DM 63 round
Turkey and the Netherlands have recently awarded Rheinmetall AG of Dusseldorf contracts for large-calibre ammunition worth some EUR 79 million.
In connection with the transfer to Turkey of 298 surplus Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the Bundeswehr inventory, Rheinmetall Defence received an order in December 2005 to supply Turkey with some 15,000 rounds of 120 mm KE ammunition (the DM 63, including practice ammunition). The order is worth around EUR 46 million. Delivery will take place during period July 2006 to June 2007.
The DM 63 is a tungsten-based kinetic energy round whose new temperature-independent powder also makes it suitable for use in extreme climate zones without limitation.
Coming hard on the heels of the decision of Germany's Bundeswehr an important Rheinmetall reference customer to buy the new round in summer 2005, the Turkish order represent an important export breakthrough. Potential customers include the roughly twenty nations whose tanks are equipped with 120 mm main armament technology from Rheinmetall.
In the artillery domain, the Dutch Army's decision to procure Rheinmetall's newly developed Rh 40 DM 131 round also represents a major step forward: the Netherlands will be the first nation to field the new ammunition. Already qualified by the Bundeswehr, the Rh 40 DM 131 has a maximum range of over 40 km. Moreover, the use of insensitive explosives in this new 155 mm round clearly places it at the forefront of global artillery technology.
Worth around EUR 33 million, the contract encompasses 10,000 artillery shells as well as 67,000 DM 92 modular propelling charges (MTLS), likewise qualified by the Bundeswehr. Delivery will take place through to the end of 2007. The Netherlands is buying this package of artillery rounds and propelling charges as part of its PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer procurement programme.
These two orders underscore Rheinmetall's technological predominance in the world of large-calibre weapons and ammunition.