Combat Weaponcraft News

The US Army is developing precision-guided 155mm rounds that are longer range and able to fire in GPS-denied war – Soldier of Fortune Magazine

The US Army is developing precision-guided 155mm rounds that are longer range and able to fire in GPS-denied war – Soldier of Fortune Magazine

By Kris Osborn — Warrior Maven

The US Army is developing precision-guided 155mm rounds that are longer range than present shells and able to conduct fight missions in a GPS-denied war surroundings.

The Precision Steerage Package Modernization (PGK-M) is now being developed to exchange the usual PGK rounds, which consist of a unguided 155 spherical with a GPS-fuze constructed into it; the idea with the unique PGK, which first emerged roughly 10 years in the past, was to deliver a larger quantity of precision to traditionally unguided artillery fire.

Now, Army builders with the Army’s Program Government Workplace Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal are taking the know-how to a brand new degree by enhancing upon the range, accuracy and performance of the weapon. Maybe of biggest significance, the rising PGK-M shell is engineered such that it will possibly nonetheless fire with range and accuracy in a war surroundings the place GPS steerage and navigation know-how is compromised or destroyed.

The rising ammunition can be able to fire from normal 155mm succesful weapons comparable to an Army M777 light-weight towed howitzer and M109 howitzer.

“PGK-M will provide enhanced performance against a broad spectrum of threats. In addition, PGK-M will be interoperable with the Army’s new long-range artillery projectiles, which are currently in parallel development,” Audra Calloway, spokeswoman for the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal, advised Warrior Maven in a press release final yr.

An M109A6 Paladin from 1st Battalion, fifth Subject Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Fight Workforce, 1st Infantry Division, fires a standard 155mm spherical outfitted with the XM1156 precision steerage package, or PGK, throughout familiarization coaching April 30 at a Fort Riley coaching space. The PGK system permits for elevated accuracy of typical rounds, drastically decreasing the likelihood of collateral injury. (Employees Sgt. Warren W. Wright Jr., 1st ABCT) (Photograph Credit score: Employees Sgt. Warren W. Wright Jr., 1ABCT)

BAE Methods is amongst a number of distributors presently developing PGK-M with the Army’s Protection Ordnance Know-how Consortium. BAE builders say the kits allow munitions to make in-flight course corrections even in GPS-jammed environments.

“Our experience with munitions handling, gun launch shock, interior ballistics, and guidance and fire control uniquely positions us to integrate precision technology into the Army’s artillery platforms,” David Richards, Program Supervisor, Strategic Progress Initiatives for our Precision Steerage and Sensing Options group, BAE Techniques, advised Warrior Maven in a press release final yr.

This technological step ahead is fairly vital for the Army, because it refines its assault applied sciences in a newly-emerging menace surroundings. The creation of vastly improved land-fired precision weaponry started about 10 years in the past in the course of the peak of counterinsurgency warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. GPS-guided 155m Excalibur rounds and the Army’s GPS and inertial measurement unit weapon, the Guided A number of Launch Rocket System, burst onto the war scene as a means to give commanders extra assault choices.

Conventional suppressive fire, or “area weapons” as they’ve been traditionally thought of, weren’t notably helpful in fight towards insurgents. As an alternative, since enemies have been, by design, blended amongst civilians, Army assault choices had little various however to place the very best attainable premium upon precision steerage.

GMLRS, for instance, was used to destroy Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, and Excalibur had its fight debut in the 2007, 2008 timeframe. With a CEP of roughly 1-meter Excalibur proved to be a useful assault mechanism towards insurgents. Small teams of enemy fighters, when noticed by human intel or overhead ISR, might successfully be assault with out hurting innocents or inflicting what army officers like to name “collateral damage.” PGK was initially envision as a inexpensive, and additionally much less exact, various to Excaliber.

The rise of close to peer threats, and newer applied sciences commensurate with bigger budgets and fortified army modernization ambitions, have created a completely new war setting confronting the Army of at the moment and tomorrow. Precept amongst these circumstances is, for instance, China’s speedy improvement of Anti-Satellite tv for pc, or ASAT weapons.

This ongoing improvement, which has each the watchful eye and concern of US army strategists and war planners, underscores a bigger and a lot mentioned phenomenon – that of america army being solely too reliant upon GPS for fight ops. GPS, used in a ubiquitous means throughout the Army and different army providers, spans small force-tracking units to JDAMs dropped from the air and far more, of course together with the afore talked about land weapons.

Superior jamming methods, digital warfare and refined cyberattacks have radically altered the fight equation – making GPS alerts weak to enemy disruption. Accordingly, there is a broad consensus amongst army builders and business innovators that far too many vital fight applied sciences are reliant upon GPS methods. Weapons concentrating on, ship navigation and even small handheld solider force-tracking techniques all depend upon GPS alerts to function.

A Marine artillery gun crew fires an M777 howitzer throughout a coaching train at Quanah Range on Fort Sill, Okla., Feb. four, 2016. Marines from regiments as distant as California and Japan fired new Precision Steerage Package sensible fused 155mm shells succesful of dropping a spherical inside 30 meters of the meant goal. (Photograph Credit score: Cindy McIntryre)

Accordingly, the Army and different providers are now accelerating a quantity of technical measures and rising applied sciences designed to create what’s referred to as Place, Navigation and Timing (PNT), or GPS-like steerage, navigation and concentrating on, with out truly needing satellites. This consists of advert hoc software program programmable radio networks, numerous sorts of wave-relay connectivity applied sciences and navigational know-how able to assist troopers function with out GPS-enabled pressure monitoring methods.

On the similar time, the Army is working with the Air Pressure on an built-in technique to shield satellite tv for pc coms, harden networks and additionally higher facilitate joint-interoperability in a GPS-denied setting.

The Air Drive Area technique, as an example, is at present pursuing a multi-fold satellite tv for pc technique to embrace “dispersion,” “disaggregation” and “redundancy.” On the similar time, the service has additionally recognized the necessity to efficiently community the drive in an setting with out GPS. Naturally, this is massively interwoven with air-ground coordination. Fighters, bombers and even drones need to use a large range of safe sensors to each go after targets and function with floor forces.

The Air Drive Analysis Laboratory (AFRL) is working with business to check and refine an rising radiofrequency force-tracking know-how able to determine floor forces’ location without having to depend on GPS.

— To Learn Warrior Maven’s Report on Applied sciences for GPS-denied warfare – CLICK HERE —

Given all this, it is on no account insignificant that the Army seeks guided rounds able to perform with out GPS. Ought to they interact in near-peer, force-on-force mechanized floor fight towards a serious, technologically superior adversary, they could certainly want to launch precision assaults throughout large swaths of terrain – with out GPS.

Lastly, by all expectations, trendy warfare is anticipated to more and more grow to be extra and extra dispersed throughout wider swaths of terrain, whereas additionally extra readily crossing domains, given speedy emergence of longer range weapons and sensors.

This circumstance inevitably creates the necessity for each precision and long-range strike. As one senior Army weapons developer with PEO Missiles and Area informed Warrior Maven in an interview in the Fall of 2017 — Brig. Gen. Robert Rasch — …”it is about out-ranging the enemy.”


—Osborn beforehand served on the Pentagon as a Extremely Certified Skilled with the Workplace of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics& Know-how. Osborn has additionally labored as an anchor and on-air army specialist for Nationwide TV networks. He has a Masters diploma in Comparative Literature from Columbia College

— This story was additionally revealed by Warrior Maven a number of months in the past – was reprinted due to reader curiosity and present information worth —

Video Evaluation: Pentagon Wants Extra Air and Missile Protection Weapons & Should Tackle New Threats at DEFENSEMAVEN


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