Large Calibre Weapons and Ammunition
Rheinmetall is one of the world's leading suppliers of large-calibre weapons and ammunition. The company's globally acclaimed smoothbore L44 and L55 tank guns combine tremendous firepower with a high first round hit probability, even when the tank is on the move. Particularly in the field of weapons and ammunition, recent technological breakthroughs have let Rheinmetall make a vital contribution to the unsurpassed combat effectiveness of the Leopard MBT.
120 mm L44 Tank Gun
As the standard NATO smoothbore gun for main battle tanks Leopard 2 and AbramsM1A1, Rheinmetall’s L44 tank gun proved superior to all rivals in the 120 mm arena. Apart from serving as the main armament for the world’s finest main battle tank –t he Leopard 2 – this high-performance gun has been integrated into a number of foreign tanks and is manufactured under licence in the United States. In combination with the Rheinmetall ammunition family KE, HE and PELE the L44’s firepower gives tanks the edge even in long-range engagements. This smoothbore gun is the precursor of Rheinmetall’s L55 and LLR/L47 tank guns.
120 mm L 55 Tank Gun
The Leopard 2 is the world’s top-performing tank, the most widely used weapons system in its class. Its tremendous combat power is due in large measure to its Rheinmetall L 55 main armament, which gives the Leopard 2 superior firepower even in long-range engagements. Based on the tried-and-tested L 44 tank gun, the L 55 features optimized barrel material and a longer barrel. In the L 55, a larger share of the energy resulting from a round being fired is converted into greater velocity. This leads to an enormous increase in maximum range. Equipped with the L 55 and supplied with an array of state-of-the art Rheinmetall ammunition, the Leopard 2 remains a match for the challenges of future mechanized warfare.
120mm HE DM 11 Tank Ammunition
Rheinmetall's latest ammunition product is the DM 11, a 120mm HE tank round. Owing to its time-delay fuse, it is especially suitable for supporting infantry units tasked with taking lightly fortified positions as well as for engaging light and medium-weight armoured vehicles. After loading, an electronic module programs the time-delay fuse to detonate at a specific point in the projectile's flight path: the round can be timed to explode for maximum effect either above, in front or inside of a target (e.g. after penetrating a wall). The DM 11 is thus a perfect match for the altered operational requirements of modern main battle tanks.
120mm KE DM63 / DM53 A1 Tank Ammunition
Rheinmetall has developed the world's first temperature-independent high-performance tank ammunition, the DM 63 and DM 53 A1 (the latter is an upgraded version of the DM 53). What sets this round apart is its temperature-independent propulsion system (TIPS), which maintains its internal ballistic characteristics at a constant level through a broad temperature span. This new generation of ammunition is considerably more accurate and causes substantially less barrel erosion. The DM 63 can be used in climatic zones C2 to A1, and fired from any 120mm smoothbore tank gun.
120mm PELE Tank Ammunition
The company's newly developed 120mm PELE is an inert round. It contains no explosive and is therefore extremely safe to handle. When it hits its target, the low-density material inside the projectile becomes so compressed that it causes the warhead to burst, resulting in a large number of fragments, which travel exclusively in the round's trajectory. This is especially advantageous in the case of semi-hard targets. PELE can be retrofitted into multipurpose ammunition or armour piercing rounds.