For the purpose of supplying the Spanish Army’s 155mm extended-range ammunition for the howitzers SIAC 52-calibre and M109A5 39-calibre, on 4 May the Spanish Army’s Logistics Support Command awarded EXPAL, through a framework agreement, a five-year contract to supply a high-value solution for ammunition, consisting of an ER02A1 extended-range HE projectile, with a base bleed unit and EC102 electronic fuze, which allows impact, time and delay operation; propulsion is achieved by modular charge type DM92ES.
Using this ammunition represents a significant qualitative improvement in performance compared to the conventional 155mm rounds currently in service in the Spanish Army, consisting of M107-type conventional projectile, mechanical fuze and propelling charge in bags.
The projectile, fuze and base bleed unit have been designed and manufactured by EXPAL as part of a partnership programme with the Spanish Ministry of Defence, the co-owner of these components.
The design of this ammunition complies with JBMOU, therefore guaranteeing use and compatibility in the different types of 155mm howitzer. Furthermore, all the components of this shot have been qualified according to Nato’s STANAG standards in official test centres, guaranteeing the safety of the design of this ammunition throughout its lifecycle.
The technological innovation of EXPAL’s processes allows it to manufacture extended range ammunition, with a projectile such as the ER02A1, which has a rather more aerodynamic profile than a conventional one, and a base bleed unit that considerably reduces the base resistance of the projectile, achieving a substantial increase in range.
Firing with six propelling charge modules in a 52-calibre SIAC howitzer can now reach ranges of around 40km. Furthermore, the effects of this projectile are far superior to those of a conventional one, given the larger amount of explosive housed inside and also the type of steel and the reduced thickness of the walls of the shell, producing much more efficient fragmentation, as has been demonstrated in the near impact and arena fragmentation test carried out.
In terms of safety, the electronic fuze, aside from providing greater operational precision, has higher safety levels than a mechanical one and provides a safety distance up to ten times higher. Moreover, EXPAL’s know-how in designing, developing and using energy material means the projectiles can be charged with insensitive explosives at our own facilities.
With regards to precision, the projectile is ready to in the near future integrate a trajectory correction fuse for those missions that require metric precision in the target under fire.
Thanks to this framework agreement, EXPAL, which counts on technologically advanced plants specialising in the manufacture of each of the components of the shot, guarantees that our Armed Forces will have a strategic supply of indirect fire support for the Brigades, with the national industry playing the biggest part.
This ammunition is already in service in several countries, and has also been successfully tested in Spain by an elite operational unit such as the Legion, a source of national pride.