KIEL, Germany, March 8 (UPI) -- Germany's Rheinmetall Defense is producing enhanced performance 40mm cartridges for the Italian armed forces.
The order from Italy is for more than 50,000 rounds of 40mm x 53 war shot ammunition for use with MK19, MK47 and Heckler and Koch GMG automatic grenade launchers
The value of the contract is $11.3 million.
Rheinmetall said its 40mm x 53 High Velocity High Explosive Dual Purpose Insensitive Munition features an electronic self-destruct mechanism. It is effective against semi-hard targets and lightly armored vehicles from a distance of as much as 2,400 yards.
"Thanks to its newly developed shaped-charge warhead, it is the only 40mm cartridge on the market today that can penetrate 80 mm (3 inches) of RHA (rolled harmonious) steel," Rheinmetall said.
Italy is the third NATO country, following Canada and Denmark, to order the cartridge.