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RWG-52 Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun
RTG-52 Rheinmetall Tracked Gun

Over the next ten to 15 years, the Indian Army plans to update its artillery by replacing obsolete systems. After all, it takes highly mobile, hard-hitting modern artillery assets to respond to threats in scalable fashion, engaging targets at extraordinarily long ranges with extreme accuracy. The Indian armed forces have thus launched a programme to procure state-of-the-art artillery systems, well aware of the need to adapt their artillery capabilities to future challenges.

As one of the world's leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall Defence of Germany is able to offer flexible concepts for equipping modern armed forces from a single source, drawing on an extensive array of technology and long years of experience. A case in point is the artillery system family Rheinmetall is contributing to the Indian artillery programs.

Rheinmetall completed tests of the new RWG-52 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun-52). The crawler version received the designation RTG-52 (Rheinmetall Tracked Gun 52). Since 2008, the creation of the gun was carried out at the expense of the company's own resources in cooperation with the company Industrial Automotive Design (South Africa). The first prototype was manufactured in 2009, after which it was tested in South Africa and India (as part of a tender for the supply of self-propelled wheeled howitzers). The RWG-52 has the same base as the 155 mm SG G6 4 (South Africa). The artillery part of the system is housed in an upgraded RT-52 circular rotation turret and is in fact a variant of the PzH 2000 gun.

Armed with 155mm ordnance, the Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun (RWG)-52 is a highly mobile 6x6 artillery system for flexible fire support operations. This 48-ton vehicle has a maximum road speed of 80 km/h, and can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h when operating off-road. Its strategic range is 700 km, its tactical range 300 km. A built-in tyre pressure management system further enhances the vehicles excellent off-road performance.

The heart of the system is the autonomous turret, equipped with the same tried-and-tested L/52 Rheinmetall gun used in Germany's PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer. This highly advanced weapons system is in service with the armed forces of Germany, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, the latter having successfully deployed it in combat operations in Afghanistan.

With its extremely stable, 52-calibre-length gun tube, the L/52 can lob standard ERFB-M1 ammunition up to 31 km. The gun's maximum effective range increases to 42 km when firing improved ERFB base-bleed projectiles and exceeds 52 km when firing the rocket-assisted V-LAP projectile. The already high accuracy of Rheinmetall's artillery ammunition family can be further enhanced especially at long ranges by adding a precision guidance kit. Besides an automated laying and navigation system, a launcher management system facilitates operation, which is controlled from a gun firing panel.

Thanks to automatic loading, the gun can fire up to six rounds a minute. The system can provide sustained fire support for an entire hour, firing 75 rounds, which equates to a rate of fire of 1.25 rounds per minute with a full charge. Moreover, the RWG-52 has a multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability, enabling up to five rounds to hit the target zone at the same time. In order to defend itself, the gun can also lay direct fire. It carries a basic load of forty rounds, which can be replenished within ten minutes from a supply vehicle in a semi-automated process.

When on the move, the system can carry out a fire mission 60 seconds after coming to a halt, and can move into a new fire position just 60seconds later. This gives the vehicle's 3- or 4-man crew the edge in evading detection and enemy counter-battery fire. Furthermore, the RWG-52s fighting compartment provides substantial protection from armour-piercing 7.62 cal. ammunition, TM46 mine blasts and NBC threats.

Moreover, the turret of the RWG-52 can also be integrated into a tracked vehicle. In this configuration, known as the Rheinmetall Tracked Gun (RTG)-52, Rheinmetall has turned to the proven technology of the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer. This chassis likewise features high mobility: thanks to its 736 kW (1000 hp) power pack, the RTG-52 attains a road speed of 60 km/h and up to 45 km/h when operating off-road. Like the RWG-52, it has a 3- or 4-man crew. In terms of performance, the turret and gun are identical. Moreover, using the same gun turret results in considerable logistical advantages when units are equipped with both tracked and wheeled systems.

Along with high-performance gun systems, having the right ammunition contributes materially to the operational flexibility and effectiveness of artillery. Enabling commanders to respond accurately and avoid collateral damage, precision-guided munitions play an increasingly important role in modern warfare. Developed by GIWS, a joint venture of Rheinmetall Defence and Diehl, 155mm SMArt ammunition enables pinpoint engagement of high-value targets even at long ranges. Once they reach the target zone, these sophisticated projectiles eject parachute-stabilized sub-munitions containing three independently operating sensors: radar, radiometer and infrared. These sensors assure reliable detection, identification, and engagement of targets such as armoured vehicles; the system functions under all weather and environmental conditions like smoke, dust, rain, fog, camouflage and IR radiation. Moreover, the SMArt ammunition family avoids unexploded ordnance further reducing the risk of unintended casualties.

SMArt ammunition has already demonstrated its efficiency in dozens of field trials, proving that it can be fired from existing artillery systems under extreme climate conditions. Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Australia have already procured SMArt, and other nations are considering procurement.

In recent years, Rheinmetall Defence has established a global reputation for excellence as a supplier of cutting edge military hardware. Headquartered in Dsseldorf, this 130-year-old company offers an extensive range of advanced products, systems and projects tailored to the needs of the modern military. Moreover, thanks to their extensive modularity, Rheinmetall products are available quickly a major advantage in a day and age when new threats to national security threats can emerge virtually overnight.

RWG-52 Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun RWG-52 Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun RWG-52 Rheinmetall Wheeled Gun

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Page last modified: 01-03-2019 18:41:38 ZULU