BAE Systems’ Land UK business has won a contract to supply 155mm Smoke and Illuminating artillery rounds to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The contract adds Smoke and Illuminating natures to the portfolio of 155mm calibre rounds already supplied by BAE Systems to the MOD, helping to sustain key skills within the Land UK business. The contract, competed globally through the MOD tender process, is initially valued at £16m and offers the customer flexibility to add additional quantities in later years.
For the shell body, BAE Systems will use Rheinmetall’s existing Assegai Carrier design which will deliver time and cost savings by removing the need for an entirely new round to be designed. The shell bodies will be manufactured at BAE Systems’ UK facility in Washington, while the Smoke and Illuminating payloads will be assembled into the shells at the Company’s Glascoed facility in South Wales.
Heavy Munitions Director for BAE Systems Land UK, Lee Smurthwaite, said:
“This contract is testament to what collaboration between strong companies can achieve. Manufacturing and assembling products to someone else’s design demands an agile and capable set up, which we’ve demonstrated at our Glascoed and Washington facilities.
“As well as offering excellent value for money, this contract shows the dedication of our people to ensure third-party designs remain interoperable with the British Army’s weapon systems and ultimately, deliver essential capability to soldiers.”
Smoke and Illuminating rounds are used to aid battlefield manoeuvrability for land-based assets during day and night operations. The Smoke rounds are multi-spectral, meaning they obscure the battlefield both visually and in the thermal range.
Both the Smoke and Illuminating rounds are even more effective than the requirements, offering a longer burn duration and intensity when obscuring or lighting the battlefield.