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GPS Passes Artillery Tests

Inside GNSS, September 2006

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U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors appear to be getting closer to fielding GPS-aided precision guidance systems that can withstand the arduous requirements of artillery shells and other fired munitions.

In August Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors’ Excalibur team successfully test-fired two GPS-guided 155-millimeter artillery projectiles that functioned as intended against simulated tactical targets at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The projectiles were fired from a M109A5 howitzer in a program that is a cooperative effort between the United States and Sweden.

Earlier this year, Raytheon’s XM1156 Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) and Alliant TechSystems’ Ballistic Trajectory Extended Range Munition (BTERM) projectile underwent successful DoD flight tests as well.

The PGK is an updated fuse for the Army’s 105-millimeter and 155-millimeter artillery shell. The device includes a GPS receiver and small fins that act as rudders and steer the projectile toward the target.

In its test, the BTERM-guided projectile was in the air for more than eight miles before landing within two meters of its target. BTERM is in support of the U.S. Navy’s extended range munition requirement. The munition incorporates a Rockwell Collins SAASM GPS module.

Copyright 2006 Gibbons Media and Research LLC

Copyright © 2006 Gibbons Media & Research LLC, all rights reserved.

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