On 27 November 2019, the German defence giant Rheinmetall announced that it successfully test-fired a 155 mm artillery round to a range of 76 km.
In its official press release, Rheinmetall said that it test-fired the 76 km round using a Denel Land Systems G6-52 self-propelled howitzer (SPH). In addition, Rheinmetall also test-fired a shell from its PzH2000 SPH, achieving a range of 67 km, and from a 39-calibre field howitzer, covering 54 km.
Rheinmetall conducted the test to demonstrate how NATO could adopt new technologies (outside of the Joint Ballistics Memorandum-of-Understanding or JBMoU) to achieve new gains, such as additional range.
However, Rheinmetall added that the G6-52 it used as part of test “was a new version designed to attain greater ranges in line with non-JBMOU standards.” Rheinmetall plans to use the test’s data to develop a new generation 155 mm howitzer that can fire at a range of up to 83 km.
Rheinmetall also lauded the quality of its Assegai V-LAP (velocity-enhanced artillery projectile) line, which is a family of various artillery shells built on common fuzes and other components. It also reiterated that artillery shells are a more cost-effective and faster attack resource than rockets and air support.
The Denel G6-52 is a 155 mm, 52-calibre system mounted on a 6×6 wheeled-armoured vehicle. Its towed equivalent is the T5-52, which is also available as a wheeled SPH solution (i.e. connected to an 8×8 truck, such as the Czech-based Tatra’s 815, among others).
Notes & Comments:
It is unclear if the G6-52 modification will be available for export through Denel Land Systems. However, making that version available could result in a compelling solution, i.e., a howitzer gun capable of firing at stand-off weapon (SOW)-like range. On the other hand, Rheinmetall may opt to further develop and test the technology, and then release it through its 80+ km howitzer design.
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