German technology firm Rheinmetall announced on Thursday that the Bundeswehr has expanded to €4 billion ($4.4 billion) an existing framework agreement with the company to supply tank ammunition.
As noted by the company, the order underscores Rheinmetall’s role as a major supplier of 120mm tank ammunition to the German armed forces. It also reflects the German military’s commitment to rebuilding its capabilities and increasing its ammunition stocks due to the new security situation.
The framework agreement also encompasses a significant amount of tank ammunition for the Ukrainian armed forces.
Based on the framework agreement just signed, the Bundeswehr could procure several hundred thousand rounds of 120mm x 570 cal. service and practice ammunition, the type fired for example by the Leopard 2 main battle tank. Worth around €309 million, a first call-off of ammunition came immediately after the contract was signed.
The scope of delivery includes multipurpose tank ammunition with a non-programmable fuse as well as another variant that can be programmed for three different ignition modes: detonation on impact with and without time delay, and a timed airburst function. The order also encompasses various types of practice ammunition featuring reduced range and lower cost, but which otherwise display comparable ballistic characteristics.
For many Leopard 2 user nations, Rheinmetall is the most important supplier of ammunition for the tank’s 120mm smoothbore main armament. The armed forces of Germany and several partner nations have entered framework contracts with Rheinmetall to secure a steady long-term supply of ammunition, which in turn enables better planning of the production process and optimum utilization of existing capacity. Owing to ongoing production of various types of ammunition during the lifetime of the contract and the resulting rapid availability, the framework contract offers clear logistical advantages. For Rheinmetall, this contractual arrangement assures solid utilization of tank ammunition capacity for years to come.