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General Dynamics European Land System – Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) announced on 11 June 2024 that it has reactivated the capability to manufacture large-calibre gun barrels at its site in Trubia, in northwest Spain’s Asturias region.

The move is a response to the increased demand for modern, efficient artillery systems and “reflects the company’s continued commitment to national as well as international defence and security requirements”, the company stated.

The Trubia factory has more than 200 years of know-how and tradition in the manufacture of artillery systems and has recently manufactured a sizeable range of large-calibre gun barrels, including 120 mm, 105 mm, and 155 mm barrels for main battle tanks (MBTs) and artillery systems.

“Operational experience from ongoing military confrontations demonstrate the renewed relevance of artillery as well as main battle tanks,” Juan A Escriña, general director of GDELS-SBS, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “GDELS-SBS is one of the few European companies that has preserved the knowledge and capabilities to manufacture gun barrels of the most demanded calibres for both weapon systems.”

In recent years GDELS-SBS has manufactured more than 200 120 mm gun barrels for the Leopard 2E MBTs of the Spanish Army, over 100 barrels for its SIAC 155/52 mm howitzers, in both field and coastal artillery variants, as well as dozens of barrels for L118 and L119 105 mm Light Guns.

The move by GDELS-SBS to re-open its gun-barrel manufacturing capacity mirrors measures taken by Germany’s Rheinmetall, which is implementing a major growth programme in barrel and weapon production in order to meet increased demand in the market.

The Spanish Army’s SIAC 155 mm/52-calibre towed howitzers are among the artillery systems for which GDELS-SBS has manufactured gun barrels. (Photo: GDELS)