German defense group Rheinmetall announced Tuesday that it has formalized an agreement with US defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. to cooperate in the field of precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition.
According to a press release from the group, Rheinmetall Rheinmetall’s South African subsidiary Denel Munition and Northrop Grumman signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement to that effect in February 2021. During this period, the two companies plan to cooperate together to offer technology foresight. of ammunition for the international market, including the United States, to support future artillery operations.
The partnership will primarily focus on achieving an enhanced range 155mm artillery shell equipped with an integrated M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK), as well as developing a new 155mm projectile with an integrated propulsion system improved.
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In service with a number of militaries, the M1156 PGK is an inexpensive and readily available means of improving the accuracy of existing types of artillery ammunition. Combined with Rheinmetall’s V-LAP projectile, which currently achieves the longest maximum range of any conventional artillery shell, the M1156 PGK results in a rapidly available solution, proven in numerous combat operations, for precision guided ammunition long range. The longest range ever achieved by a conventional artillery shell is currently 76 kilometers, achieved in 2019 at the Alkantpan test field with a non-NATO 52 caliber compliant Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU) and RDM 155 mm projectile.
The armed forces of more than twelve nations now use Rheinmetall artillery ammunition at increased range from South Africa. The integration of proven technologies results in a rapid increase in combat capabilities and power. Additionally, other NATO nations and non-JBMOU users can adopt this solution based on Rheinmetall’s existing artillery portfolio.
Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman conducted tests on the V-LAP and PGK bullet variants in South Africa in early 2021 and plan to demonstrate it later at the US Army test field in Yuma, Arizona.