Companies Seek to Enhance Extended Range Artillery Rounds
Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) and Northrop Grumman signed a ten-year strategic partnership in February, formalising agreement to cooperate in the development of precision-guided enhanced-range artillery ammunition.
The companies will cooperate to offer forward-looking ammunition technologies to support future artillery operations. They will focus initially on developing an enhanced-range 155mm artillery round integrated with an M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK), and will develop a new 155mm projectile with an improved integrated propulsion system.
In service with several nations, the M1156 PGK is an inexpensive, immediately-available means of enhancing accuracy for existing artillery ammunition. In combination with Rheinmetall’s V-LAP projectile, which currently achieves the greatest maximum range of any conventional artillery projectile, the M1156 PGK offers a swiftly available, combat-proven solution for long-range precision-guided munitions. The greatest range ever attained by a conventional artillery projectile currently stands at 76km, achieved in 2019, using an RDM 155mm projectile and a 52-cal weapon compliant with the non-NATO Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU).
The two companies conducted testing of the V-LAP projectile variants and PGK in South Africa earlier this year, and intend to demonstrate it later at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ.