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Rheinmetall readies new 155 mm self-propelled artillery system

Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX3 seen fitted with a full-scale mock-up of its new remote controlled turret armed with a 155 mm/60 calibre ordnance in travelling configuration. (Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall is using internal funding to develop a new 155 mm wheeled self-propelled (SP) artillery system to meet the potential requirements of the home and export markets.

The first prototype is now being built and is expected to be ready for firing trials at the Rheinmetall proving ground in late 2022 or early 2023, according to a company official.

The company displayed a full-scale mock-up of the artillery system based on the latest Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX3 10 × 10 cross-country truck at the DSEI 2021 exhibition in London. The HX3 platform is the long-term replacement for the HX2 that is being manufactured in Vienna, Austria.

This has enabled the company to offer potential customers a complete family of 4 × 4, 6 × 6, 8 × 8, and 10 × 10 cross-country trucks, which share common components and reduces through life cycle costs.

“Over 15,000 HX series vehicles are now in service worldwide,” said Rheinmetall in a statement. It is expected that the HX3 will replace the incumbent HX2 in the 2024–25 timeframe.

Maximum gross-vehicle weight (GVW) of the HX3 10 × 10 is being quoted as 50,000 kg with the 155 mm artillery system having a typical GVW of 45,000 kg, with further room for growth.

A fully enclosed and armour-protected crew compartment is located at the front of the chassis with powered steering on the first, second, and last road wheel stations. A central tyre inflation system is fitted allowing the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the ground being crossed.

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