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Rheinmetall has completed its acquisition of Madrid-based ammunition supplier Expal Systems, the German company announced on 1 August 2023, with the transfer of Expal’s business activities to Rheinmetall taking place that day.

The purchase price for the takeover of Expal is about EUR 1.2 Bn, according to Rheinmetall, which noted that the company will now operate under the name name Rheinmetall Expal Munitions SAU.

In acquiring Expal Rheinmetall aims to secure and strengthen its core business in weapons, ammunition and propellants. The current Expal Systems product portfolio encompasses artillery ammunition, mortar and medium-calibre rounds as well as fuzes and rocket propulsion systems. In many cases Expal’s ammunition output comprises ‘full shot’ products, encompassing everything from propellant to fuze.

In many cases the ammunition output of what is now Rheinmetall Expal Munitions comprises ‘full shot’ products, encompassing everything from propellant to fuze. (Photo: Rheinmetall Expal Munitions

The acquisition also expands Rheinmetall’s footprint in Spain, where the group already has an automotive engineering plant in Abadiano. Rheinmetall Expal Munitions will continue to serve the Spanish armed forces as a key partner.

Rheinmetall stated that it sees maintaining the Spanish company’s existing technology and staff as essential and that all its locations (Madrid, Trubia, Burgos, Navalmoral, El Gordo, Albacete and Murcia in Spain as well as Texarkana in the USA) are to remain fully operational, with further expansions planned.

Capacity for ammunition production has come to the fore for Western suppliers since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022; ammunition is being expended at a very high rate in the conflict, while ammunition donations to Ukraine by its Western allies has exposed levels of ammunition stocks that are now deemed to have been inadequate.

Peter Felstead