SMART MUNITIONS INCREASE MARKET SHARE
Asian Military Review|June/July 2021
Top attack munitions are now widely developed for different artillery calibers with varied ranges.
Chirstopher F Foss

While aviation assets now employ precision-guided munitions (PGM) and smart munitions on an increasing scale, the land sector has been more cautious as their target sets are different.

A key role of artillery is still to provide suppressive fire against opposition forces using high-explosive (HE) projectiles, with secondary natures including smoke and illumination.

To engage hard targets such as armored fighting vehicles (AFV) cargo rounds were developed and deployed. These carry a large number of small sub-munitions fitted with a small high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead to penetrate the vulnerable, lighter armoured upper surfaces of AFVs. These sub-munitions can have a high dud rate and therefore limit the maneuver of follow-up forces as well as potentially causing later casualties to civilians.

For these reasons such munitions are banned under the Convention on Cluster Munition (CCM) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) agreements and have therefore been phased out of service with most countries, although they are still deployed by such countries such as China and Russia.

As with all artillery projectiles, the key requirement is target acquisition, especially at long ranges and PGM are expensive and would normally be used against high-value targets.

To counter AFVs, more advanced 155mm top attack weapons have been developed and deployed with market leaders in Europe, including the GIWS SMArt 155 and the Bofors/Nexter BONUS.

SMArt is a joint development between the German companies of Diehl Defence and Rheinmetall Weapons & Munitions with export sales being made to Australia, Greece and Switzerland. Some 12,000 have been manufactured. SMArt 155 carries two top attack submunitions, each having a heavy metal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead.

Manufacturing was completed some time ago but the production line is to be restarted to enable German Army stocks to be replenished as well as allowing the potential needs of export customers to be met. These will be essentially the same as the original SMArt 155 but obsolete sub-systems will be replaced. The maximum range, when fired from a German Army PzH 2000 155mm/52 calibre self-propelled howitzer (SPH), is 27.5 kilometers (17 miles).

The BAE Systems Bofors/Nexter Bonus was originally developed to meet the requirements of France and Sweden with production lines being established in both countries and with export sales made to Finland, Norway, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The latest version is the Bonus Mk II and carries two sub-munitions which are parachute retarded at the rate of 45 meters per second (147 feet) and have a search area of 32,000 square meters (334,400sq ft) each.

Maximum range when fired from a 155mm/52 calibre weapon is quoted as 35km (21.7 miles) and when fired from a 155mm/39 calibre weapon is 27km (16.7 miles).

Late in 2018, the US Army placed a contract through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency for the Bonus Mk II with deliveries from the Swedish production line now well underway. A second contract was placed in early 2020 The US Army did deploy the 155mm M712 Copperhead Cannon Launched Guided Projectile (CLGP) and this Laser-Guided Projectile (LGP) fitted with a HE warhead was used in action in the Middle East, but these have time expired.

The US currently deploys the Raytheon Excalibur 155mm M982 PGM fired from its deployed 155mm/39 cal M777A2 lightweight towed howitzer and the 155mm/39 cal M109A6/A7 SPH. Details of the platform, target and GPS-specific data are entered into the projectile’s mission computer through an Enhanced Inductive Fuze Setter (EIFZ).

Excalibur uses a jam-resistant inertial GPS receiver to update the inertial navigation system (INS) to provide precision in-flight guidance and according to the US Army “dramatically improving accuracy to less than 2m (6.5ft) miss distance, regardless of range.” It has three fuze options that depend on the target being engaged and these are point detonation (PD), PD delay, and height of burst.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ASIAN MILITARY REVIEWView All

SMART MUNITIONS INCREASE MARKET SHARE

Top attack munitions are now widely developed for different artillery calibers with varied ranges.

10 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

NEXT GEN NVGS - A CLEAR IMPROVEMENT

Fused and enhanced night-vision technology will make the difference to soldiers fighting at night.

8 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

MILITARY ROTORCRAFT DEVELOPMENT - NO MORE ‘STOVEPIPES'

New rotorcraft are going to come with new abilities founded on open systems that provide easier upgrade paths and cheaper through life costs.

8 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

INDO PACIFIC UAV DIRECTORY 2021

The development of unmanned aerial vehicles is growing apace, especially in China. New longer range ISR platforms are also on the procurement list of several nations.

10+ mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

TIME TO RESET TRILATERAL RELATIONS

United States President Joe Biden has made it a top priority of his Administration to repair and re-energize global alliances during its first year in power. This is a necessary strategic and political calculus made in light of growing global security, public health, and environmental challenges that will require cooperation and multilateral contributions. President Trump’s ‘America first’ policy did much to undermine confidence in such relationships over his time in office.

3 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

SOCPAC KEEN TO SHARE JOINT DOCTRINE AND TRAINING

The return of Great Power competition means that US SOCPAC is more than ever seeking joint training opportunities with regional special forces.

9 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

MARINE ENGINE POWER - NOT JUST ABOUT KNOTS

Navies not only want more engine power, there are also coming under increasing pressure to become environmentally conscious.

9 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

AMPHIBIOUS FORCES

New amphibious concepts are re-shaping marine forces to break the A2AD defensive line.

9 mins read
Asian Military Review
June/July 2021

SPACE V AIRBORNE ISR OR MIX AND MATCH

Owning satellite based ISR for military use is still an exclusive ‘club’, but airborne ISR still provides that most countries need.

9 mins read
Asian Military Review
April/May 2021

SHIPBUILDING - A NUMBERS GAME

While experience grows among Indo-Pacific naval designers, order numbers remain crucial to keeping costs down and yards in business.

10+ mins read
Asian Military Review
April/May 2021
RELATED STORIES

The New Fighter At the CFPB

Rohit Chopra wants to know more about tech companies’ plans for financial products

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

Next on Your Plate: Bug Burgers

The faux-meat industry is starting to explore fruit fly patties and mealworm nuggets

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

Ready Aim Omicron!

Drugmakers always knew variants would arise. The latest will test their preparedness

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

Crossing Borders With Crypto

A Mexico-based startup says it can send remittances from the U.S. cheaper and faster

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

A Crash Course in Omicronomics

Sussing out the impact of the new coronavirus variant on growth and inflation

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

Treasure Hunters Of the Stalled Supply Chain

For salvage companies, an unclaimed shipping container is a potentially profitable mystery box

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

In the EV Age, Hyundai Still Has High Hopes for Hydrogen Cars

The South Korean automaker sees fuel-cell technology as key to decarbonizing global transportation

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

The Next Accounting Fiasco

Twenty years after Enron’s failure, investors are still vulnerable to corporate numbers games

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

When Same-Day Delivery Is Too Slow

Gopuffis trying to outrace its competitors in the “dark convenience store” business

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 06, 2021

Health The growing influence of Apple on healthcare

In a 2019 interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “If you zoomed out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’” After a short pause, he answered his own question: “It will be about health.” Two years on, his vision is already becoming a reality for the company.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021