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Archive for the ‘Munitions’ Category

Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions Triumphs on National Stage

Monday, September 25th, 2023

Defence manufacturer Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions’ Queensland artillery shell factory has won a major industry award.

RNM, a joint venture between Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions GmbH and Australian-owned NIOA, has been named Manufacturer of the Year at the Australian Defence Industry Awards.

RNM was also a finalist in the Exporter of the Year category, having despatched its first consignment of ammunition to Germany earlier this year.

The $90m Maryborough facility is the most advanced large calibre artillery plant of its kind in the world specialising in the 155mm projectiles which are fired out of the M777 Howitzer cannons.

At full rate production, the plant will have a workforce of up to 100 with the ability to produce up to 100,000 projectiles a year supplying the Australian Defence Force as well as allied export markets.

More than 800 people attended the black-tie Defence Connect dinner at the National Convention Centre in Canberra last Thursday night (Eds: September 21) with 144 finalists competing for honours in 29 categories across defence primes, SMEs and individuals including executives, scientists, technicians and marketers.

Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions General Manager Jeff Crabtree with the award for 2023 Defence Manufacturer of the Year; and a technician at the Maryborough-based factory works on an artillery shell which RNM is producing for the ADF and allied nations.

RNM General Manager Jeff Crabtree said the prestigious accolade recognised RNM’s role as an emerging player in the defence sector.

“We are incredibly proud,” he said. “This is recognition of an Australian-first munitions manufacturing capability, allowing regional Queensland to become an important player in the global munitions supply network.”

Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions CEO and RNM Chairman Roman Koehne said: “We congratulate Jeff and the team in Maryborough. RNM is a great example of an advanced manufacturing business that is playing a valuable role in building Australia’s defence industrial base.”

NIOA Group CEO and RNM Deputy Chairman Rob Nioa said the award acknowledged the company’s commitment to supporting defence industrial capability and skilled regional jobs, as well as its pivotal role in building national resilience.

“Before the establishment of the RNM facility there was no capability in Australia to forge 155mm or other large calibre shells,” he said.  “The RNM forge has created a completely new skillset in the Australian defence industry.”

RNM has been held up as a “model example” of a genuine commitment and collaborative approach between various levels of government and industry to fast-track sovereign capability.

It was built within two years and had multi-level government backing with a $28.5m injection from the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund on top of $7.5m from the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and support from the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Saab Secures U.S. AT4 and Carl-Gustaf Ammunition Order

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has expanded a current framework agreement with Saab for AT4 systems and Carl-Gustaf® ammunition. A new order has also been signed valued at USD 104.9 million with deliveries during 2024-2026.

The Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) framework agreement was originally signed in 2019. The extension will allow the U.S. customer to place orders of Saab’s world-leading close combat solutions for up to an additional USD 422 million.

The new order within the framework agreement includes AT4CS RS systems and the latest high explosive round for Carl-Gustaf Weapon System, HE 448, designated as HE 441E in the U.S. This latest order will support the U.S. Army, U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Saab’s shoulder-launched weapons and munitions are unmatched for their effectiveness against a wide range of tactical targets and dramatically improve the survivability of warfighters,” said Erik Smith, President and CEO of Saab in the U.S. “The DoD’s expanded commitment to our close combat solutions validates Saab’s focus on delivering innovative, advanced products that can evolve to meet the long-term needs of our partners. We’re incredibly proud that the U.S. Armed Forces has extended our partnership for close combat systems, which will now exceed four decades and endure for years to come.”

“We are proud that our combat solutions are making a difference for our customers. The expansion of the framework agreement further strengthens our position as a trusted U.S. partner and ensures the armed forces can use AT4CS RS and Carl-Gustaf for years to come,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.

The AT4CS RS is a man-portable and fully disposable anti-armor system that provides the U.S. Armed Forces with a proven, flexible Shoulder-Launched Munition (SLM).  Beginning with the U.S. Army in 1985, Saab has delivered more than 700,000 AT4 systems in the U.S.  Fifteen countries around the world currently deploy the AT4CS RS and or its variants.

The Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle is a Multi-purpose Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) that offers warfighters a highly flexible, single-weapon system for any combat situation on the modern battlefield. The Carl-Gustaf M4 is compatible with advanced fire control devices and specialized ammunition, such as the HE 448 (designated as HE 441E in the U.S), which provides increased efficiency and greater accuracy. The multi-role fuse on HE 448 (designated as HE 441E in the U.S) can be used in impact mode to destroy soft-skinned vehicles and other semi-hardened targets, or in airburst mode to allow neutralization of infantry in the open or in open trenches.

Saab is a leading defence and security company with an enduring mission, to help nations keep their people and society safe. Empowered by its 20,000 talented people, Saab constantly pushes the boundaries of technology to create a safer, more sustainable and more equitable world. Saab designs, manufactures and maintains advanced systems in aeronautics, weapons, command and control, sensors and underwater systems. Saab is headquartered in Sweden. It has major operations all over the world and is part of the domestic defence capability of several nations.

Saab Showcases Missile System on Oshkosh Vehicle at DSEI

Monday, August 28th, 2023

The purpose is to demonstrate the possibility to integrate the missile-equipped RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit (MFU) with Saab’s ultra-rugged tactical electronics, low-latency video distribution system and the Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System onto the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). Come to Saab’s stand H7-210 at DSEI to learn more.

The aim is to address the growing requirements for mobile air defence and strengthen land users capabilities to meet these current and future challenges. Saab’s industry-leading MFU uses the RBS 70 NG missile system with its unjammable laser guided missiles, which provide threats with little forewarning and even less means for countermeasures.

The fully integrated multispectral Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System conceals the vehicle while also allowing the JLTV’s rapid deployment against air-based targets when needed.

“We are now offering the most modern mobile air defence solution, which is a perfect match with our existing multispectral camouflage capabilities on the JLTV vehicle. We are ready to support Oshkosh’s current customers as well as offering this to new users,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.

The Saab-provided tactical electronics and low-latency video distribution system aid the crew through increased situational awareness of the battlefield.

A partnership between Saab and Oshkosh Defense was announced in June 2022, focused on the fully integrated solution of Saab’s Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) onto the JLTV.

UVision Air Announces The Hero-120 Loitering Munition Successfully Meets Winter Battlefield Requirements in The Arctic Region

Thursday, August 10th, 2023

Proven capabilities were demonstrated during evaluation test flights in the region
August 09, 2023 – UVision Air Ltd. – a global leader in Loitering Munition systems of all sizes for a variety of missions announces that its Hero-120 Loitering Munition system has successfully proven to meet the demanding combat requirements of the Arctic winter while completing a series of flight-missions in the Arctic region as part of a field-evaluation under extreme winter environmental conditions.

Attended by representatives from several leading defense forces with arctic warfare capabilities, this evaluation was the concluding phase of a lengthy process, which included earlier test flights in the region, as well as extensive laboratory environmental tests, simulating the extreme temperatures, winds, and humidity conditions of the arctic winter.  

The Hero-120 LM can carry a multi-purpose warhead with both Anti-Tank and Anti-personnel capabilities. During the evaluation the advanced loitering munition system was successfully tested in both day and night missions for operating in challenging conditions, including extreme low temperatures, heavy snow, strong winds, humidity, ice-forming flight conditions, low clouds, and limited visibility. The evaluation found the Hero-120 effective in combat situations in the Arctic environment, and compliant with unique storage and transportation requirements.

The harsh-weather operation effectiveness addresses not only the specific needs of military forces operating in the Arctic, but also the broader north and east of Europe.

“Completing the process of adapting our systems to the harsh climate of the Arctic winter is a significant milestone towards the widespread adoption of the HERO Loitering Munitions by European and NATO defence forces , says Major General (ret.) Avi Mizrachi, CEO of UVision.  “The conflict in Ukraine has led the world’s leading armies to understand that they need to be prepared for any scenario and has raised their level of interest in combat-proven, reliable, and robust loitering munitions such as the HERO family”, he added.

Hungary Awards Rheinmetall and UVision a Major Contract for the Hero Loitering Munitions – Order Volume in the Three-Digit Million-Euro Range

Thursday, July 20th, 2023

Rheinmetall AG of Düsseldorf has secured an important order from Hungary for Hero Loitering Munitions. Contracts to this effect have now been signed. The munitions are worth a figure in the low three-digit million-euro range. Delivery will begin in 2024 and is scheduled to end in 2025.

Hero Loitering Munitions are a family of operationally proven, widely used effectors which Rheinmetall fabricates and markets in Europe under a cooperation agreement with UVision Air Ltd. of Israel. In October 2021 Rheinmetall and UVision embarked on a strategic partnership aimed at addressing sharply increased demand for remotely controlled precision munitions.

Hero precision munitions provide modern armed forces on today’s battlefields with the ultimate in operational flexibility. The weapon systems possess a unique, autonomous target engagement capability, including reconnaissance, monitoring and recognition. It locates, tracks and engages emerging enemy targets with low signatures beyond the line of sight.

Hero Loitering Munition systems circle over the target zone, locating and tracking the enemy and analysing possible targets. They help to select high-value targets as well as suitable timing, direction and angle of attack before carrying out a high-precision strike. Hero Loitering Munition systems feature a high degree of commonality and can therefore be operated from the same operating and datalink terminal on the ground.
All Hero systems are designed to operate in complex battlefield conditions, including in environments without GPS reception or jammed radio connections. Modern armed forces around the world, among them those of major NATO members, use Hero Loitering Munitions, which have proven highly effective in combat operations.

The Hero system has demonstrated its effectiveness against a multitude of different targets, including infantry, light vehicles on the move, tanks, enemy field fortifications, air defence systems and critical infrastructure. It offers major advantages in modern warfare scenarios. Thanks to their rapid deployability and independent target acquisition and engagement capabilities, Hero Loitering Munitions can operate at all echelons, from supreme headquarters to the individual soldier on the ground, and lend themselves to strategic and tactical missions alike.

Bundeswehr Contracts with Rheinmetall for Several Hundred Thousand Artillery Shells; Order Worth Around €1.3 Billion

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

The need to replenish stores of ammunition caused by the war in Ukraine is resulting in major artillery ammunition contracts for Rheinmetall. 

The German Bundeswehr has just issued a large-volume order for service and practice artillery ammunition worth around €1.3 billion, including value added tax. Two contracts to this effect have now been signed at the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz. 
Rheinmetall has been awarded a new framework contract for the supply of 155mm artillery ammunition, while an existing framework contract has been expanded. In all, the scope of delivery encompasses several hundred thousand shells of various types, including fuses and propelling charges. Set to run until 2029, the new framework contract represents potential order volume of around €1.2 billion, including VAT. 

Furthermore, the Bundeswehr has expanded an existing framework agreement for DM121 ammunition. In addition to the framework contract cited above, this represents order volume of around €137 million, once again including VAT. The volume of the existing framework contract thus increases from €109 million to a total of €246 million, including VAT. 
Featuring insensitive characteristics, the DM121 high-explosive shell is used for training and exercise purposes. 

The first call-offs for service and practice ammunition from the framework contract cited above came as soon as the contract was signed. Delivery of shells worth €127 million (including VAT) is due take place shortly. 

Ever since its foundation over 125 years ago, Rheinmetall has been a reliable partner of the artillery corps. Even today, the pressing and drawing process invented by company founder Heinrich Ehrhardt is used for producing modern artillery barrels. Rheinmetall’s family of artillery ammunition includes, among other ordnance, the high explosive DM121, the DM125 smoke/obscurant shell, the DM121 SMArt search-fused round (jointly developed with Diehl Defence), as well as the RH68 practice version and the range-optimized RH1901 and RH1902 smoke/obscurant shells. The Group’s product portfolio also encompasses the versatile Assegai family of 155mm artillery ammunition made by Rheinmetall Denel of South Africa. It includes insensitive munitions (IM), conventional high  explosive (HE) rounds, as well as smoke/obscurant, illumination, infrared illumination, and other shells. With its boat tail (BT) and base bleed (BB) configurations, the Assegai family displays a ballistic equilibrium, ensuring that the entire ammunition spectrum can be used at its maximum effective range of approximately 40 kilometres. Under the framework contract, the Bundeswehr will be introducing the tried-and-tested Assegai ammunition family.  

The latest orders underscore once again Rheinmetall’s technological lead as a developer and producer of ammunition in Europe. Furthermore, the framework contracts will help to assure a secure supply of ammunition to the armed forces of Germany and other NATO nations, enabling better planning of production processes and optimum utilization of capacity. Moreover, thanks to assured long-term production of various types of ammunition during the lifetime of the contract, resulting in availability at short notice, the framework contract also offers logistical advantages to other 155mm artillery users. For Rheinmetall, the framework agreement means a basic level of capacity utilization at its ammunition production plants for years to come. 

PEO Soldier Assumes Responsibility for Lethal Unmanned Systems Directed Requirement, Initiates Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance (LASSO) Program

Saturday, July 8th, 2023

Fort Belvoir, Va  –  

Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier assumed responsibility of the Lethal Unmanned Systems directed requirement on May 4, 2023, and initiated the Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance (LASSO) program under Project Manager Soldier Warrior and Product Manager Soldier Precision Targeting Devices. PEO Soldier is currently using an urgent capability acquisition pathway to rapidly deliver this capability to the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).

In addition, PEO Soldier’s teammates at the Maneuver Capability Development and Integration Directorate (MCDID) at Fort Moore are actively developing the enduring requirement to support a future program of record.

LASSO is a man-portable, tube launched, lethal payload munition, unmanned aerial system. It includes electrical optical /infrared sensor, precision flight control, and the ability to fly, track and engage non-line-of-sight targets and armored vehicles with precision lethal fires. LASSO currently consists of three modules: the launch tube, unmanned aerial system, and fire control station.

“We’re really excited to partner with industry and bring this capability to our IBCTs,” said Maj. John Dibble, Assistant Product Manager for LASSO. “This anti-tank capability is a key contributor to our efforts to increase the lethality of the Army of 2030’s IBCT and maintain overmatch against our near-peer threats.”

By Jason Amadi

Saab Receives Order for Carl-Gustaf M4 from Australia

Thursday, July 6th, 2023

Saab has received an order from the Australian Department of Defence for the supply of additional Carl-Gustaf® M4 weapons. The order value is SEK 400 million with deliveries during 2024-2025.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons will be delivered with Saab’s new Fire Control Device, FCD 558.

“This order continues Saab’s longstanding relationship with the Australian Defence Force. We are proud to deliver modern and user-focused weapon systems that ensures the Australian armed forces’ ability to meet a wide range of challenges on the battlefield,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.

Proven to deliver results on the battlefield, Carl-Gustaf provides the effectiveness soldiers need. The wide range of ammunition types for Carl-Gustaf makes it flexible and able to handle any situation, whether it is to destroy an armoured vehicle or structure, or illuminating the battlefield during night operations.

The Carl-Gustaf system is supplied to more than 40 countries around the world.