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Author: Subject: Artillery in the 21st Century
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[*] posted on 18-9-2019 at 09:43 AM


Closing the Range Gap

(Source: NAMMO; issued Sept 16, 2019)


Nammo expects to hold live firing tests next years for its ramjet-powered, guided artillery shell with a range of up to 150 km, now the subject of a development partnership with Boeing’s Phantom Works. (Nammo image)

For years, NATO artillery and missile systems have been at a range disadvantage compared to its future potential adversaries. New ramjet technology, however, has the potential to completely reverse the situation by closing the range gap.

In the summer of 2016, Russia rolled out the latest version of the 9A52-4 Tornado rocket launcher. The "S"-variant now has the ability to fire shells at an enemy 120 kilometers away, a remarkable improvement on the previous version. But even the previous version could reach targets 70 km away.

At the same time, the country appears to be investing in other, more untraditional long-range missile systems. The recent accident near Severodvinsk - in what appears to have been a test of a new nuclear powered cruise missile - is just one indication of this investment, as is the use of conventional cruise missiles in Syria.

NATO has favored a different approach: For decades, the alliance relied on air superiority. That situation is however changing rapidly. As air defense systems like the S-400 proliferate, Russian planners apparently hope to deny their opponents free use of the skies.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, is one of many experts who now believe the situation has changed fundamentally - and put NATO forces at a disadvantage. When he appeared before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in April 2016, Milley was asked whether the army was "outranged".

“We don’t like it, we don’t want it, but yes, technically [we are] outranged, outgunned on the ground," Milley said.

The importance of range

Range - and especially the ability to hit at a distance where an opponent cannot retaliate - has been a prime concern on the battlefield since the days of the Romans. Sometimes, such an advantage has proven to be a deciding factor.

Roman triumvir Crassus is one who certainly would attest to that. When facing Parthian horse archers at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC, his legions were wiped out when they could not counter their opponents' range and mobility advantage.

Later, the English would inflict enormous damage on French forces in the Hundred Years' war. At Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, English longbowmen significantly outranged their opponents. The great English victories here would effectively end the primacy of heavily armored knights, as well as adding decades to a conflict where the French held a great advantage in both resources and manpower.

Range also played a part in the U.S. War of Independence. Morgan's Riflemen (famous for their long-range rifles) played their part in securing victory at important battles like Saratoga.

"There's a race going on"

Longbows are however a thing of the past. But Nammo artillery and munitions expert Thomas Danbolt believes range is still of great importance to contemporary weapons, like artillery.

“Range is important. If you can shoot much farther than your opponent, counter-battery fire can simply be disregarded. Your own artillery will be safe, while at the same time you can strike enemy positions with impunity. I think we should not underestimate the consequences of having a range advantage,” says Thomas Danbolt, Nammo’s Vice President Large Caliber Ammunition.

Danbolt thinks major nation-states have seen the importance of this, and are now scrambling to improve their defenses. His colleague, Frank Møller, has been part of designing rocket motors for missiles for decades. He sees a big change in that field as well.

“I think there’s a race going on internationally. Propulsion technology has improved. Cruise missiles are getting longer ranges, better sensors, improved accuracy, and the cost has gone down. But a reaction is coming: armed forces everywhere are scrambling to improve their missile defenses”, says Frank Møller, Nammo's VP of Strategy and Business Development (Aerospace Propulsion).

150km artillery range

As demand for longer range options increases, ramjet technology has been advancing steadily. It has now come to a point where it can has several new potential applications - both in missiles and artillery.

Nammo already has a long history of producing high-performing artillery ammunition. Now, it once again wants to be at the forefront, developing a new generation of shells covering all range requirements.

Nammo’s most ambitious project to date has been a Ramjet-powered, guided artillery shell with a range of up to 150 km, now the subject of a development partnership with Boeing’s Phantom Works. The new design is expected to see its first live-fire tests in 2020.

“In practice, this is a mix of a missile and an artillery shell. We are talking about a range that is five to eight times greater than conventional artillery. With the guidance system, we believe we can consistently hit an area as small as the center of a football field. And even though the payload is somewhat smaller, the destructive force will likely be greater because of the accuracy,” Danbolt says.

The Ramjet shell can be fired from every modern 155 mm L52 artillery gun – a trait it shares with all of Nammo’s other long-range shells.

The Ramjet revolution

Ramjets are also very well suited for missiles. In a conventional rocket motor, oxygen accounts for 80 percent of the fuel weight. But a Ramjet instead uses oxygen from the outside air. As a consequence, oxygen can be replaced with fuel, increasing the capacity four or five times. Erland Ørbekk, Nammo’s VP of Technology for Aerospace Propulsion, explains that the advantages are great if a missile can reach high enough speeds.

“In a traditional air breathing motor, you need a compressor, a combustion chamber and a turbine. But in a Ramjet, the oxygen pressure and temperature will be high enough just from reaching a high enough speed (roughly Mach 2.5). A Ramjet missile can have a burn time of up to 300 seconds (5 minutes), and can be throttled up and down, or even turned on and off,” Ørbekk says.

What operational advantages can we expect?

“A Ramjet-powered missile will be superior to a conventional missile in all possible ways. Ground-based Ramjet missiles will be able to take out high-altitude targets. And if fired from aircraft, they will be effective against high-speed and highly maneuverable fighter jets at much greater distances than today. We believe they could even be effective against some of the new high-speed missiles being introduced outside NATO. If you have a good enough sensor system on the ground, it will be possible for Ramjet-powered missiles to intercept them.”

Ready in a few years

Ramjet-powered artillery and missiles could be ready sooner than you think. Nammo has already completed more than 150 successful tests of its ramjet engines. While artillery ramjets could reach up to 150km, some air-to-air missiles could hit targets from an even more impressive 500km distance.

Frank Møller is sure we will see products on the market within a few years.

“Long-range Ramjet artillery will likely be on the market within two to four years. For missiles, it will take a bit longer, but we are confident that the technology is ready. What we are working on now is more focused on the practical applications and technical solutions.”

Are you sure of that? Are you sure the technology will work?

“Absolutely. And it will be a momentous change.”

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[*] posted on 20-9-2019 at 11:15 PM


Norway receives its first K9 self-propelled howitzer

Samuel Cranny-Evans, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

20 September 2019

Norway’s Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) announced on its website on 19 September that it had received its first K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) from Hanwha Defense during a ceremony in South Korea.

The first system, comprising the K9 155/L52 SPH and K10 ammunition handling vehicle it operates with, will be delivered to Norway in December for testing, the NDMA said.

The formal handover to the Norwegian Army is scheduled for autumn 2020, and a total of 24 K9 howitzers with six supporting K10s will be delivered to Norway upon completion of the contract, which was placed in 2017, according to the NDMA.

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[*] posted on 24-9-2019 at 07:39 PM


Norwegian army has taken delivery of K9 155mm howitzers and K10 ARVs

Posted On Tuesday, 24 September 2019 08:23

Last week, the Norwegian army has taken delivery of the first K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer and K10 ARV Armored Resupply Vehicle. On December 2017, Norway’s defense ministry has announced the purchase of the K9 155 artillery self-propelled howitzers designed and manufactured by the South Korean Company Hanwha Land Systems.


New Norwegian army K9 155 mm self-propelled howitzer on tracked armored chassis. (Picture source Twitter account Forsvarsdepartement)

The contract also includes the artillery howitzer K9, ammunition and K10 resupply armored vehicles will reach an amount of $383 million. A total of 24 K9 155mm howitzers and six K10 ammunition resupply vehicles were ordered by Norway.

This is the second Scandinav country after Finland that has purchased the South Korean K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. In February 2017, the Finnish defense minister Jussi Niinistö has announced the purchase of 48 South Korean K9s artillery howitzers for a total amount of €146 million ($155 million).

The K9 155mm tracked self-propelled in now in service with South Korea, India, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Norway and Egypt has performed evaluation test of the K9.

The K9 nicknamed Thunder is a South Korean 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis developed by Samsung Techwin for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and now manufactured by Hanwha Land Systems.

The main armament of the K9 Thunder consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km. A total of 48 projectiles and their associated charges are carried for ready use. Internally an automatic loading system takes projectiles from the storage position and places them onto the ammunition tray ready for ramming.

This self-propelled howitzer has a crew of five, consisting of commander, driver, gunner, assistant gunner, and loader.

The K10 ARV is an ammunition resupply armored vehicle responsible for re-arming the K9 Thunder. It is built upon the K9's chassis. Maximum transfer rate of shells is 12 rounds per minute, and the maximum load of shells is 104 rounds.

The reloading process is fully automated. The reloading is done through a munition bridge on the K10 that extends out to lock itself into a reception hole located at the rear of the K9. This allows the unit to rearm itself under harsh combat conditions without the crew having to expose themselves to the combat environment.


New Norwegian army K10 ARV 155 mm Armored Resupply Vehicle. (Picture source Twitter account Forsvarsdepartement)
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[*] posted on 24-9-2019 at 07:59 PM


Vulcano Precision Guided Munition – Qualified and Ready for Fielding

(Source: Diehl Defence; issued Sept 20, 2019)

Under the umbrella of the Italian and German governments, Leonardo and Diehl Defence developed and qualified the precision-guided munition family Vulcano 127mm and 155mm.

The STANAG-conforming joint qualification controlled by the Italian and German authorities has been successfully completed. The qualification performed is compatible with all Joint Ballistic MoU gun systems, such as the land-based platforms PzH 2000 and FH-70 as well as 127mm/5inch naval platforms.

The Vulcano ammunition is designed to achieve extended ranges of 70 km for Vulcano 155 and 80 km for Vulcano 127 in conjunction with unique accuracy against stationary and moving targets.

The ammunition family reaches highest target accuracy through the unique combination of satellite-based navigation with laser- or infrared-sensors for terminal homing. This makes the Vulcano family the most accurate artillery ammunition for land and naval applications worldwide.

The powerful multi-role, insensitive high-explosive (IHE) warhead with pre-fragmented tungsten splinters is most effective against soft targets, vehicles, semi-armored vehicles, infrastructures and all typical infantry command posts.

Vulcano programming kits enable artillery platforms to fire Vulcano ammunition in an easy way. The kits allow either fully integrated or standalone operations. The embedded fire command computation program, NABK-18+, has been officially released.

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[*] posted on 25-9-2019 at 03:01 PM


Yes, because they can survive and operate in the bitterly harsh climate of Norway, but were 'unsuitable' for the Australian Army.



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[*] posted on 3-10-2019 at 11:36 PM


Cyprus parades new Serbian-made artillery and armoured vehicles

Igor Bozinovski, Skopje - Jane's Defence Weekly

02 October 2019

A military parade held in Nicosia on 1 October to commemorate the 59th anniversary of Cyprus’ independence has demonstrated that the Cypriot National Guard’s rapid modernisation is ongoing with the acquisition of Serbian-made Nora-B52 155 mm/52-calibre 8x8 self-propelled gun-howitzers and BOV M16 Miloš 4x4 armoured multi-purpose combat vehicles.

A single turret-equipped Miloš followed by four Nora-B52s (which were labelled as ‘Alexander TGS’ systems) were displayed in public for the first time.


One of the Serbian-made Nora-B52 155 mm/52-calibre 8x8 self-propelled gun-howitzers bought by Cyprus on parade in Nicosia on 1 October. (Serbian MoD)

Speaking after the parade, Cypriot Defence Minister Savvas Angelides noted that the Cypriot National Guard is being upgraded and thanked a number of his guests, including his Greek counterpart, Defence Minister Nikos Papagiotopoulos, for Athens’ constant support, as well as Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin for his country’s practical co-operation.

While few details of Nicosia’s acquisition of Serbian-made weapons exist, Belgrade-based media have reported that Serbia has sold to Cyprus 24 Nora-B52s and eight Miloš artillery reconnaissance and battery command vehicles to equip four artillery batteries in a deal worth almost EUR50 million (USD54.8 million). According to the reports, the first battery of six Nora-B52s for Cyprus would be completed in August.

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[*] posted on 9-10-2019 at 09:34 AM


Indian Army to deploy M777A2 light howitzers in eastern sector

Posted On Tuesday, 08 October 2019 10:12

The tactical mobility will enable quick insertion of the howitzers in areas close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, which can move weapons, equipment and troops at a swifter pace because of better infrastructure. Rahul Singh reports in The Hindustan Times.


The M777A2 light howitzer can be airlifted by CH-47 Chinook (Picture source: U.S. Army / 1st Lt. Ellen Brabo, 2d Cavalry Regiment)

The Indian Army is preparing to deploy its new M777A2 howitzers in eastern Arunachal Pradesh for accurate artillery fire support in the mountainous terrain that could prove to be a “game-changer” in the sector. The 155 mm/39-caliber howitzers, which can be sling-loaded to helicopters and swiftly deployed to high-altitude areas, are likely to be inducted by the year-end, the first officer said. India ordered 145 howitzers from the United States for $750 million in November 2016.

“The M777s will be a game-changer in the eastern sector. The highly portable guns can be swiftly deployed and redeployed for missions using the Boeing CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters. The howitzers will be part of light artillery regiments,” an officer said. The tactical mobility will enable quick insertion of the howitzers in areas close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, which can move weapons, equipment and troops at a swifter pace because of better infrastructure, he said. "It’s certainly a much-needed capability upgrade. Moving heavier guns around is not easy. Even soldiers take two days to reach the forward posts from Tezu (headquarters of the 82 Mountain Brigade),” he added. Tezu is located 250 km south of Kibithu, which is along the LAC and accounts for the army’s eastern-most deployments.

The M777A2s are a key component of the army’s field artillery rationalisation plan (FARP), cleared in 1999. The FARP lays down the road map for inducting new 155mm weaponry, including tracked self-propelled guns, truck-mounted gun systems, towed artillery pieces and wheeled self-propelled guns.

The plan seeks to equip 169 artillery regiments with a mix of nearly 3,000 guns over the next decade.

The army will raise seven new regiments with the 145 howitzers deployed in the northern and eastern sectors. M777A2 manufacturer BAE Systems is supplying 25 ready-built howitzers and the remaining 120 guns will be built locally in collaboration with Mahindra Defence under the Modi government’s Make in India initiative. The army is likely to get all the howitzers by 2021-end. These howitzers have superior tactical mobility as they are made from titanium alloy and weigh only 4,218kg, which is half the weight of conventional artillery guns deployed in the northern and eastern sectors.

The CH-47F(I) Chinook and the M777A2 howitzer are a deadly combination, said former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Major (retd). “The load-carrying capacity of the Chinook and the capabilities that the M777 brings will certainly be a game-changer for the forces deployed along the eastern borders,” he said. India ordered 15 Chinook helicopters from the US for $1.18 billion in September 2015. Six of them have already been delivered.

The army’s artillery arsenal in eastern Arunachal Pradesh includes the Bofors guns and the 105mm field gun. “Transporting these guns is quite tricky due to terrain and the infrastructure that is still a work in progress. It requires a lot of horse power and willpower,” said the first officer cited above.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2019 at 09:38 AM


Russian coastal troops in Crimea armed with Tornado-G MLRS

Posted On Tuesday, 08 October 2019 12:27

The Russian Defense Ministry radically increases the firepower of the coastal troops in Crimea. They are receiving Tornado-G multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) which replace Grad in artillery regiments and battalions of the peninsula. Tornado-G is fully automatic and can independently guide missiles at targets, the Izvestia daily writes.


Tornado-G MLRS (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Tornado-G MLRS have been supplied to the 8th artillery regiment of the coastal forces and the 126th coastal defense brigade of the Black Sea fleet, Defense Ministry sources said.

The rearmament with the new MLRS is to be completed in 2019.

Tornado-G 9K51M is an upgraded option of Grad 9K51. It is distinguished by improved fire control with satellite navigation and a computer to calculate ballistic parameters. Tornado-G is fully automatic. Upon receiving target coordinates, the weapon makes calculations, deploys the launchers to the necessary angle and elevation, and fires by command. The operators have only to deliver the MLRS to the assigned point, deploy it and order fire.

Fire is controlled without human interference. It is even not always necessary to boot the data, as the system can independently receive and process information from reconnaissance vehicles and drones. Full automatic operation accelerates fire missions. The vehicle crew has been cut from three to two men. The deployment time on an unequipped combat position has been decreased to six minutes and comprises from 0 to one minute on an equipped one. The weapon fires the whole round of munitions in several minutes and needs one minute to prepare for a march and abandon the position.

Tornado-G has much better characteristics against predecessors, such as the range, accuracy and density of fire. It can quickly and effectively destroy various targets, expert Sergey Suvorov said. The integration with the automatic control system considerably cuts the deployment and engagement time, he added.

The modern weapon increases the combat potential of Crimea, expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. "Tornado-G can be engaged together with the automatic control system which provides for centralized fire control. MLRS automatically receive coordinates and other firing data. They can immediately occupy the positions and fire by a single vehicle or in a group. They can rapidly withdraw after fire to new positions and continue the mission. Thus, they avoid the risk of retaliation fire," he said.

Tornado-G has a maximum range of 40 km which can be increased in future. The combat capabilities were expanded due to new rocket-propelled projectiles. They include cluster munitions with separable warheads and homing cumulative charges for the destruction of armor.

Tornado-G belongs to a MLRS family which includes various calibers. Besides 122mm Tornado-G, there is 300mm Tornado-S. The latter was created for major artillery formations engaged in important fire missions. The first Tornado-S were supplied to the Southern Military District in 2019.

Tornado-S is also fully automatic and can independently guide missiles. The rearmament with the weapons will robotize the Russian artillery. All artillery formations of the district and central subordination will be rearmed with Tornado-S in the coming years, the Izvestia said.

© Copyright 2019 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL.
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[*] posted on 12-10-2019 at 01:18 PM


Analysis: Russia reforms missile and artillery troops

Posted On Friday, 11 October 2019 13:13

The Russian Defense Ministry launched an experiment to increase the effectiveness of missile troops and artillery. Besides the design of new weapons and the upgrade of available ones, a new staff matrix for battalions, regiments and brigades is drafted. The latest Center-2019 exercise tested the new artillery concept, the Military-Industrial Courier writes.


2S35 Koaitsyia-SV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The artillery reform is mostly closed for the public. The developments may look as chaos to an amateur. For example, the Ground Forces have to receive the latest 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery guns in the near future. At the same time, the Defense Ministry is returning Cold War legacy of Pion 2S7 long-range self-propelled guns and super heavy 2S4 Tyulpan mortars. Besides, Krasnopol guided projectiles have returned although their production stopped in the mid-1990s.

Experts want to understand how missile troops and artillery will look like in the near future and why old weapons are returning.

They also assessed the effectiveness of innovations at maneuvers. The main guideline of artillery development is its maximum integration into the so-called single information space. In other words, missiles and artillery have to obtain target information in real-time and destroy them.

The first stage has been accomplished by now. Artillery receives information directly from drones and frontline units. The latter transmits all the necessary information by Strelets reconnaissance and communication system. Artillery and missile troops successfully engaged Strelets in Syria. The military now face a more difficult task.

The troops began to introduce the concept of reconnaissance-strike forces (RUK). They operate as follows: a battery or battalion operates with drones or personnel equipped with Strelets. The interaction goes directly between drones or Strelets with artillerymen. However, the military leadership now believes the reconnaissance-strike force is outdated and no longer meets modern requirements. It is replaced by a reconnaissance-fire force (ROK) built on netcentric principle of modern wars and conflicts.

ROK operation is simple. All units on the battlefield are armed with automatic control systems and report the detected targets. Information also comes from drones and electronic reconnaissance. The data are transmitted to the superior command. The headquarters use the information and distribute targets between artillery units. They take into account numerous factors, starting from the tactical and operational situation on the battlefield up to the available round of artillery munitions and the weather. Artillery in positions receives target coordinates and the necessary round of munitions to destroy it.

It remains for the men to accomplish the mission and engage in the next one.

ROK can be effective to the maximum if missile and artillery units are integrated into a single information space. The Defense Ministry has been working since 2015 to arm artillery and missile troops with modern radio stations and automatic control terminals.

The latest Koalitsia-SV, Msta-S 2S19M2 152mm self-propelled artillery guns, Tornado-S and Uragan-M1 MLRS were created for the integration into single information space. Older Acacia 2S1, Gvozdika 2S3, Uragan and Grad MLRS have to be upgraded for that. Active work is ongoing and the program to upgrade Grad was launched in 2019.

The upgraded weapons have some restrictions against the new ones. For example, Koalitsia, Tornado and Uragan-M1 independently make all the calculations after receiving the combat mission. Their control systems place the launchers or guns to the necessary angle. The operator has only to press the button. Older weapons do not have such a level of automation.

Upon obtaining the firing data, the operators have to do everything themselves - raise the weapon to the necessary angle, calculate ammunition consumption, etc.

The delivery of new artillery guns made it necessary to revise the matrix of artillery units. In particular, artillery regiments of motorized rifle and tank divisions began to get heavy Uragan batteries.

Until recently, only artillery brigades were armed with the MLRS. The latest Uragan-M1 with an arsenal of precision munitions will soon replace them in artillery brigades. The freed Uragan will reinforce the firepower of motorized infantry and tank divisions.

One such MLRS battery is an impressive force capable of creating major difficulties for the adversary.

Koalitsia-SV and 2S19M2 Msta-S will gradually replace old but upgraded Msta-S 2S19 in artillery brigades. The latter will not be scrapped but sent to artillery battalions and regiments of combined arms brigades, as well as artillery battalions of motorized infantry and tank brigades.

The Syrian combat experience confirmed the high effectiveness of towed artillery. Batteries and battalions of D-30 and Msta-B 2A65 howitzers can march hundreds of kilometers. However, tracked guns do not boast such mobility. It was initially expected that towed guns would be replaced by automobile-mounted Koalitsia-SV (the turret with 152mm gun is mounted on an 8x8 truck). However, the Syrian experience showed that ordinary prime movers with trailed howitzers present major advantages against wheeled guns. Therefore, the Ground Forces will keep artillery brigades armed with towed howitzers Msta-B 2A65. It is unclear whether the towed Koalitsia-SV will replace them. The Defense Ministry voiced such plans, but so far the work to create a towed Koalitsia has not begun.

Syria gave the second breath to towed 122mm D-30 howitzers which have been gradually decommissioned since early 2000s. The artillery guns remained in the Airborne Forces, but will likely return to the Ground Forces in the near future, the Military-Industrial Courier said.

© Copyright 2019 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL.
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[*] posted on 19-10-2019 at 05:08 PM


Russian Military Pursues ‘Artillery Reform’ (excerpt)

(Source: Eurasia Daily Monitor; posted October 16, 2019)

By Roger McDermott


Two Russian Army 2S19 MSTA-S self-propelled howitzers on maneuvers. Russian MoD photo)

Russia’s Armed Forces have undergone a prolonged transformation over the past decade as part of reform and modernization of Russian military capability. This has covered many facets involving numerous experiments and corrections.

However, the political-military leadership has not forgotten the key role traditionally assigned to artillery in Russian combat operations. In 1944, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin asserted in a speech that “artillery is the god of war.”

As the current modernization process continues, it appears that artillery systems are now playing an increasingly important role in efforts to boost the accuracy of fires. Artillery reform involves an experiment to increase the effectiveness of the Missile and Artillery Troops (Raketnyye Voyska i Artilleriya—RV&A) by developing new artillery models or modernizing existing systems as well as restructuring units and integrating these into the unified information space.

Some of this process draws on lessons learned from artillery use in Syria and recent tests in last month’s (September 16–21) strategic-operational exercise Tsentr 2019 (see EDM, October 9; VPK, October 8).

During Tsentr 2019, a number of test elements were included, involving widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), new communications systems, command-and-control (C2) systems, electronic warfare (EW) assets, large-scale airborne assault forces, strategic mobility, and further examination of advances in the integration of artillery into the Reconnaissance-Fire System (Razvedivatel’nfaya-Ognovaya Sistema—ROS).

Moreover, military operations in Syria confirmed the advantage in terms of mobility of artillery units equipped with D-30 and 2A65 Msta-B howitzers as examples of towed artillery over the systems mounted on tracked chassis (see EDM, September 25).

The common theme in these modernization efforts is to unite systems in the information space, in order that artillery and precision missiles receive accurate targeting in real time and then execute high-precision fires. Artillery personnel receive target information from forward-spotters and UAVs, with all this transmitted in real time using the Strelets intelligence management and communications complex (Kompleks Razvedki Upravleniya i Svyazi—KRUS).

This was tried and tested in Syria. ROS, the Russian variant of network-centric warfare, aims to unite all units and subunits operating on the battlefield with automated C2 reporting identified targets; the information is gathered from UAVs and electronic intelligence equipment. The data is also transmitted to higher commands (VPK, October 8). (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Jamestown website.

https://jamestown.org/program/russian-military-pursues-artil...

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[*] posted on 24-10-2019 at 10:43 AM


Vulcano Precision Guided Munition – Qualification, Ready for Fielding

(Source: Diehl Defence; issued Oct 22, 2019)

Under contract to the Italian and German governments, Leonardo and Diehl Defence developed the precision-guided munition family VULCANO 127 mm and 155 mm and successfully carried out the 127 mm qualification program agreed between Germany and Italy.

Qualification tests for VULCANO 155 mm according to the agreed program are close to completion. Compatibility with all 127 mm and 155 mm weapon systems is ensured.

The VULCANO 127/155 mm ammunition family is already being tested for operational use by the Italian Navy and artillery. Thus, the "vulcanization" of their 127 mm weapon systems, including fire command and ammunition programming, is completed. The fire command unit "pFCU" with the embedded fire command computation program "NABK" was successfully tested by the artillery for the Army ammunition V155mm and is used with its weapon systems FH70 and PzH2000.

The operational suitability test for VULCANO 127 mm on the German Navy's frigate F 125 is being planned. Integration of VULCANO 155 mm into the PzH2000 weapon system and another ammunition program for the German Army is currently being carried out for the German Army.

The VULCANO ammunition is designed to achieve extended ranges of 70 km for VULCANO 155 and 80 km for VULCANO 127 in conjunction with unique accuracy against stationary and moving targets.

The ammunition family reaches highest target accuracy through the unique combination of satellite-based navigation with laser- or infrared-sensors for terminal homing. This makes the VULCANO family the most accurate artillery ammunition for land and naval applications worldwide.

The powerful multi-role, insensitive high-explosive (IHE) warhead with pre-fragmented tungsten splinters is most effective against soft targets, vehicles, semi-armored vehicles, infrastructures and all typical infantry command posts.

VULCANO programming kits enable artillery platforms to fire VULCANO ammunition in an easy way. The kits allow either fully integrated or standalone operations. The embedded fire command computation program, NABK-M+, has been officially released.

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[*] posted on 29-10-2019 at 08:40 PM


Denmark purchases 4 additional Nexter CAESAR 8x8 self-propelled howitzer

Posted On Tuesday, 29 October 2019 09:02

Nexter, a KNDS company, European leader in land defense, announces the signing by the Danish Ministry of Defence Procurement and Logistics Organisation (DALO) of a contract for the delivery of 4 additional CAESAR 8x8.


The CAESAR 8x8 was showcased at Eurosatory 2018

The CAESAR 8x8 self-propelled artillery system, a heavy, protected and high payload capacity variant, completes the Nexter Group's self-propelled artillery range. It is equipped with the 155mm artillery gun, which is combat proven in French armed forces on CAESAR 6x6. Highly modular, the CAESAR 8x8 can carry up to 36 complete ammunition as well as a wide range of equipment according to operational needs (secondary weapons, electronic countermeasures, smoke, etc.). Its shielding offers a high level of ballistic and anti-mine protection (level 2A and 2B STANAG 4569) and anti-IED protection.

Finally, it has an automatic shell reloading system, whose speed can be configured according to the user's operating modes (semi-automatic to automatic).

Denmark had already signed a contract with Nexter on 22 May 2017 for the delivery of 15 CAESAR 8x8 systems, which will be delivered mid-2020 to the Danish forces. The strength of Nexter's offer lies both in the participation in the program of local players such as HYDREMA, WEIBEL or TEN CATE, and in the exceptional performance of CAESAR 8x8, selected on the basis of rigorous evaluations conducted in February 2017.

Nexter's artillery system thus perfectly meets Danish requirements for firepower, crew protection and high mobility.

On October 11, DALO signed a contract with Nexter to acquire 4 additional CAESAR 8x8. It is the result of two years of constant and fruitful exchanges between Danish and Nexter teams. In 2018, DALO had sent three officers to the Nexter stand at the Eurosatory exhibition to present its future equipment to visitors.

Nexter is delighted with this privileged relationship with Denmark, which is a testimony of the group's ability to establish constant and productive links with its customers and to best meet the needs and specifications requested.

CAESAR 8x8 is the ideal solution to meet the needs of armed forces interested in a mobile, reliable, combat proven and modular artillery system and is the subject of considerable interest in several European countries, Asia and the Middle East.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2019 at 09:54 AM


Indian Amy to get first Dhanush artillery regiment by March 2020

Posted On Monday, 04 November 2019 09:55

The Indian Army, which began inducting the indigenously upgraded 155mm Dhanush howitzers, will have the first regiment in place by March 2020 and will get all 114 guns by 2022, Army sources said. Dhanush is the indigenously upgraded variant of the Swedish Bofors gun imported in the 1980s. Dinakar Peri reports on The Hindu.


Dhanush 155mm howitzer (Picture source: Army Recognition)

“The first regiment of 18 guns will be in place by March 2020. We will get another 36 guns by March 2021 and another 40 by March 2022. The entire order for 114 guns will be completed by 2022,” an Army source said, reported by Dinakar Peri.

In April, the Ordnance Factory Board had handed over the first batch of six Dhanush guns. The Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur, received the Bulk Production Clearance to manufacture 114 guns from the Army on February 18, 2019. The Defence Ministry had stated earlier that indigenisation to the extent of about 81%, has “already been achieved” and, by the end of 2019, the level of indigenisation in the manufacture of the gun “will go up to 91%.”

Dhanush is a 155 mm/45-calibre towed artillery gun with a range of 36km. It has demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialised ammunition. It is an upgrade of the existing 155m/39 caliber Bofors FH 77 gun. The Army recently procured 155mm Excalibur precision-guided ammunition from Raytheon and BAE Systems able to perform artillery strikes at extended ranges. The ammunition can be used with all 155-mm artillery guns in the inventory.

The first phase of trials of Dhanush were conducted between July to September 2016 at Pokhran and Babina ranges. The second phase was conducted between October to December 2016 at Siachen base camp with three guns. The last round of user exploitation trials was completed with six guns in June 2018.

The gun is fitted with an inertial navigation system having GPS-based gun recording and auto-laying, an enhanced tactical computer for on-board ballistic computations, an on-board muzzle velocity recording, an automated gun sighting system equipped with camera, thermal imaging, and laser range finder.

After close to three decades, the Army inducted its first modern artillery guns system in November last year. These include M-777A2 Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled howitzers.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2019 at 09:37 AM


Denel Artillery Reaches New Milestone

(Source: Denel; issued Nov 12, 2019)

Denel’s global leadership in long-range artillery was on display last week when record distances and unmatched accuracy were achieved during testing in the Northern Cape.

Long-range guns manufactured by Denel Land Systems (DLS) used ammunition produced by Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) to reach targets at an average range of 76.2km. The tests were conducted at the Alkantpan Test Range and witnessed by local and international military representatives, government agencies and defence industry observers.

Danie du Toit the Group CEO of Denel says this is a new milestone in long range artillery capability. The test results exceeded expectations, both in distances achieved and accuracy. It underscores Denel’s reputation in the design and manufacturing of world-class artillery and the manufacturing of ammunition which enables it to reach long-range targets with unrivalled precision.

The main artillery systems used during the testing were the G6-52 self-propelled and a German PZH2000 mounted gun. The ballistic system is based on the technology developed in the late 1990s and has been consistently improved over the past two decades.

“The artillery produced by Denel Land Systems is still considered to be the yardstick against which all other long-range systems are measured,” says du Toit. “With the latest tests we have raised the bar even further and I have no doubt that defence forces and potential customers will take note of our achievements.”

The projectiles used for the tests were V-LAP ammunition designed and manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition for high-firing pressures and muzzle velocities.

Du Toit says the achievement demonstrates the ability of various divisions within the Denel group to produce a world leading ballistic system which is able to compete in the global defence industry.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 19-11-2019 at 03:18 PM


D&S 2019: Thailand successfully indigenises artillery

18th November 2019 - 23:59 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Bangkok

Indigenously assembled Thai artillery pieces featured in a dynamic opening ceremony at the Defense & Security 2019 expo in Bangkok, underscoring ongoing success in Thai efforts to become more self-sufficient in terms of military equipment.

The two main indigenous products on display in the ceremony were both supported by technical expertise from Elbit Systems, with the Israeli company transferring technology that allows the 120mm Autonomous Truck-Mounted Mortar (ATMM) and 155mm Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (ATMG) to be built in Thailand.



LtCol Wichian Nawieng, project manager for Chankasem International, a Thai partner to Elbit Systems, said that 18 ATGMs have already been deployed by the Royal Thai Army (RTA). The partners are now assembling six additional ATGMs for the Royal Thai Marine Corps.

In 2020 production should commence on 18 ATGMs to equip a second RTA artillery battalion.

Tom Millin, programme manager for fire support systems at Elbit Systems, confirmed that the ATGM is based on his company’s Soltam ATMOS artillery solution. Elbit supplies the barrels and the armoured cabs for the Tatra trucks.

The ATGM employs a crew of six and 18 ammunition rounds are carried on board. Its maximum rate of fire is two rounds per minute. The RTA is looking at obtaining resupply vehicles with similar cross-country mobility as the Tatra 6x6 trucks used for the semiautomatic howitzers.



The Thai military expressed concerns that six Nexter CAESAR 155mm truck howitzers ordered in 2009 have suffered from difficulties in obtaining spare parts. Thus, when they break down, they can remain out of action for some time. The move to indigenise production should help alleviate the same thing happening with the ATGM and ATMM.

The ATMM employs Elbit Systems’ Spear recoil mortar, and Millin said the technology reduces the recoil from 120t to just 12t. This means the Tata LPTA 715C 4x4 truck chassis upon which they are carried is not strained by firing the Soltam mortar.

The ATMM is served by a four-man crew, and the mortar has a 6.5km range and ten rounds-per-minute rate of fire.

Ten ATMMs have been produced so far, with eight issued to a single mortar company. However, Nawieng predicted that more orders will follow. The 120mm system, which employs INS and GPS as well as back-up systems, does away with the need for survey teams and thus greatly speeds up deployment and firing.
The MoD’s Weapon Production Centre also plans to install 105mm gun barrels from M101 towed artillery howitzers onto 6x6 trucks.
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[*] posted on 28-11-2019 at 12:26 PM


Rheinmetall sets three new distance records for indirect fire in South Africa

Posted On Wednesday, 27 November 2019 14:30

At a test fire event on 6 November at the Alkantpan Test Range in South Africa, Rheinmetall demonstrated its extensive expertise in the world of indirect fire. In the presence of international partners and customers, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based defense contractor proved how new technologies can be used to boost the performance of systems that are already in extensive use around the world – those which meet the NATO standards set out in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) as well as non-JBMoU systems.


Rheinmetall's live-fire tests in South Africa set three new distance records (Picture source: Rheinmetall)

During the event, three new maximum effective range records were set using various guns. A G6 howitzer with a 52-caliber gun achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional 155mm artillery round: 76 kilometers, while the 52-caliber gun of PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer lobbed a shell 67 kilometers. Finally, a field howitzer with a 39-caliber gun attained a range of 54 kilometers.

Rheinmetall Waffe and Munition, Rheinmetall's center of excellence for cannon technology, showcased the self-propelled howitzer PzH 2000's main armament in action. Over the past decade, this 155mm weapons system has proven to be one of the world's most effective conventional artillery systems, capable of attaining the high rates of fire specified in the 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.

Using the celebrated Assegai V-LAP shell is an example, modular upgrades of the artillery ammunition were on show at the event. The delegations could see for themselves the marked improvement in its performance with respect both to propulsion and range when fired from 39- and 52-caliber 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.

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 kilometers 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 kilometers 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 lends itself especially well to multipurpose vehicle applications with a rapid-fire capability. It also enables friendly forces to quickly evade counterbattery fire.

The event's host, the German-South African joint venture Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), welcomed participants from several NATO nations to the event in Northern Cape province on 6 November. As RDM managing director Jan-Patrick Helmsen explains, "Our goal is to be a true partner to the military. That's why transparent cooperation and trust are so important to us.

Tube artillery can provide defensive and offensive fire support. It's cheaper and faster than rockets or air support, can operate around the clock, and engage targets with great precision using indirect fire anywhere within its range. Of course, range has proved to be a limiting factor in recent years, giving rise to the need for increased operational reach." During the event, Jan-Patrick Helmsen noted that RDM has already been working to extend the range of artillery shells for some time now. "We're known for the Assegai family and our V-LAP round, the longest-range conventional artillery projectile. The combination of South African technology and German expertise has already resulted in enhanced range, effectiveness and precision. When it comes to artillery, Rheinmetall takes a totally holistic approach", declares Helmsen.


Rheinmetall's live-fire tests in South Africa set three new distance records (Picture source: Rheinmetall)
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[*] posted on 28-11-2019 at 02:20 PM


Was there any reason we never seriously looked at the G6, or just a bit of anti-SA chauvinism?

I note this model was commissioned by General Dynamics Land Systems, Australia a few years back.












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[*] posted on 28-11-2019 at 10:25 PM


From what I recall, there was a direct fire requirement that essentially eliminated all wheeled options. They couldn't operate as tanks in an emergency so they were out. A combination of DMO at its best and old school army thinking I would guess.

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[*] posted on 29-11-2019 at 07:53 PM


Brazil inducts BAE Systems M109A5+ self-propelled howitzers

Posted On Friday, 29 November 2019 08:29

The Brazilian Artillery conducted a live-fire demonstration of BAE Systems’ M109A5+ self-propelled howitzers, so indicating the introduction of the vehicles into service.


Live-fire demonstration of an M109A5+ self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Brazilian MoD)

BAE Systems was awarded a $54 million US Government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract in 2016 to provide 32 upgraded M109A5+ self-propelled howitzers to the Brazilian Army. As part of the contract, BAE Systems has provided the Brazilian Army with technological know-how and support through the lifecycle of the delivered vehicles. The Brazilian M109A5+ benefit from a digitized fire mission sequencing system, as well as enhanced position and navigation systems, commander’s display unit, digital radios and remotely actuated travel lock. Chile, with 12 units, is another operator of the M109A5+.

The M109 was developed by the Ground System Division of United Defense LP (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments). It was the medium variant of a U.S. program to adopt a common chassis for its self-propelled artillery units. The light version, the M108 Howitzer (105mm), was phased out during the Vietnam War, but many were rebuilt as M109s. The M109 saw its combat debut in Vietnam. Israel used the M109 against Egypt in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in the 1982 and 2006 Lebanon Wars.

Iran used the M109 in the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s. The M109 saw service with the British, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian Armies in the 1991 Gulf War. The M109 also saw service with the U.S. Army in the Gulf War, as well as in the Iraq War from 2003–2011.

Upgrades to the cannon, ammunition, fire control, survivability, and other electronics systems over the design's lifespan have expanded the system's capabilities, including tactical nuclear projectiles, Cannon Launched Guided Projectiles (CLGP or Copperhead), Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP), FAmily of SCAtterable Mines (FASCAM), and improved conventional munitions (the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition, DPICM).
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[*] posted on 30-11-2019 at 12:38 PM


Rheinmetall develops new long-range howitzer

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

29 November 2019

Rheinmetall plans to develop and manufacture a new 155 mm gun with a significantly larger chamber and longer, 60-calibre barrel, the company said in a 27 November press release.

Rheinmetall told Jane's on 28 November that the company was exploring the possibility of building such a weapon for a wheeled self-propelled howitzer for the Bundeswehr's Zukünftiges System Indirektes Feuer (Future Indirect Fire System).


A G6 self-propelled howitzer with a 52-calibre gun (background) achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional 155mm artillery round by firing it 76 km, while a PzH 2000 52-calibre gun (foreground) fired a shell 67 km at the Alkantpan test range in South Africa on 6 November. (Rheinmetall)

The company said in its press release that it planned to work closely with the German procurement authorities on a gun able to fire existing rounds compliant with the NATO standards set out in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) as well as new ammunition families. The new ammunition types will be optimised to withstand the stresses occurring in the new gun as well as being able to be fired from legacy JBMoU-compliant guns. The German procurement authorities have specified a maximum effective range of 75 km, according to Rheinmetall, which said it would use 83 km as the baseline as the course correction fuze necessary to achieve precision at these ranges reduces range by 10%.

The press release stated that Rheinmetall broke three maximum effective indirect fire range records during test firings at the Alkantpan test range in South Africa on 6 November. A new version of the Denel G6 howitzer with a 52-calibre gun achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional artillery round by firing a non-JBMoU standard M9703 practice inert rocket assistance for enhanced range performance (V-LAP) 155 mm artillery round with a modified top charge over 76 km.

(283 of 332 words)
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[*] posted on 30-11-2019 at 01:42 PM


155mm Artillery System Claims World Record: 76km

By Tamir Eshel -Nov 27, 2019


DM-52-2l gun fires 155mm Very Long Artillery Projectile (V-LAP) to a record range of 67 km. Photo: RDM

In a recent firing series held in South Africa, the German-South African joint-venture Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM) demonstrated a dramatic increase in the range of its artillery firepower. The demonstration employed three 155 mm cannons with 52 and 39 caliber lengths, which scored three world records – firing at ranges of 76, 67 and 54 km.

The South African G6 built by Denel scored the longest shot in those tests, firing to a range of 76 km, the longest shot ever scored by a 155mm cannon. To achieve this shot RDM used a Zone-6 charge to propel an inert M9703 Velocity Enhanced Long-Range Artillery Projectile (V-LAP). The G6 is not restricted by the NATO accepted Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) and has a larger chamber, packing more propellant charge accelerating the Assegai to the longest range possible.

The propellant manufacturer Nitrochemie is preparing a new top-charge for this non-standard 25-liter chamber that could exploit the system’s dimensions to maximize performance. The new top-charge will be tested next year. The G6 is used by the South African Army, as well as the UAE and Oman.

Other shots used the NATO standard L52-23l cannon that was mounted on a firing rig. This is the same gun used by seven NATO countries on the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer. This gun lobbed 67 km range firing Rheinmetall Dennel’s Assegai M2005-V-LAP ammunition with a special top-charge produced by Nitrochemie. This top-charge complies with the gun’s JBMoU-compliant 23-liter gun chamber. PzH 2000 is one of the most common artillery systems in NATO, used by Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia and Hungary. In 2015 Qatar became the first non-NATO as a PzH 2000 user.

Even the 155/39 mm scored an impressive shot reaching a range of 54 km firing the Assegai high explosive M2005-V-LAP, an unprecedented record for the system, that fires rocket-assisted rounds at much shorter ranges.


DM-52-23l mounted on a firing bench. Photo: RDM

The German-South African joint venture Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) hosted the event, welcoming participants from several NATO nations. “Our goal is to be a true partner to the military. That’s why transparent cooperation and trust are so important to us.” RDM Managing Director Jan-Patrick Helmsen said, “Tube artillery can provide defensive and offensive fire support. It’s cheaper and faster than rockets or air support, can operate around the clock, and engage targets with great precision using indirect fire anywhere within its range. Of course, range has proved to be a limiting factor in recent years, giving rise to the need for increased operational reach.” Helmsen added.

“We’re known for the Assegai family and our V- LAP round, the longest-range conventional artillery projectile. The combination of South African technology and German expertise has already resulted in enhanced range, effectiveness, and precision. When it comes to artillery, Rheinmetall takes a totally holistic approach”, Helmsen noted.
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[*] posted on 11-12-2019 at 11:18 AM


Dezamet and Mesko to supply ammunition to Polish army

Posted On Tuesday, 10 December 2019 15:29

The Polish Ministry of Defense has signed contracts for the supply of 155mm shells for the tracked self-propelled howitzer Krab, and 5.56mm and 9mm rounds for personal weapons, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter on Dec. 9. The total value of the contracts is PLN 815 mln (EUR 191 Mn).


Krab 155mm self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The ammunition will be supplied by Polish Armaments Group's subsidiaries Dezamet and Mesko, the former based in Nowa Debia, south-east Poland, and the latter located in Skarzysko-Kamienna, south-central Poland, TheFirstNews reports.

The Defense Ministry has ordered 24,000 shells for the Krab self-propelled howitzers, and personal weapons ammunition rounds. The total value of the contract is EUR 191 Mn. The supply of the small-caliber ammunition will start by the end of this year.

At MSPO 2015 International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) had unveiled its Krab self-propelled howitzer armed with a 155mm/52 calibre gun. The Polish Company HSW S.A., which is the main contractor for the development of the new Krab, had signed an agreement with South Korea to produce a new tracked self-propelled howitzer based on the South Korean K9 chassis produced by Doosan. The armament is based on the AS90 Braveheart. Under the contract, AS90 Braveheart turrets were supplied to HSW for integration into the Krab for the Polish Army.
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[*] posted on 12-12-2019 at 10:03 AM


This is the XM-1299, the new Super-gun for extra long-range rounds and artillery support, under-going trials as we speak. She's not small that's fer sure!!!




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