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Rheinmetall Denel Munition qualifies VLAP shell for overseas client
April 30, 2017
PzH-2000. Photo credit: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)

Rheinmetall Denel Munition qualifies VLAP shell for overseas client

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) successfully qualified its M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP) for an undisclosed international client.

Defence Web reported that the qualification was completed from a PzH2000 155 mm/52-calibre howitzer, which narrows the client to Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Lithuania, Italy, Greece or Qatar. It should be noted that Qatar is currently the only non-NATO PzH2000 user.

The RDM M2005 VLAP has a maximum range of 54 km at sea-level. It is based on RDM’s Assegai series of 155 mm shells. The M2005 possesses a natural fragmenting high explosive (HE) warhead, rocket motor and base bleed unit. The M2005 is compatible with 39, 45 and 52-calibre howitzers, which means that it could be deployed from lightweight howitzers, such as the BAE Systems M777.

As per RDM, the M2005 is in full-scale production.

Founded in 2008, RDM is jointly owned by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (51%) and South Africa’s Denel Group (49%). In April 2016, Saudi Arabia opened an ordnance factory, which it built in collaboration with RDM for U.S. $240 million.

Notes & Comments:

With a maximum sea-level range of 54 km, the M2005 VLAP provides artillery forces with stand-off range capability. It is emerging as a competitive stand-alone product, but adds to the viability of the Denel Land Systems T5-52 wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH), provided the client can access both systems.

It will be interesting if VLAP shells are a factor in Pakistan’s ongoing wheeled SPH program, which has the Denel T5-52 and Yugoimport-SDPR as the leading competitors. Yugoimport-SDPR also has a 155 mm VLAP shell under development. These SPHs with VLAP shells would provide a significant qualitative boost to the Pakistan Army’s artillery forces in terms of mobility and striking range.

Long-term considerations – for RDM and prospective clients alike – could involve other trends, such as INS/GPS and semi-active laser-guided shells. Besides the fact that the wider industry is already shifting to guided-shells (e.g. Raytheon Excalibur), it would fit with increasingly ubiquitous network-enabled armies.

  • Matthys Jacobs

    Denel at one point was researching a extreme long range Ramjet powered round which aimed to reach distances of excess of 85 km’s.

    A good research paper was written on it and it was proposed to the US.

    The US declined stating that it had no requirement for such ranges.

    RDM currently has a GPS and Laser Guided Shell available.

    • Superior Shakeel

      Ramjet powered round geez must be expensive ???

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