Propulsion Systems

High-performance propellants and propulsions systems for
civilian and defence applications

Nitrochemie is an integrated manufacturer of high-performance propellants. Propelling charge systems and combustible cast parts are part of it. In military applications propelling charge systems move the cartridge through the barrel of a gun by means of gas pressure. Propelling charge systems mainly consist of nitrocellulose.

In order to meet the complete performance requirements of advanced modern military, weapon systems are a carefully calibrated combination of gun, ammunition and propellant. Nitrochmie is world leading in the development and manufacturing of propelling charge systems and an innovative partner of leading ammunition producers both at home and abroad, participating in major defence technology developments and serial production programmes.

Besides artillery and mortar propelling charge systems, Nitrochemie develops and manufactures military propellant powder for large-, medium- and small-calibre ammunition as well as charge components such as combustible cast parts. Its product range also encompasses a wide variety of propellant powders for hunting cartridges and sporting weapons.

Nitrochemie’s corporate philosophy calls for complete control of the production process, meaning that it not only produces propellant powder in house, but also the precursors and intermediate products such as nitrocellulose and propellant pastes. This way, it is able to ensure full adherence to the highest standards of quality at every stage of production.

Propulsion systems for artillery and mortars

The German Bundeswehr introduced Rheinmetall’s MTLS modular propelling charge in 1996, naming it the DM72 and DM82. Owing to altered operational requirements, the DM72 has since been upgraded to the DM92, which is suitable for use in extreme climate zones at temperatures of up to +63°C. Designed and qualified for use in standard NATO 155mm L39 and L52 guns, it is the only system that meets the requirements of NATO’s Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding.

Standing for "combustible container mortar", Rheinmetall’s CCM mortar propelling charge system was developed, qualified and introduced specifically for the German Army’s Wiesel 120mm mortar track system. The special rigidity of the material used makes this Nitrochemie product uniquely stable throughout its entire temperature range, significantly improving handling safety. Moreover, thanks to its propellant powder, it also meets the most exacting performance and insensitivity criteria.

Propellant powders for medium-calibre and mortar ammunition

In the medium-calibre (20mm to 76mm) and mortar (60mm, 81mm, 120mm) propellant powder segment, Nitrochemie products meet the world’s most exacting standards. Based on our patented EI® and ECL® technologies, they display excellent ballistic stability and minimal temperature sensitivity, meeting or exceeding NATO requirements for insensitive ammunition.

Propellants for large-calibre ammunition

Nitrochemie produces a wide assortment of propellant systems based on different production techniques. SCDB® powder, a high-end, temperature-independent product for tank ammunition, permits maximum muzzle velocity with minimal barrel erosion. For artillery applications, Nitrochemie makes multi-based propellant powder that combines superb performance with excellent insensitivity. The ability to design propellant systems perfectly tailored to user needs is one of the company’s most important commitments.The need for optimized performance or lower-cost weapon systems are just two of the parameters which we address when designing propellant powders.

Propellant powder for small-calibre ammunition

Designed for all standard NATO small arms calibres, including 4.6mm, 7.62mm and 12.7mm, Nitrochemie supplies conventional, surface-treated mono- and double-base propellant powder; we are also pushing ahead with the use of EI and ECL technology in this segment. The company’s propellant powders for hunting and sporting ammunition offer the same excellent ballistic characteristics as our military propellant powders.

Combustible cast parts

Combustible cast parts are an essential feature of the propulsion systems of modern high-performance tank ammunition. In artillery applications, they are a prerequisite for modular propelling systems, which vastly improve the logistics, economic viability and tactical performance of current weapon systems. Rheinmetall's patented non-woven technique makes it possible to produce case components in a variety of lengths, with different wall strengths and chemical compositions, optimally tailored to the specifications of each type of projectile.

Nitrocellulose and propellant paste

Nitrocellulose is the precursor for all propellant powders, combustible components and commercial explosives. Consisting of a blend of nitrocellulose and explosive oil, propellant paste is the precursor for multi-base propellant powders. Rheinmetall produces these intermediate products partly for its own use, and partly on behalf of end customers in accordance with their particular specifications.

Special applications

Rheinmetall also applies its expertise defence technology to special solutions in the automotive and aviation industries.

  • Nitrochemie Wimmis AG

    Niesenstrasse 44
    3752 Wimmis
    Switzerland
    Phone: +41 33 228 10 00
    Fax: +41 33 228 13 30

    To website
  • Nitrochemie Aschau GmbH

    Liebigstra├če 17
    84544 Aschau am Inn
    Germany
    Phone: +49 8638 68-0
    Fax: +49 8638 68-375

    To website