LWI - Land Warfare

Rheinmetall showcases indirect fire capabilities

2nd December 2019 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Rheinmetall has taken part in a demonstration in South Africa to showcase its indirect fire capabilities, the company announced on 27 November.

The test fire event, held at the Alkantpan Test Range in South Africa, saw Rheinmetall demonstrate how new technologies can be used to boost the performance of systems that are already in use; including systems which meet the NATO standards set out in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) as well as non-JBMoU systems. The event was hosted by German-South African joint venture Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM).

Rheinmetall Waffe and Munition demonstrated the self-propelled howitzer PzH 2000’s main armament. Developed and manufactured by Denel Land Systems, the G6 used was a new version designed to attain greater ranges in line with non-JBMoU standards.

The company set three new maximum effective range records during the event. A G6 howitzer with a 52 cal. gun achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional 155mm artillery round (76km); while the 52 cal. gun of PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer lobbed a shell 67km. A field howitzer with a 39 cal. gun attained a range of 54km.

The maximum range of over 76km was achieved with a non-JBMoU-compliant gun. This gun served as evidence of the feasibility of a new howitzer with a range of 83km. Rheinmetall plans to develop and manufacture a new 155mm gun of this type, which will feature a significantly larger chamber and a longer, 60 cal. barrel. The gun will be designed to fire existing JBMoU-compliant rounds as well as new ammunition families.

Jan-Patrick Helmsen, managing director, RDM, said: ‘Our goal is to be a true partner to the military. That’s why transparent cooperation and trust are so important to us.

‘Tube artillery can provide defensive and offensive fire support. It’s cheaper and faster than rockets or air support, can operate around the clock, and engage targets with great precision using indirect fire anywhere within its range. Of course, range has proved to be a limiting factor in recent years, giving rise to the need for increased operational reach.’

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