A NATO customer has awarded Rheinmetall an order for modern artillery ammunition. The Group’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd., will supply 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. The South African company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd is a cutting-edge maker of ammunition and explosive products, supplying military and civil users in numerous countries around the globe. Rheinmetall Denel Munition is a joint venture co-owned by Rheinmetall (51%) and Denel SOC Ltd of South Africa (49%).
“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,” says Jan-Patrick Helmsen, Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s CEO.
Manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, the tactical modular charges of the Assegai Series are intended to propel artillery shells from 155mm gun systems. The charge system is fine-tuned to the customer’s specific weapon systems and artillery shells for maximum effectiveness. 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 and its South African unit Rheinmetall Denel Munition possess proven expertise in advanced indirect fire systems. At a test fire event held at the Alkantpan test 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. 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.