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The Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces (BAAINBw) can conclude a framework contract for the procurement of 127 mm practice ammunition for the F125 frigates after the budget committee of the German Bundestag gave the green light on November 4, 2020.

The framework agreement is expected to run from now until the end of 2027 and enable the procurement of 13,000 projectiles and propellant charges. In the first request, around 7,000 training projectiles, propellant charges and reference ammunition are to be ordered for around 33 million euros.

The F125 frigates of the "Baden-Württemberg" class are equipped with a 127/64 Lightweight rapid-fire ship gun from Leonardo. The gun fires explosive, light and training ammunition with a 127 mm caliber at a rate of up to 40 rounds / minute. The firing range is up to 30 km. Up to 56 rounds can be kept ready in four magazines in the gun.

The gun is prepared for the extended range (up to 100 km) Vulcano ammunition, which can be used with end-phase guidance against point targets. A combination of satellite-based navigation with laser or infrared sensors for the final approach achieves a high level of accuracy against stationary and moving targets. The ammunition was developed by Leonardo and Diehl Defense and is ready for series production.

In addition to training, the practice ammunition is also used for commissioning and calibrating the weapon system after maintenance or repairs as well as in use for deterrence (show of force) such as the classic shot in front of the bow as a low escalation level.

Practice ammunition behaves like combat ammunition in handling and ballistics. Instead of explosives and agents, the bullet is filled with fiber, free of explosives. The two-part 127 mm practice ammunition consists of a training bullet and a propellant charge.

Gerhard Heiming