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Land Warfare

Rheinmetall and Northrop kick off ten-year strategic partnership

19th April 2021 - 14:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have already tested variants of the Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile in South Africa. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall of Germany and US-based Northrop Grumman aim to offer ‘forward-looking ammunition technology’ to the international market.

Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman on 19 April formalised a ten-year strategic partnership for precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition.

The agreement was originally announced in February 2021.

The two companies announced they will cooperate ‘to offer forward-looking ammunition technology to the international market, including the United States, to support future artillery operations’.

Above all, the Rheinmetall-Northrop Grumman partnership focuses on creating an enhanced-range 155mm artillery round fitted with an integrated M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK) from Northrop, as well as on developing a new 155mm projectile with an improved integrated propulsion system.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the PGK reduces normal artillery dispersion from over 200m to less than 30m. Rheinmetall described the M1156 PGK as an ‘inexpensive, immediately available means of enhancing the accuracy of existing types of artillery ammunition’.

It added: ‘In combination with Rheinmetall’s V-LAP [Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile]…  which currently achieves the longest maximum range [76km] of any conventional artillery projectile, the M1156 PGK results in a swiftly available solution, proven in numerous combat operations, for long-range precision-guided munitions.’

Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have already tested V-LAP projectile variants and the PGK in South Africa early in 2021, and the two companies aim to demonstrate it to the US Army at the Yuma Proving Grounds.

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