Live fire success for fully automated 155mm howitzer
An automated 155mm L52 wheeled self-propelled howitzer has successfully completed live-fire demonstrations in front of international military officials.
German defence manufacturer Rheinmetall and Israel-based defence company Elbit Systems conducted the live-fire demonstration at the Shivta firing range in southern Israel during March this year.
The demonstration was attended by high-ranking officials of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Hungary.
Both companies signed a cooperation agreement in 2022 to develop, manufacture, and market the automated wheeled self-propelled howitzer system led by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.
As part of that development, a 155mm L52 Rheinmetall gun was integrated onto the unmanned, fully robotic artillery turret of Elbit’s HX 10×10 tactical truck system.
The system will compete for Germany’s “Future System, Indirect Fire, Medium-Range” program to modernise the Bundeswehr’s artillery capability. Interest has also been expressed from Hungary and the UK’s “Mobile Fires Platform” program.
It will next undertake an advanced phase of the verification process, while modifications are carried out to customise it to European operational requirements and the German regulatory approval process.
Rheinmetall vehicle systems division chief John Abunassar and Elbit Systems general manager Yehuda Vered said alongside the L52 gun and advanced A1 version, a larger and longer L60 gun is in development for the wheeled self-propelled howitzer to attain ranges up to 83 kilometres.
“We are proud to present the world with this advanced 155mm artillery system”, they said in a joint statement.
“The successful demonstration of the automated howitzer highlights the synergies and innovative technologies of the Rheinmetall-Elbit team; a team that is uniquely positioned to supply the armed forces of Germany and other nations with an outstanding new tube artillery capability.
“We are convinced that this joint German-Israeli project will contribute to strengthening ties between our two nations and their armed forces.”
Earlier this month, Elbit Systems was awarded a $71 million, three-year contract to supply and maintain Manoeuvre Synthetic Trainer systems for the UK Ministry of Defence. Those simulators operate Boxer armoured vehicles and Challenger 3 tanks under the British Army’s Project Vulcan.
The company has also recently announced a €20 million defence export agreement with the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro to supply 120mm mortar munition systems for 4×4 armoured vehicles and training equipment.