XM1155-SC is an advanced, cannon-launched, precision-guided munition (PGM) belonging to the Hypervelocity Projectile (HVP) munitions family. It is being developed as part of the US Army’s XM1155 Extended Range Artillery Projectile (ERAP) programme.
The ERAP programme aims to offer an extended range, guided 155mm artillery round to engage both stationary and mobile targets in challenging environments with the capability to reach twice the distance of the existing cannon-launched PGMs.
BAE Systems, a defence company based in the UK, was awarded a $16m contract in 2021 by the US Army for the development and testing of XM1155-SC against long-range land-based targets as part of the programme.
XM1155-SC development details
BAE Systems developed a concept projectile for the US Army to achieve two primary objectives – to penetrate and dismantle adversary defences and to fulfil the army’s modernisation objectives for long-range precision fire munitions.
The objectives were achieved through the integration of enhanced range, advanced guidance, increased lethality and improved survivability features within the projectile.
The company successfully fired the concept demonstrator, the Sub-Caliber Artillery Long-Range Projectile with Enhanced Lethality, for the US Army’s XM1155 programme in March 2023.
The projectile was launched from a 155mm XM907E2 58 calibre cannon and accurately hit a stationary target at a distance surpassing the ranges previously achieved by other precision-guided projectiles fired from the same type of cannon.
The test was conducted at the White Sands missile range in New Mexico and utilised a sabot package designed by the US Army. It successfully verified the compatibility of the projectile with the 155mm Extended Range Cannon Artillery Howitzer Test Bed and its propelling charges.
In May 2023, BAE Systems received a three-year incrementally funded contract worth $72.5m from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center to further advance the XM1155-SC programme through continued research and development.
XM1155-SC design details
XM1155-SC is a cannon-launched, highly manoeuvrable, low-drag projectile with the capability to defeat a broad set of target types.
It integrates critical, robust subsystems that have been tested in a series of more than 100 HVP and XM1155-SC test firings, conducted from multiple Army 155mm cannons, affirming their reliability.
The XM1155-SC introduces a lethal and agile projectile with a short flight time for military use. It will feature the capability to destroy targets in GPS-degraded or denied environments at a range of more than 110km.
Other players involved in the XM1155 programme
The team of Boeing Phantom Works (BPW) and Nammo received a contract to develop and advance the Ramjet 155 projectile in July 2019, as part of the US Army’s XM1155 programme. BPW is a research and development company based in the US, while Nammo is a defence and aerospace company based in Norway.
The team subsequently received a Phase II technology development contract in May 2021. The Ramjet 155 employs an engine that compresses the air required for combustion solely through the projectile’s forward motion at supersonic speeds.
In August 2022, the team successfully test-fired a Ramjet-powered artillery projectile, serving as a validation of the US Army’s focus on long-range precision fires.
The test was conducted at the Andoya Test Centre in Norway, where a cannon launched a Boeing Ramjet 155 projectile, which then successfully ignited its Ramjet engine. The test showcased the projectile’s flight stability and the precise control achieved during the engine combustion process.
The Solid Fuel Ramjet tactical engine configuration, developed by Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defence company based in the US, underwent several rounds of successful testing in November 2020, under phase one of the XM1155 ERAP programme.
The tests confirmed the survivability and performance predictions of gun-launched projectiles while showcasing the possibility of extending their range to more than 100km.