Rheinmetall has won an important foreign order for large-calibre ammunition. Greece has contracted with the Düsseldorf-based defence contractor to supply the Hellenic armed forces with tank ammunition worth some €52 million. Now official, this procurement decision underscores once again Rheinmetall’s role as a global leader in large-calibre weapons and ammunition.
The order encompasses 12,000 rounds of 120mm ammunition, the initial supply for the Greek Army’s Leopard 2 tanks. Greece bought the tanks back in 2009; procurement of the accompanying ammunition was delayed for several years.
Just signed, the contract represents a breakthrough in finishing the task of re-equipping the Greek Army’s tank forces.
Under this procurement project Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz is the actual customer, acting on behalf of the Greek Ministry of Defence in a context of mutual cooperation and assistance. This substantially simplifies and accelerates the procurement process, enabling the Greek authorities to dispense with the costly accumulation of expertise in the field of ammunition procurement – especially with regard to technical inspections.
The defence ministries of Germany and Greece laid the contractual groundwork for this procedure in an agreement reached at the beginning of 2014.
Specifically, the contract calls for the supply of 120mm DM12A2 multipurpose ammunition as well as DM63 and DM63A1 kinetic energy (KE) rounds. It also includes the production and installation by Rheinmetall of ballistic tables for the KE ammunition in the Greek Leopard 2A4.
Two of these ammunition types, the DM12A2 and the DM63, will be supplied to the Greek Army by the end of 2014 in order to meet an immediate requirement. The remainder of the ammunition (DM63A1) will be delivered in three lots in 2015 and 2016 following the planned new qualification of this round early next year.
Components produced locally by Rheinmetall’s Greek partner Hellenic Defence Systems (HDS) are already being built into the DM63A1, ensuring that this procurement programme produces local valued added in Greece.
Today the Greek Army has a fleet of 353 Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Of these fighting vehicles, 170 Leopard 2A6 HEL are armed with a long-barrel Rheinmetall L55 gun, while the remaining 183 Leopard 2A4 tanks feature the short-barrel L44 model, likewise made by Rheinmetall.