The Spanish military has recently reinforced their artillery arsenal by making a second acquisition from the German defense manufacturer, Rheinmetall, as officially announced on the company’s website. This new purchase entails 94,200 155mm rounds, with a total value estimated at around 227 million dollars, expected to be completed by late 2026. Notably, the agreement allows for an extension of up to two years for the delivery period, potentially stretching the final delivery date to 2028.

The focal point of this procurement is the ER02A1 high-explosive (HE) rounds, which are part of Rheinmetall Defense’s diverse ammunition lineup. Comprising primarily of high-quality steel casing and a mixture of propellants and explosives, the ER02A1 is designed to detonate upon impact, causing significant damage. With a variable shooting range influenced by factors such as artillery type, firing angle, and atmospheric conditions, these rounds are primarily intended for long-range artillery systems covering multiple kilometers.

Moreover, the versatility of the ER02A1 extends to various weapon systems, including the PzH 2000 and the M109 howitzer, both known for their self-propelled capabilities, enhancing mobility and adaptability on the battlefield. The ER02A1 HE ammunition boasts a considerable reach, capable of striking targets up to 30 kilometers away with the boat-tail (BT) version and nearly 40 kilometers with the base-bleed (BB) variant, which employs specialized equipment to reduce drag and enhance range.

Rheinmetall’s recent contracts for 155mm artillery ammunition underscore its leading position in the European ammunition manufacturing sector, further solidified by agreements with multiple NATO countries, ensuring a consistent supply of artillery rounds. To meet the growing demand, Rheinmetall has initiated the construction of a new production facility in Unterlues, Lower Saxony, with a focus on manufacturing explosives and components tailored for rocket artillery and artillery ammunition. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding was established with a Ukrainian corporation in February 2024, aimed at enhancing artillery ammunition production capabilities in the region. In terms of Spain’s utilization of these shells, the country currently operates 96 M109 self-propelled howitzers, which have been gradually procured in two phases—first in the late 1980s and early ’90s, with the final units delivered in the mid-1990s. These howitzers play a crucial role in the Spanish military’s land campaigns, demonstrating the significance of the recent artillery ammunition acquisitions.