Saturday, December 5, 2009

Munitions Purchase for Leopard 2 Tanks


DefenceNet reports that the ongoing saga with the procurement of 120mm munitions for Greece’s Leopard 2 tanks will be solved for the time being with the procurement of 15,000 DM63 rounds from the German Rheinmetall company. The purchase process is currently nearing completion.

At the same time the “intermediate” solution of acquiring 10,000 DM53A1 and DM33A1 rounds from German Army stocks has been abandoned.

The same sources report that the total purchase of 120mm munitions will be reduced from the original 84,720 to around 40,000 rounds. The 15,000 rounds will be purchased immediately and there will be follow-on orders for the remainder.

This means that the munitions will be purchased directly from the manufacturer instead of being coproduced with a Greek defence industry partner for economic reasons. The purchase with Rheinmetall means that at this stage there will be no munitions order from the American company ATK or the Israeli company IMI, which were both bidding for this contract.

Obviously any follow-on orders can be given to other companies. The originally envisaged purchase of 84,720 rounds and 14,647 practice rounds carried a cost of €395.5 million. This means that the current purchase of 15,000 rounds should cost around €70 million. It has not yet been made clear whether the rounds will be armour piercing chemical energy rounds or whether they will be APFSDS-T rounds.

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