a suppressor for the Inkunzi Personal Area Weapon, and less lethal ammunition.
At the moment PMP is producing 30×173 mm ammunition for the 30 mm GI30 CamGun of the Badger infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) being built for the South African Army. Three different types are being produced, namely PRAC-T, APCI-T and SAPHEI-T. van der Merwe said production may be expanded to HEI in the future. Although the 30×173 mm ammunition has been demonstrated to Malaysia, production at the moment is only for the South African Army.
In the coming months PMP will know if it is has been selected to produce 27×145 mm ammunition for the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter jets. At the moment the ammunition is only made in Germany by Rheinmetall. The South African Air Force is examining a feasibility study at present to determine the most cost effective production route.
PMP is once again preparing to produce Russian calibre ammunition. Van der Merwe said that production of 7.62×39 mm and 23×152 mm ammunition for the for ZSU gun series is 80% finalised. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has ordered these types of ammunition for the Russian weapons it has in service.
Apart from producing ammunition for the SANDF, PMP disposes of old and expired ammunition and received a new contract several months ago in this regard. According to Van der Merwe, PMP is also looking at clients in Africa that need to dispose of ammunition but don’t have the ability or capability. PMP is exploring a mobile solution that can be taken directly into a client country as this would be cheaper than transporting the expired ammunition.
PMP is responsible for ejection seat cartridges for the South African Air Force’s Hawk and Gripen jets, but is also fulfilling export orders for these cartridge that are keeping the company busy.