Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has completed the qualification of its extended-range 155 mm M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (V-LAP) for an international client, the South African company announced on 9 March. Full-scale production is under way and the first production batch has been delivered to the client.
RDM said the V-LAP achieved a range of 57 km from a 155 mm/52 calibre barrel, which translates to a standardised range of 54 km when adjusted for conditions at sea level.
Qualification and range-table firings were conducted during the second half of 2016 with a PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer at Denel's Overberg Test Range (OTR) and at Armscor's Alkantpan test range, while environmental testing was conducted at RDM's own facilities.
The V-LAP has a fixed base-bleed unit and a rocket motor that are both activated after the projectile leaves the barrel, the former igniting almost immediately, the latter further down-range. In all other respects its external ballistics are identical to the other projectiles of RDM's Assegai range. It is compatible with NATO and non-NATO 155 mm guns with 39, 45, and 52 calibre-length barrels.
Further development of the V-LAP projectile will focus on enhancing the insensitive high explosive (HE) fill, the development of carrier projectiles, and improved lethality of the pre-fragmented HE projectile.
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