Ground Warfare

Rheinmetall Awarded Dutch Procurement Agency Contract for Illumination and Smoke Shells


Rheinmetall has chalked up another success in the artillery domain. DMO, the Dutch procurement agency, has just placed an order with Rheinmetall for illumination and smoke/obscurant shells from Rheinmetall’s ammunition family. The NATO nation will take delivery of the projectiles in mid-2023. Worth a figure in the two-digit million-euro range, the order forms part of a multi-year ammunition framework contract between the Dutch armed forces and Rheinmetall. The contract encompasses the supply of 155mm illumination rounds respectively M1808 Base Bleed and M1809 Boat Tail projectiles as well as the smoke rounds RH1901 Base Bleed und RH1902 Boat Tail. Complementing high explosive shells already fielded by the Dutch military.

The latest Rheinmetall artillery ammunition order underscores the Group’s role as a complete system house for artillery products, capable of supplying weapons and ammunition alike. An international project team from Rheinmetall Denel Munition Ltd of South Africa and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Germany proved this once again during a live fire demonstration a few weeks ago at the Alkantpan proving ground in South Africa. Dutch officials were able to witness online the successful qualification and 40-kilometre range certification from their offices in the Netherlands. Besides the smoke/obscurant and infrared illumination shells, Rheinmetall also presented its new RH141 projectile at Alkantpan. Newly engineered, this insensitive high explosive round is designed to be fired from the L60 howitzer, which is now under development.

Tested and qualified under the most extreme conditions, Rheinmetall’s entire ammunition family delivers above-average performance with respect to safety, reliability, consistency and enhanced range. In the last months, also the 155mm Illumination IR and Smoke/obscurant shells have been successfully qualified. The 155mm Assegai IR illumination shells allow artillery batteries to illuminate the battlefield, enhancing the reconnaissance and detection capabilities of state-of-the-art night observation devices. The 155mm smoke/obscurant projectiles use Rheinmetall smoke/obscurant technology. When fired from the already fielded 155mm L52 howitzer with modular propelling charges already in service, the illumination and smoke/obscurant projectiles attain a range of 40 kilometres. Using the special top charge increases the range by a further 15 percent.

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