Rheinmetall Denel Munition has formalised a ten-year agreement with Northrop Grumman to develop ammunition technology for future artillery operations.

The agreement was signed in February and focuses on precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition solutions.

The companies will cooperate on realising an enhanced range 155mm artillery round fitted with an integrated M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK).

They will also focus on developing a new 155mm projectile featuring an enhanced integrated propulsion system.

The M1156 PGK, which is already operational with several armed forces, is a quick and affordable option that turns existing types of 155mm artillery rounds into smart weapons.

When combined with Rheinmetall’s velocity-enhanced long-range projectile (V-LAP) projectile, the M1156 PGK results in a solution that has been proven in numerous combat operations.

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In 2019, a conventional artillery projectile achieved a 76km range with a non-Nato Joint Ballistics memorandum of understanding (JBMOU)-conforming 52-calibre gun and RDM 155mm projectile.

Currently, enhanced range Rheinmetall artillery ammunition from South Africa is used by the armed forces of more than 12 countries.

Earlier this year, Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman conducted testing of the V-LAP projectile variants and precision guidance kit in South Africa.

The two companies now intend to demonstrate it later at the US Army ground in Yuma, Arizona.

In April 2018, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale of M1156 PGK to the Netherlands.