General Dynamics European Land System – Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) has reactivated the manufacturing of large calibre gun barrels as a response to the increased demand for tanks and artillery, amid the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.

The move reflected “international defence and security requirements”, GDELS-SBS stated in an 11 June release, adding that the restart of gun barrel manufacture had already got underway at its Trubia site with 120mm, 105mm, and 155mm barrels for main battle tanks (MBTs) and artillery.

“Operational experience from ongoing military confrontation demonstrate the renewed relevance of artillery as well as main battle tanks,” said Juan A. Escriña, general director of GDELS-SBS.

Although not stated, the “ongoing military confrontation” is almost certainly in reference to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, which has seen hundreds of thousands of casualties sustained by both sides in the more than two-year-old conflict.

The Ukraine-Russia war has reignited the demand for artillery systems and MBTs, capabilities that appear no less relevant on the contemporary battlefield as they did in the wars of the 20th Century.

GDELS stated that in recent years it has manufactured more than two hundred 120mm gun barrels for the Leopard 2E main battle tank of the Spanish Army, more than one hundred barrels for its SIAC 155/52 howitzer, both field and coastal artillery, as well as dozens of barrels for the 105 Light Gun, models L118 and L119.

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GDELS-SBS is the only Spanish company to manufacture, maintain, and modernise artillery systems. General Dynamics European Land Systems is a Europe-based business unit of US defence prime General Dynamics.

Global artillery market dominated by Europe

Analysis by GlobalData forecasts that the global artillery system market, valued at $10.6bn in 2024, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% over the next decade, reaching $16.5bn by 2034 and cumulatively valued $148.7bn over the forecast period.

The market consists of five categories: self-propelled artillery system, multiple rocket launch system (MRLS), towed artillery system, naval gun, and close-in weapon system. Of this, the market is expected to be dominated by self-propelled artillery system segment, which accounts for 56.1% of the market, followed by MLRS segment with 22.1% share.

Among geographic segments, Europe is projected to dominate the sector with a share of 46.2%, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America with shares of 38.2% and 7.0% respectively.