Rheinmetall suggests 120mm L55 smoothbore gun for Challenger 2 upgrade

1682579_-_mainAccording to IHS Jane’s, Rheinmetall has proposed replacing the rifled L30A1 gun of the British Challenger 2 with the smoothbore L55 120mm gun.  The Rheinmetall L55 gun is already in service with Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Qatar, and Spain.  While there has been little significant ammunition development for the British L30A1 gun in recent years, Rheinmetall has developed a range of new ammunition options for their smoothbore gun.  This includes their latest APFSDS round, labeled CM63A1, as well as DM11 programmable air burst ammunition.  Rheinmetall is also proposing a suite of enhancements for the Challenger 2, including new optics, situational awareness systems, and fire control solutions.

Read the full article here.

Rheinmetall unveils Lynx IFV at Eurosatory 2016

From Shephard Media comes this video of the new Rheinmetall Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.  Lynx is the company’s entrance into the medium weight category and will fit into the company’s portfolio below the Puma IFV.

Rheinmetall unveils Lynx Eurosatory 2016 from Shephard Media on Vimeo.

Photo of the Day: CGI BT Fast tank at Eurosatory

Today’s photo is a bit of a silly one. While looking for information about Eurosatory 2016 at the Rheinmetall website, we came across a computer graphic of their outdoor display area. The thing that immediately caught our eye is the vehicle with the red circle around it. This is supposed to be the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Obviously, somebody at Rheinmetall got lazy or really likes WW2 Soviet tanks, because the digital model really looks like a BT-7 Model 1937 fast tank!

Rheinmetall BT 7

Rheinmetall BT 7 close up

Rheinmetall reveals new 130mm tank gun

Ck0b-RyWgAAckCr-696x522IHS Jane’s is reporting that Rheinmetall has revealed their new 130mm tank cannon at the Eurosatory 2016 in Paris.  Development of the gun started in 2015 and firing trials will start after Eurosatory 2016.  According to Rheinmetall, the gun is a 130mm L/51 smoothbore cannon with a vertical sliding breech mechanism and chrome lined.  The barrel weighs 1,400 kg and the entire gun with recoil system will weigh 3000 kg.  The gun on display at Eurosatory features a thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system.  Rheinmetall is also introducing a new generation of armor piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition with combustible cartridge case.  This will be followed by a new 130mm high-explosive air-bursting munition (HE ABM) round.

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New German 130mm Gun to be introduced in June

German_Leopard_3_TankIHS Janes is reporting that German gun maker Rheinmetall will be revealing a new 130mm smoothbore tank gun at the Eurostatory exhibition this June.  The article, while quite short, notes that the new 130mm gun should be in production by 2025.  A new turret to house this 130mm gun is being designed, based off the existing Leopard II turret.

Read the IHS Jane’s article here.

 

Rheinmetall upgrading Polish Army’s Leopard 2 tanks

1650356_-_mainJane’s is reporting that Poland has signed a contract with German firm Rheinmetall to modernize 128 Leopard 2 tanks of the Polish Army in cooperation with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and ZM Bumar-Łabędy S.A.  Rheinmetall will supply key capabilities for the upgrade. Included will be electronics and weapon technology to bring the tanks to Leopard 2 PL standard, an improvement over the current Leopard 2A4.  The contract is worth $144 million for Rheinmetall.   The Leopard tanks were bought from German Army surplus in 2002.

In total, more than 50% of the programs budget is to be subcontracted for Polish firms, including: WZM (power-pack overhaul); PCO (KLW-1 Asteria and KDN-1 Nyks cameras delivery); ZM Tarnow (EWNA turret drives manufacturing); Rosomak (licenced production of additional turret armament); and OBRUM (modification and repairs of MBT simulators)  The first prototype Leopard 2PL is planned to be completed in Germany in March 2018.

 

Wiesel Video

In case anyone has ever wanted to see video of the German Wiesel splashing through mud and water set to dramatic music, here is your chance.  This video appeared on youtube this past week.