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February 21, 2022

Rheinmetall to supply smoke/obscurant cartridges to Switzerland

The Maske 76 rapid smoke/obscurant cartridges can be fired from tactical vehicles, to protect allied forces.

Rheinmetall has secured a contract to deliver a new generation of Maske 76 rapid smoke/obscurant cartridges to Switzerland.

The ‘mid-two-digit million-euro’ order was awarded by the Swiss procurement authority armasuisse, following a competitive bidding process.

The pilot lot of the cartridges is set to undergo acceptance testing from November this year. The delivery of the final lot is scheduled for August 2027.

The Maske 76 cartridges can be fired from tactical vehicles to protect allied forces.

Based on a bi-modular, bi-spectral ammunition concept, the Maske family of cartridges comprises two rapid-reaction decoy modules to trigger an intensive blooming effect, using deception technologies.

The visible and infrared smoke/obscurant can be used to disrupt the line of sight and, in turn, protect armoured vehicles against enemy weapon systems with visual or infrared optical aiming systems, seekers, and laser rangefinders, among others.

The Maske rapid smoke/obscurant cartridges are available in different calibres.

The new order will enable the Swiss Army to replace the ageing Maske-C predecessor generation that has been in service for approximately 25 years.

In a statement, Rheinmetall said: “The order will keep the Maske production unit at Rheinmetall’s plant in Neuenburg am Rhein, in Baden-Württemberg, working at high capacity for years to come.”

The German firm has also expanded its Lynx next-generation combat vehicle family with a new addition.

The new vehicle is a mechanised fire support variant of the Lynx KF41 IFV, called Lynx 120.

Last month, Rheinmetall secured a contract to upgrade Bundeswehr’s 120mm mortar systems.

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