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The signing of a basic agreement for production and delivery of 127 mm practice ammunition for the BADEN-WURTTENMBERG (F125) class frigate allows Diehl to introduce a new type of naval ammunition to the market. Additionally, the ammunition family comprises High-Explosive (HE) and Illuminating (ILL) projectiles including appropriate propellant charges.

The delivery of the practice ammunition pilot lot is scheduled to start as of 2021, followed by several production lots in the period from 2022 to 2025, with a total of 7,000 projectiles. Given the fact that further deliveries are possible, the number of total pieces could increase to 13,000 projectiles in the context of the ongoing agreement that runs until 2027.

The high-explosive ammunition is still in qualification at the Bundeswehr technical centre 91 in Meppen, with the completion of the performance proof expected by next year. Thanks to the combination with the improved propellant charge, the new ammunition family allows for a significantly extended range in the naval gunnery. In conjunction with the use of an insensitive explosive, the design of the service ammunition prevents unintended reaction (detonation) in scenarios such as enemy shelling or fire on board. This contributes to the protection of the crew and provides on board safety. Moreover, the high-explosive ammunition will be equipped with a multi-functional fuze from Italian partner Leonardo.

The illuminating ammunition for battlefield illumination, for which Diehl Defence is cooperating with the Spanish industry partner EXPAL, is currently in qualification as well.

Jack Richardson