HSW S.A. and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH signed a letter of intent expressing their will to launch manufacturing of the key elements of the 120 mm L44 gun in Poland. The initiative is primarily aimed at meeting the requirements of the Polish military.
The memorandum of understanding on cooperation between HSW and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition has been signed in Warsaw on 7th June 2019, while a relevant press release has been issued in early July. Responding to the questions asked by Defence24.pl Jowita Jajdelska, spokesperson for HSW, confirmed the fact that scope of the memorandum covers manufacturing of the 120 mm gun barrels, among other domains, including manufacturing of the breach mechanism elements and elements of the gun mount. 120 mm L44 guns are used in the Polish Leopard 2A4 (upgraded to the 2PL variant) and Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks.
The release places an emphasis on the fact that the objective of the negotiated cooperation would be to qualify and manufacture elements of the 120 mm and 155 mm armament at HSW. HSW’s role here is to act as a subcontractor for Rheinmetall Waffe Munition. The German company has been delivering the 155 mm barrels for the Krab sphs in the recent years. Krab howitzer is an element of the Regina module.
The German barrels have been used in case of the Krab howitzers that are a part of the “implementation” Regina “squadron-level fire module” (aka DMO). The German components have also been fitted onto some of the series manufactured howitzers that are a part of the first series manufactured Regina module (and the second module in general). The remaining howitzers of the first series manufactured DMO module, as well as all of the remaining vehicles, will all be using the Polish barrels manufactured at HSW.
HSW S.A. is a PGZ Group company. It specializes in delivering artillery systems (Rak, Krab) and armament and combat vehicles. The facility remains in possession of expertise allowing it to manufacture barrels within calibre range from 30 to 155 mm which has been obtained, for instance, thanks to the recent investments made with regards to the barrel manufacturing facility.
Rheinmetall Waffe Munition is the creator and manufacturer of the original smooth bore 120 mm guns used in all variants of the Leopard 2 main battle tanks. The company also manufactures the PzH 2000 L52 155 mm guns. The German entity emphasizes the fact that transfer of documentation requires an export consent to be issued by the German government.