The Program Executive Office-Ammunition (PEO Ammo) has fielded the new ATK-developed Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI) cartridges with the US Army's Stryker brigade combat teams (BCTs), which are currently operating in Afghanistan.
Ted Hom, APMI product director, said integration of the army's mobile Stryker Double-V Hull Mortar Carrier Vehicle (MCVV) with new rounds will enable the commander to accurately destroy incoming enemy targets, with minimum collateral damage.
"Integration of APMI into the Stryker platform gives the troops greater flexibility and increased maneuverability," while added APMI will "have the same precision, but on a platform that can easily go wherever needed," said Hom.
The move is also expected to increase operational use of 120mm mortar rounds in Afghanistan, compared to current scenarios where they are often placed at mortar positions in Forward Operation Bases and Combat Outposts throughout the country.
The 120mm GPS-guided mortar cartridge has an original requirement of 10m Circular Error Probable (CEP), but has exceeded the requirement, therefore providing commanders with an indirect firing capability to destroy enemy troops, materiel, bunkers and other infantry-type targets.
To familiarise soldiers with the new rounds, the PEO Ammo's Product Manager for Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems (PdM GPM2S) conducted the first Stryker MCVV combined training and live-fire exercise in June 2012, in Afghanistan.
APMI achieved direct hit on a target with the first round, during the exercise, which involved participation from an infantry division of the 3-2 Stryker brigade combat team, higher headquarters 5-20 Infantry and B Troop 1-14 Cavalry Division.
The mortars have already been fielded with the army's Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).
Stryker APMI research, development and integration is a joint effort between PEO Ammunition, the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Joint Munitions Command and Project Manager Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
Image: A US Army soldier prepares to fire the first APMI round from a Stryker MCVV in Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of: US Army.