MUNICH/VIENNA: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Munich, and General Dynamics European Land Systems (GD ELS), Vienna, are teaming to develop and market a new generation, air deployable, autonomous and remotely operated 155mm artillery system. The system addresses the growing need for precise indirect fire capabilities that can augment or even replace close-air-support operations previously conducted by costly fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft.
Frank Haun, CEO of KMW, and John C. Ulrich, President of General Dynamics European Land Systems, share the value of this partnership: “We share the value of the collaboration. This program it is a significant innovation and will benefit all.”
The KMW / GD ELS system, called the DONAR, provides capabilities that will change conventional artillery doctrine. DONAR not only reduces crew and logistics requirements, but also provides for autonomous operations. The system is targeted to replace legacy systems (e.g., M109, AS90, K9, etc.) in service with modern armies.
A first prototype has already undergone rigorous mobility and fire trials at the test facility of the German procurement agency BWB (Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung), and will be displayed during this year’s defence exhibition EUROSATORY in Paris, France.
The DONAR is a joint European technology program of GD ELS and KMW that utilizes specific resources and shared skills between the companies, creating true value for European and international defence forces. The joint effort also follows the growing European trend towards enhanced multinational industry cooperation in the land system sector.
Unique system features: one solution
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DONAR possesses multiple features that are unique to the worldwide artillery community.
– Air transportability – the total systems weights less than 31 metric tons, allowing it to be transported in the future European Transport Aircraft A400M or similar aircraft with payload capacities in this class.
– Autonomous operation – The completely remotely operated artillery module is equipped with a 155mm (52 cal.) cannon, giving it the advanced fire power of a PzH2000. DONAR’s maximum range amounts to more than 56 kilometers (vlap). Its on-board ammunition supply includes 30 fuzed 155 mm shells and a corresponding number of charge modules. Despite a marked reduction in weight and size, the gun module is operational without any additional stabilization and provides a 360-degree azimuth range.
In addition, the autonomous system character of DONAR allows a consistent step towards networked, centralised command and control (network centric warfare).
– High mobility & survivability – The system possesses the high mobility of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle, derived from an adapted ASCOD 2 version for artillery applications. Separated from the automatic gun module, a crew of only two soldiers (driver and commander) operate the system from a highly protected driver cabin, increasing survivability and allowing for extremely rapid fire and movement manoevers. The system's survivability is enhanced by both its low silhouette and from the cabin's protection against ballistic impact and shell fragments from artillery and mortar ammunition – the cabin meets a very high NATO protection standard.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Vienna (Austria) is a business unit of General Dynamics Corporation, and conducts its business through four European operating sites located in Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. With more than 3,250 highly skilled technical employees, GD ELS companies design, manufacture and deliver to global customers land systems, including wheeled, tracked, and amphibious vehicles, armaments and munitions.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 84,000 people worldwide and reported 2007 revenues of $27.2 billion.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG is Europe’s market leader for armoured wheeled and tracked vehicles. At sites in Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the United States 2.800 employees develop, produce and support a product portfolio that ranges from airtransportable and highly protected wheeled vehicles (MUNGO, DINGO, FENNEK und BOXER), to reconnaissance, air defense and artillery systems (FENNEK, GEPARD, LeFlaSys, PzH 2000 and AGM) all the way to main battle tanks (LEOPARD 1 and 2), infantry fighting vehicles (PUMA) and bridge layers (LEGUAN und PSB2).
Furthermore KMW possesses a broad system competence in the field of civil and military simulation, command and control applications and fully automatic remote controlled gun mounts. The armed forces of more than 30 nations worldwide rely on operational systems supplied by KMW.