Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd
Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd (RDM) is jointly owned by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (51%) of Germany and Denel (Pty) Ltd. South Africa.
RDM specializes in the development, design and manufacture of large- and medium-calibre ammunition families and is a world leader in the field of artillery, mortar and infantry systems as well as plant engineering.
Rheinmetall Defence’s business is mainly focused on NATO countries. RDM’s focus is on Asia, the Middle East, South America, South Africa and African countries.
Rheinmetall and its South African unit are able to draw on an expanded product portfolio when serving their respective core markets.
Systems & Products
The RDM product portfolio encompasses:
- Artillery ammunition (105mm and 155mm)
- Mortar ammunition (60, 81 and 120mm)
- Missile subsystems (propulsion units, warheads, etc)
- Minefield breaching systems
- Ammunition for naval applications
- 40mm infantry ammunition and pyrotechnics
- Propellants and raw materials
- Ammunition and metal components
Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd was established on September 1, 2008 when the Denel divisions comprising of Somchem (Somerset West and Wellington sites), Swartklip, Boksburg and Naschem became part of the Rheinmetall Defence Group. The company became known as Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) with Rheinmetall Defence being the majority shareholder, while Denel holds 49% of the shares.
Somchem was bought by the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) in 1971 from AECI (African Explosives and Chemical Industries). During 1992 Armscor was split into two entities; the Armscor Procurement Agency of the Department of Defence and Denel (Pty) Ltd, which incorporated the defence manufacturing companies within South Africa. Somchem operated from Somerset West outside Cape Town with a chemical factory for raw materials at Krantzkop, close to Wellington in the Western Cape. Since then the company has grown to become a global player with a vision of being the best in solid propulsion products and energetic material applications.
Swartklip Products originated from the Ronden Manufacturing Company which was established in 1948 and manufactured fireworks. These pyrotechnic products led to the development and manufacture of new products such as railway signaling detonators and military products. The company was bought by Armscor in 1971 and named Swartklip Products. Since 1992 Swartklip became a division of Denel and shifted its business focus to the international arena. Swartklip has twice been awarded the chemical company category of the Technology 100 competition.
Naschem originated from the Lenz Factory which was used as an in explosives depot for the gold mines in 1896. During World War II the Lenz facility manufactured 25 million piece of ammunition for the North African Campaign. The facility was rejuvenated in 1970 as a result of South Africa’s need for self-sufficiency in the armaments field and the company Naschem came into being in 1978. During 1992 Naschem became a division of Denel (Pty) Ltd operating from the Boskop site near Potchefstroom.
Boksburg – the current facility was bought by Denel from Cemenco Holdings in 1996 and was included in the transaction of the new company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM).in September 2008. Boksburg manufactures forged shell bodies and metal components of outstanding quality.