Get SMArt: Control for Aussie Artillery
Australia’s new artillery from the LAND 17 project is going to need modern ammunition. Come to think of it, their existing M198 155m artillery pieces need modern ammunition as well. Those ammunition purchases can influence artillery selection in cases like the GPS-guided M982 Excalibur, which is pre-qualified on a limited number of platforms to date. Other choices are less constraining, such as the recent A$ 14 million ($USD $12.5 million) purchase of precision-guided anti-tank artillery shells. The German Diehl/Rheinmetall GIWS(Gesellschaft fur Intelligente Wirksysteme mbH) partnership’s SMArt 155 (Sensor fuzed Munition for the ARTillery) can be fired from any 155mm gun, replacing the Copperhead laser-guided 155mm shell which is at the end of its service life. Australian DoD release | Fact sheet | Q&A session.
The SMArt 155 shells contain 2 active sub-munitions that deploy by parachute, using redundant radar/radiometer/infrared sensors to detect armored vehicles. They attack through the top armor, using explosively-formed penetrators that serve as a sort of instant tank shell. Redundant mechanisms will destroy the shell if it finds no targets, and a further backup will render it inert if they fail for some reason.
SMArt 155 is already in production, and serves with Germany, Greece, and Switzerland; a partnership with ATK markets it in the USA. Deliveries of the projectiles and the associated propelling charges, fuzes, and inductive fuze setters to Australia are expected to start in late 2007.