The German-Nordic munitions group, ARGE DiNa 155, comprising Diehl Defence and Nammo, has received its largest order yet from the German Armed Forces for 155-millimetre (mm) artillery rounds on 9 July 2024.

However, the number and cost of the muntions remains undisclosed. Nontheless, the Ministry of Defence has decided to restock munitions for its own inventory and that of Ukraine.

A framework agreement was established a year ago between the parties, under which the latest large-volume order for projectiles marks Germany’s “long-term approach” to large calibre munitions procurement, the company maintained in a press release.

“Such a long-term approach enables the industry to build up the necessary production capacities in Germany,” it added.

Diehl Defence CEO Helmut Rauch (left) together with Nammo Executive Vice President Vegard Sande (right) signed the framework agreement with Annette Lehnigk-Emden (middle), President of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) on July 9 in Coblenz. Credit: Diehl Defence.

Together with the contract signing, a significant order retrieval for 155mm artillery was also agreed, which forms the basis for the expansion of a national production line. Diehl Defence provides 18 facilities around the world, 16 of these are based in Germany. There is also a French subsidiary that manufactures electronic fuses as well as offices in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Especially in the field of explosives, ARGE DiNA 155mm can reliably fall back on the bottleneck resource of explosives manufactured in Germany thanks to its cooperation with Chemring Nobel AS and Dynamit Nobel Defence, and guarantee its availability.

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European 155mm artillery production

Despite Europe’s rearmament efforts, the Western defence industry’s capacity to produce enough material to sustain high intensity operations in Ukraine has repeatedly come into question.

The European Union (EU) revealed in January that it would fall short on its pledge to supply Ukraine with 1m artillery shells by March 2024, with only 52% of the promised deliveries having taken place.

As European governments become increasingly concerned with Russian resilience on the battlefield and isolationist rhetoric from certain US officials, the Czech Republic has taken the initiative and spearheaded an international procurement programme seeking to acquire artillery munitions from suppliers outside of the EU.

The “Czech Initiative” as it has become known is based around gathering financial donations to a collective fund which would be used to pay for additional artillery ammunition purchases from willing partners around the globe.