Three of Rheinmetall’s artillery projectiles have set new distance records during a test fire event at the Alkantpan Test Range in South Africa, on November 6.
“During the event, three new maximum effective range records were set using various guns. A G6 howitzer with a 52-calibre gun achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional 155mm artillery round: 76 kilometres, while the 52-calibre gun of PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer lobbed a shell 67 kilometres. Finally, a field howitzer with a 39-calibre gun attained a range of 54 kilometres,” Rheinmetall said in a statement Wednesday.
The PzH 2000 artillery system is capable of attaining high rates of fire specified in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU). Developed and manufactured by Denel Land Systems, the G6 used at the live fire event was a new version designed to attain greater ranges in line with non-JBMoU standards, the company said.
Rheinmetall showcased the Assegai V-LAP shell with improvement in its performance with respect both to propulsion and range when fired from 39- and 52-calibre guns. Coupled with technologies from Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and Nitrochemie, Rheinmetall Denel Munition artillery shells exceed previous maximum effective ranges when fired from any conventional 155mm artillery system currently in use, Düsseldorf-based firm claimed.
The maximum range of over 76 km was achieved with a non-JBMoU-compliant gun. This gun served as evidence of the feasibility of a new howitzer with a range of 83 km.
Working in close cooperation with the German procurement authorities, Rheinmetall plans to develop and manufacture a new 155mm gun of this type, which will feature a significantly larger chamber and a longer, 60-calibre barrel. The gun should be able to fire existing JBMoU-compliant rounds as well as new ammunition families.
On the one hand, these new ammunition types will be optimized with respect to stresses occurring in the new gun, but will also be able to be fired from legacy JBMoU-compliant guns. Here, 83 kilometres serves as the benchmark, since the course correction fuse necessary for precision at these ranges reduces the attainable range by approximately ten percent. This means that the maximum effective range of 75 kilometres specified by the German procurement authorities is attainable.
Rheinmetall Norway’s 120mm Ragnarok motor system and ammunition from RDM round out the Group’s indirect fire profile. This combination enables friendly forces to quickly evade counterbattery fire, the company said.