On 2 March 2020, the Federal Office responsible for the Bundeswehr equipment procurement (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) just issued a contract for seven systems of the Nexter P20 cannon from France. The P20 is an entry-level manual solution that provides the explosive and armour-piercing power of the 20 mm calibre. Two complementary consultations are expected in the near future: a call for tender for 20×102 ammunition and a second contract by 2021-2022 for additional P20 guns for the German Special Forces.
This contract is a major first for Nexter, as it is the first equipment contract for the Bundeswehr signed by the group. In this campaign, Nexter has benefited from the invaluable assistance of Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann (KMW), its partner in KNDS, which was able to accompany the Nexter teams in charge of the offer throughout the public consultation and negotiations. In 2015, Nexter and Krauss-Maffei merged under a single structure. The new KNDS (KMW+Nexter Defense Systems) will be the European leader of terrestrial defense with more than 6,000 employees. The supervisory board appointed the new CEO of Nexter Systems, Stéphane Mayer, and the chairman of the executive board of KMW, Frank Haun, as CEOs of the holding company.
The Nexter P20 cannon is a pintle-mounted system equipped with in caliber 20×102 mm cannon, which can be used to arm all types of light 4×4 vehicles. It is perfectly suited to ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missions of close fire support, urban combat, protection, self-defense or intimidation. This assembly uses the 20M621 gas operated gun conceived by Nexter’s teams in Bourges, renowned for its ease of use and maintenance, and fires 20×102 ammunition to NATO or M50 standards. In this case, the intention is to mount it as an onboard armament for some of Germany’s armored vehicles.
The main advantage of this weapon is its capacity to hit targets up to 2,000 m, using explosive ammunition. The Nexter P20 cannon, with their guaranteed low integration stresses (weight and recoil forces) enable a pintle-mounted fit to the ring mount of the vehicle roof or to the structure. The installation and removal of mounts are fast, easy, require no special tooling, and can be performed in the field. The CP 20 mount can be fitted to a tripod on the ground. The complete system including ammunition weighs 167 kg. The gun is provided with 100 rounds of NATO-standard 20 × 102 ammunition. It has an average firing rate of 750 rds/min.