18 Oct 2017

Operation Fire Magic

The starting gun for Rheinmetall special effects pyrotechnics

Forty years ago, on the night of 17/18 October 1977, the GSG 9 carried out Operation Fire Magic. At the airport in Mogadishu, the elite German police unit stormed the Lufthansa jet “Landshut”, which had been hijacked by terrorists five days earlier. The day before, on 16 October, the terrorists had murdered the captain of the “Landshut”, Jürgen Schumann, during a stopover in Aden. Led by their commander, Ulrich K. Wegener, the GSG 9 freed all 86 passengers unharmed during the successful commando operation in Mogadishu. Three of the four terrorists were killed; one police officer and one member of the Lufthansa crew suffered minor injuries.

Operation Fire Magic was the starting gun for the development of Rheinmetall’s current array of special effects pyrotechnics. Seconds before the start of the operation, two members of the British military’s crack Special Air Service supporting the GSG 9 assault force set off stun grenades to distract the terrorists. The use of these special effects munitions made a vital contribution to the successful outcome of the mission. Soon after Operation Fire Magic, German special operations units approached Nico, a pyrotechnic company in Trittau in Schleswig-Holstein, now known as Rheinmetall Waffe Munition. The company was tasked with developing munitions intended specifically for special operations. Its R&D efforts resulted in flash-bang grenades that have been steadily perfected during the intervening decades.

Today Rheinmetall is one of the world’s leading makers of special effects munitions. The Group’s extensive array of products encompasses single and multiple bang grenades as well as enhanced flash-bang versions featuring bottom-top venting (BTV) technology. They are safe to handle, highly reliable and extremely precise. Rheinmetall also supplies a wide array of 40mm munitions, including distraction devices and marking rounds. Moreover, the Düsseldorf-based Group is currently developing a special 40mm round designed for opening doors and windows from a safe distance.

Rheinmetall works constantly to perfect its product range, making it a trusted partner of law enforcement agencies tasked with fighting organized crime and terrorism around the globe. The Group’s Public Security product portfolio extends to every relevant capabilities category: reconnaissance and surveillance; command and control; cyber security; kinetics; force protection; and tactical mobility.

Rheinmetall AG

Head of Press and Public Relations
Oliver Hoffmann
Rheinmetall Platz 1
40476 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone: +49 211 473-4748
Fax: +49 211 473-4157

Press Release

Privacy Settings

We place great importance on transparent information relating to all aspects of data protection. Our website contains detailed information on the settings you can select and what effect these settings have. You can change your selected settings at any time. Regardless of the selection you choose, we will not draw any conclusions regarding you as a person (except where you have explicitly entered your details). For information on deleting the cookies, please see the help function in your browser. You can find out more in the data protection declaration.

Change your privacy settings by clicking on the corresponding buttons

Necessary

Cookies essential for the system ensure that the website works correctly. Without these cookies, malfunctions or error messages may occur.

This website will:

  • Store cookies required by the system
  • Store the settings you make on this website

This site will never do the following without your agreement:

  • Store your settings, such as the language selection or cookie banner, so that you do not have to repeat them in the future.
  • Evaluate visits anonymously and draw conclusions to help us to optimize our website.
  • Draw conclusions regarding you as a person (except where you have explicitly entered your details, e.g. in contact forms)

Convenience

These cookies make the website easier to use and save settings, for example, so that you do not have to repeat them every time you visit the site.

This website will:

  • Store cookies required by the system
  • Store your settings, such as the language selection or cookie banner, so that you do not have to repeat them in the future.

This site will never do the following without your agreement:

  • Evaluate visits anonymously and draw conclusions to help us to optimize our website.
  • Draw conclusions regarding you as a person (except where you have explicitly entered your details, e.g. in contact forms)

Statistics

Statistics cookies enable us to evaluate the usage behaviour on the website anonymously – without enabling any conclusions to be drawn about you as a person. This enables us to measure the performance of the website and to improve it continuously to offer a better user experience.

This website will:

  • Store cookies required by the system
  • Draw conclusions regarding you as a person (except where you have explicitly entered your details, e.g. in contact forms)
  • Evaluate visits anonymously and draw conclusions to help us to optimize our website.

This site will never do the following without your agreement:

  • Draw conclusions regarding you as a person (except where you have explicitly entered your details, e.g. in contact forms)

Notice regarding data transfers to the USA

If you select "STATISTICS", cookies from the US-based company Google Inc. will also be used. By selecting this option, you also expressly agree in accordance with Art. 49 Para. 1 S. 1 lit. a GDPR that your data collected by these cookies can also be processed by Google in the USA. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has qualified the USA as a country with a level of data protection inadequate to EU standards. Further information on Google's handling of data protection can be found here.


Of course, we will always respect the do-not-track (DNT) setting in your browser. In this case, no tracking cookies are set and no tracking functions are loaded.