Nothrop Grumman to jointly produce 120mm tank ammunition with Mesko in Poland

Poland is currently in discussions with Northrop Grumman regarding the potential mass production of anti-tank ammunition, as revealed by Przemysław Kowalchuk, the vice president of the Polish ammunition manufacturer Mesko. Kowalchuk stated: "We are currently in the process of preparing for the transfer of technology and collaborating with Northrop Grumman on the joint production of a wide range of 120mm caliber ammunition." This information was reported by Kateryna Shkarlat for RBC Ukraine.
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For tactical rounds, Northrop Grumman's expertise includes the 120mm M829, M830, M908, M1028, and the M1147 shells, all intended to defeat armored targets. The company continues to innovate with the M1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round, the next generation of 120mm destined for use on the Abrams MBT (Picture source: Northrop Grumman)

According to Kowalchuk, the formal agreement with Northrop Grumman is anticipated to be finalized either at the end of December this year or in the early days of January 2024. This agreement is expected to significantly boost the annual production capacity for 120mm caliber ammunition in Poland, increasing it from the current level of several thousand to an impressive 50,000 to 70,000 units.

In May 2023, the EU Council expressed its support for a significant initiative to transfer one million artillery shells to Ukraine by the conclusion of 2023. Subsequently, on September 5, the European Defence Agency successfully executed the initial contracts for the joint procurement of artillery shells intended for the Ukrainian army. Additionally, in September, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, affirmed the EU's commitment to delivering one million shells to Ukraine as promised by the end of 2023.

Northrop Grumman is known for its diverse range of products and services. Although ammunition production is not its primary focus, the company has ventured into this sector to cater to the military's evolving needs. In this capacity, Northrop Grumman typically specializes in advanced technology and components for artillery rounds. This may include the development of critical subsystems or components like guidance systems, fuzes, and advanced electronics designed to enhance the precision and performance of artillery shells. These technologies often incorporate features such as GPS guidance, inertial navigation systems, and autonomous targeting capabilities, all of which contribute to greater accuracy and effectiveness on the battlefield.

Mesko, on the other hand, is a Polish defense company with a strong emphasis on ammunition production, including for the artillery. The company has gained recognition for manufacturing a wide array of conventional munitions, spanning from small-caliber ammunition to larger artillery shells. Mesko's artillery ammunition portfolio encompasses various calibers, including the 120mm caliber mentioned in the original statement. This diversity in caliber offerings highlights Mesko's flexibility and ability to tailor its production to meet the specific requirements of military forces. The company's artillery ammunition is designed to be compatible with a range of artillery systems, including towed howitzers and self-propelled artillery.

Given its status as a European defense manufacturer, Mesko plays a significant role in supporting the defense needs of Poland and its allies by producing artillery ammunition domestically. This not only contributes to national security but also reduces dependence on foreign suppliers.

Defense News November 2023