The Hellenic Army (HA) will receive new ammunition for its Main Battle Tanks soon, after the deal with the Dutch army for the purchase was accepted by the Greek Government Council on Foreign and Defence Affairs.
According to the army sources, a total of 4,200 DM53A1 (APFSDS-T) cartridges for combat use and another 2,000 M865 (TPCSDS-T) rounds for training purposes will be bought from the Dutch. The deal is estimated to cost the Greek treasury somewhere around € 14 million. The HA operates close to 1,700 MBTs, including the M48 Patton and three verities of the KMW Leopard (Leopard 1A5, Leopard 2A4, and Leopard 2A6 HEL). The HA will receive the ammunition by August 2012.
In addition to the purchase of the ammunition from the Dutch stock, the HA will also receive a total of 3,000 M830 (HEAT-MP-7) combat rounds from the ammunition stocks of the United States Armed Forces. The HA officials claimed that the American deal is free of cost and the ammunition shortage for its MBTs will disappear once the rounds are delivered.
The Greek army, which is currently operating 8 MBT battalions, was hit hard by the recent financial difficulties. The shortage of ammunition had affected its routine training regimen, and there was widespread criticism on the government handling of the issue from various opposition parties in Greece.
The DM53A1 is an upgraded version of the DM53 ammunition, and is capable of operating in a wide variety of battle scenarios. It can be deployed at temperatures ranging from -50.8°F to 160°F, and is having a greater first-shot kill probability. The ammunition is also characterized by better low vulnerability propellant (LOVA) parameters. The DM53A1 is manufactured by the German automotive and manufacturing firm, Rheinmetall AG.