Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have formalized an agreement to develop precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition.
Rheinmetall’s South African subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition and Northrop Grumman signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement to this effect in February 2021. During this period, the two companies plan to cooperate together in order to offer forward-looking ammunition technology to the international market, including the United States, to support future artillery operations.
The partnership will focus, above all, on achieving an enhanced range 155mm artillery round fitted with an integrated M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK), as well as on developing a new 155mm projectile with an improved integrated propulsion system.
Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have conducted testing of the V-LAP projectile variants and PGK in South Africa early in 2021, and are intending to demonstrate it later at the U.S. Army proving ground in Yuma, Arizona.
In service with a number of armed forces, the M1156 PGK is an inexpensive, immediately available means of enhancing the accuracy of existing types of artillery ammunition. The longest range ever attained by a conventional artillery projectile currently stands at 76 kilometres, achieved in 2019 at the Alkantpan test range with a non-NATO Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU)-conforming 52-calibre gun and RDM 155mm projectile.
The armed forces of more than twelve nations now use enhanced range Rheinmetall artillery ammunition from South Africa. Furthermore, other NATO nations and non-JBMOU users can adopt this solution based on Rheinmetall’s existing artillery portfolio.