Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Munitions’ Category

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.

Modern Day Marine: UVision USA Announces Successful High-Altitude Mission Execution with the Hero 120

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

At a launch altitude of 14,500 ft., the Hero 120 loitering munition system has proven a successful high-altitude operation, with ISR and target engagement capabilities effectively executed at 18,000 ft and above.

MDM, Washington, 27-29 June, Stand 1837

June 28 2023: UVision USA, the US subsidiary of UVision Air, a global leader in aerial loitering systems, announced the completion of successful High Altitude mission execution of its Hero 120 loitering munition system.

With the ability to identify targets from a high altitude, and conduct pin-point strikes, the system demonstrated a successful sensor-to shooter-cycle closure, carrying a substantial payload of 4.5 kilograms. The upgraded Hero-120 enhances the already proven capabilities with an additional operational discriminator.

Major General (Ret.) Avi Mizrachi, CEO of UVision Air Ltd, the parent company of UVision USA, stated, “The successful execution of a mission from high altitude marks a significant milestone in the expanding capabilities portfolio of the Hero-120. This technological achievement was made possible through precise aerodynamic adjustments that enabled the Hero 120 to withstand the challenging conditions of such altitudes. This capability complements the Hero-120’s recently announced ability to launch from a helicopter, further demonstrating the absolute advantage of Hero-120″.  

The Hero 120 Loitering Munition System is a mid-range, anti-tank system designed to meet the demands of the modern battlefield. It employs high-precision strikes against anti-armor, anti-material, and anti-personnel targets, including tanks, vehicles, and soft targets in urban areas. With minimal collateral damage and a range of multi-purpose warheads, the Hero 120 provides operational users with an effective engagement solution.

Unleashing American Ingenuity: MACH-TB Launches Suborbital Testbed Vehicle in Support of American Hypersonic Innovation

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

On June 17, 2023, the MACH-TB program successfully launched its first suborbital testbed vehicle in a critical step forward toward advancing U.S. hypersonic technology.

To compete with U.S. adversaries, we must rapidly prototype and vet new technology at the speed of mission. The Multiservice Advanced Capability Test Bed (MACH-TB) project, is a dynamic initiative engineered to effectively evaluate and demonstrate hypersonic capabilities prior to integration into existing weapon systems.

“As the hypersonic race intensifies, there is an urgent need to quickly prototype and test this technology,” said S²MARTS Director Doug Crowe. “The MACH-TB launch announcement marks a pivotal stride forward in preserving America’s unrivaled technical dominance.”

The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane division, leveraging the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA), awarded the MACH-TB contract to Dynetics in September 2022. Supported by a formidable consortium of 12 subcontractors, the MACH-TB program is tasked with designing an experimental glide body that will undergo rigorous hypersonic capability tests to bolster various Department of Defense (DoD) initiatives.

The collective power of American innovators in the hypersonic race cannot be underestimated. Of the performers supporting MACH-TB, eight are non-traditional organizations who are new to defense, now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with established industry players. Through the S²MARTS OTA, the DoD successfully eliminated barriers to entry and expanded its reach to the nation’s premier commercial innovators, introducing groundbreaking technologies into the fold.

A collaborative partnership between national and DoD laboratories, academia, small businesses, non-traditional defense enterprises, and industry titans will foster the development and demonstration of hypersonic glide vehicle capabilities. These cutting-edge technologies will solidify America’s unassailable position in the realm of hypersonic technology.

Introducing SpyX: BlueBird Aero Systems’ Revolutionary Loitering Munition

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

Hepher Industrial Park, Israel June 19, 2023 – BlueBird Aero Systems, an Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Group Company, unveils its SpyX, a cutting-edge Loitering Munition UAV platform designed to empower military forces with unmatched tactical capabilities such as 50Km operational range, 1.5 hours mission time, autonomous electro-optical guided attack, optimal effect-on-target and tight integration with Bluebird’s VTOL ISR UAV family. This groundbreaking technology represents a significant milestone in the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems and brings a new era of precision and efficiency to the battlefield, and in an extremely affordable price.

SpyX, developed by BlueBird Aero Systems, is an expendable electric mini-UAV, designed for loitering & strike missions, to enable tactical teams to organically detect, confirm and hit targets at ranges up to 50Km. To increase its target detection capabilities, the SpyX is integrated with a revolutionary belly-mounted dual-sensor stabilized payload and advanced video tracker, to enable autonomous and accurate electro-optical guided attack on the target. To increase its effectiveness, the 2.5Kg warhead (like combined Anti-Personnel, Anti-vehicles, or Anti-tank warheads) is loaded to the SpyX Loitering Munition just before launch, as per the required effect-on-target.

“SpyX is a game-changer in the field of military UAV platforms,” says Ronen Nadir, CEO of BlueBird Aero Systems. “We are proud to introduce this advanced system that combines innovative technology with unmatched versatility and cost-effectiveness. SpyX not only enhances situational awareness and enables precision and effective strikes, but also revolutionizes tactical battlefield superiority through its tight integration with our VTOL ISR UASs. It is a testament to our commitment to provide our customers with cutting-edge solutions that meet their evolving needs of tactical military operations”.

Key Features and Benefits of SpyX:

• Operational Range: An impressive operational range of up to 50km.

• Endurance: An impressive endurance of 1.5 hours, ensuring persistent surveillance and the ability to strike when targets are discovered and identified.

• Versatile Warhead Options: Multiple types of warheads, including anti-tank and anti-personnel/lite vehicle, ensuring optimal effectiveness against different target types.

• Agility: With a weight of only 10 kg, SpyX is a compact and agile platform, enabling rapid deployment and maneuverability in dynamic scenarios.

• High Attack Speed: With an attack-speed of 250 km/h, SpyX ensures efficient engagement of targets. The Target will not see nor hear it coming…

• Separate Warhead Storage: SpyX unique design allows the warhead to be stored separately, to enhance logistic storage capabilities, reduce the required space for safe bunker storage, and simplifies the transportation and handling of the system.

Advanced Military Operations:

SpyX revolutionizes the way tactical military operations are conducted, providing an unparalleled advantage in various scenarios:

• Precision Strikes: With a designed Circular Error Probable (CEP) of less than 1 meter, SpyX ensures exceptional precision in targeting to minimizes the risk to ground forces and reduces collateral damage.

• Reconnaissance and Surveillance: With its advanced dual-sensor payload, the SpyX provides real-time enhanced situational-awareness, enabling better target detection capabilities and decision-making in the field. Additionally, BlueBird’s unique open architecture design allows for joint reconnaissance and target detection efforts by integrating SpyX with BlueBird’s VTOL ISR UASs such as WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAS. This collaborative approach enhances the mission effectiveness by allowing target detection before launching SpyX, while covering larger areas for longer time using VTOL UAVs, maximizing operational efficiency.

• Force Protection: Safeguard military personnel and critical infrastructure by identifying and neutralizing threats efficiently and effectively. SpyX’s versatile warhead options allow for adaptable mission planning, enabling precise engagement of both armored targets and personnel or light vehicles.

For more information about SpyX and BlueBird’s range of UAS solutions, please visit www.bluebird-uav.com.

Artillery Ammo Deal to Deliver Ongoing Capability Edge

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

NIOA has confirmed an extended partnership with Defence which it says will “future proof” supply surety of advanced artillery rounds for the Australian Army.

At a time of unprecedented worldwide demand for 155mm ammunition, the Australian-owned Defence prime has locked in another five-year term to supply the Assegai suite of munitions under the LAND 17-1C.2 Future Artillery Ammunition (FAA) program.

The modular Assegai ammunition system of projectiles, propelling charges, fuzes and primers can be configured in many ways to increase lethality and range for training and operational purposes.

Over the past five years, NIOA and supply partners JUNGHANS Microtec GmbH, Nitrochemie Aschau GmbH and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions have worked in close collaboration with Defence to deliver and integrate this artillery system into the Army’s M777A2 howitzers and are preparing for integration into K9 Protected Mobile Fires platforms.

Projectile variants include conventional HE, Insensitive Munition High Explosive (IHE), IHE Pre-Fragmented (PFF), screening smoke, illumination (infrared and visual), base-bleed and Extended Range Velocity Enhance (V-LAP), practice and inert projectiles.

A key recommendation of the recent Defence Strategic Review (DSR) was to accelerate and shore up supply of critical munitions and projectiles which have been included in a $2.5b investment in Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO).

Reliable sources such as the joint venture Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions (RNM) shell forging factory in Maryborough, Queensland, which recently shipped its first consignment of export 155mm shells to Germany, are likely to become more critical.

NIOA Australia and New Zealand CEO Ben James welcomed the LAND 17-1C.2 deed extension, saying the new partnership would capitalise on a highly successful LAND 17 Program and a key period for ADF capability.

“The LAND 17 FAA program will deliver a step change in reach, coverage and flexibility for the ADF’s artillery capability,” he said.

“NIOA welcomes this significant deed extension and looks forward to working with Defence to deliver against accelerated preparedness objectives.

“The DSR identified the need to rapidly acquire additional ammunition stocks from existing suppliers and contractors and rapidly establish a domestic GWEO manufacturing capability.

“This LAND 17 deed extension provides the opportunity for NIOA to deliver on both of these objectives for Government and for the ADF.”