Rheinmetall will carry out the bulk of the production of tanks and self-propelled guns for Hungary.
The German Rheinmertall group announced on September 30, 2019 that it had received a contract worth about 300 million euros from the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to carry out the bulk of the production of 44 Leopard 2A7 + main tanks and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers for Hungary 155 mm / 52.
Recall that on December 19, 2018, KMW in Budapest signed a contract with the Hungarian Ministry of Defense for the supply of 44 Leopard 2A7 + tanks and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers of 155-mm / 52 caliber. Tanks and self-propelled guns must be new built. Also included in the supply are 12 Leopard 2A4 tanks, available for training, 13 MAN HX and TGS trucks, ammunition, spare parts and equipment. The cost of the contract is more than 160 billion Hungarian forints (about 500 million euros). Delivery should be made from 2021 to 2025. Thus, Hungary will become the 19th operator of tanks of the Leopard 2 family in the world.
Now Rheinmertall reports that, in a contract with KMW, it will account for most of the work. Rheinmertall will manufacture the main armament (120-mm tank guns Rh120 L55A1 and 155-mm / 52 howitzers), fire control systems, as well as armored hulls for Leopard 2A7 + tanks and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. For the PzH 2000 self-propelled guns, the Rheinmertall group will also make chassis parts.
For KMW and Rheinmertall, the contract for the supply of Leopard 2A7 + tanks and self-propelled guns PzH 2000 Hungary became the first contract for the production and supply of new tanks of the Leopard 2 family and self-propelled guns after the 2013 contract for the supply of 62 Leopard 2A7 + and 24 self-propelled guns PzH 2000 Qatar, implemented in 2015 -2017 years. Thus, the Hungarian contract makes it possible to maintain the production line for the production of Leopard 2 tanks in Germany.
Rheinmertall also stated that the modified 120mm Rh120 L55A1 tank gun successfully completed certification tests at the end of 2017, and that since mid-2018, serial guns of this modification have been supplied to two countries for installation on Leopard 2 family tanks.
The L55A1 gun was developed by Rheinmetall since 2004 on an initiative basis, but with government funding, and is a further development of the L55 gun installed on the Leopard 2A6 / A7 with a barrel length of 55 calibers. It was reported that the L55A1 gun should have an increased permissible pressure in the barrel channel (700 MPa versus 670 MPa for L55) and a barrel survivability of 1,500 rounds (it is unclear which shell), and is equipped with a modified ejector and a reinforced recoil system K900. Although such an increase in pressure does not matter for the existing armor-piercing sub-caliber projectiles DM53 (initial velocity of 1750 m / s, barrel pressure during firing 575 MPa) and DM63 / 63A1 (initial velocity of 1720 m / s) to the L55 gun, however it should be used to increase the power created by Rheinmetall promising 120-mm armor-piercing armor-piercing projectile KE2020, planned for adoption around 2022. Due to the use of a new powder charge, improved aerodynamic shape and a “ball-free” tungsten core, the KE2020 projectile’s striking ability should be approximately 20 percent greater than that of the DM63 / 63A1. Also, the L55A1 can fire DM11 HE shells with programmable fuses.