ATK’s artillery precision-guidance kit (PGK) has passed first article acceptance tests for performance and safety during testing at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, US.
The acceptance testing, which cleared PGK for low-rate initial production, demonstrated the kit’s consistent, reliable performance in logistical life cycle environments, tactical vibration and temperature conditioning in extreme heat and cold environments.
In an effort to ensure consistent performance across platforms, PGK-fused rounds were fired from the M109A6 Paladin 155mm self-propelled howitzer and M777A2 155mm lightweight towed howitzer.
In addition, PGK completed the accuracy objective requirement of 30m or less circular error, with a majority of rounds being placed within 10m of the target during reliability and safety testing.
PGK is a guidance fuse designed to fit within the fuse well of 155mm high-explosive artillery projectiles and can transform existing, conventional artillery projectiles into precision weapons that can significantly reduce dispersion to 30m or less, enabling accurate targeting.
ATK Armament Systems division vice-president and general manager Dan Olson said: "The precision-guidance kit approach is a mature technology that, when applied to existing, indirect-fire munitions such as artillery and mortar projectiles, has the ability to greatly increase accuracy and effectiveness of the current US stockpile for the US Army, Marine Corps and international allies.
"We have now proven this technology’s performance and safety during rigorous acceptance testing and it is now ready for production and fielding to the warfighter."
Compatible with existing 155mm artillery stockpiles, the kit features a fixed-canard guidance and control approach with gun-hardened electronics and a self-generated power supply, and also incorporates a ‘fail safe’ option, which prevents PGK-equipped artillery from detonating if it fails to get close enough to the target.
The kit successfully proved its capability to deliver precise fire when it was used by US Army and Marine Corps artillery units for training and tactical operations in Afghanistan in March 2013.