BSFM: British Artillery Gets SMArt
In October 2007, “Get SMArt: Control for Aussie Artillery” covered their purchase of the German Diehl/Rheinmetall GIWS(Gesellschaft fur Intelligente Wirksysteme mbH) partnership’s SMArt 155 artillery shell. It’s designed to kill enemy armored vehicles by releasing a pair of can-shaped projectiles that descend by parachute, look for enemy vehicles below, then fire an Explosively-Formed Projectile (EFP) – an explosive charge that turns the concave metal plate they carry into an impromptu tank shell that rips through weak top armor.
Britain has also been looking to update its artillery with new munitions, and the Ballistic Sensor Fused Munition (BSFM) program featured GIWS’ SMArt 155 against BAE Bofors’ BONUS sensor-fized shell to equip Britain’s new AS90 Braveheart self-propelled tracked howitzers. GIWS won that competition, and development of the BSFM will now begin under the UK MoD’s Artillery Systems Integrated Project Team (IPT), integrating requested components and making changes. Missiles and Batteries Ltd (MSB) in Scotland, for instance, have been awarded a GBP 1.5 million (about $3.1 million) contract to produce the required shock-resistant batteries.
BSFM is the first component of the GBP 1.5 billion (about $3.07 billion) Category A Indirect Fire Precision Attack (IFPA) procurement program, which envisages a mix of 5 munitions acquired over time. IFPA aims to use a mix of shells and rockets, in order to give British forces the ability attack and destroy high value targets including enemy armor at ranges up to 300km, around the clock, and in all weather conditions. The program is scheduled to build to full capability by 2017.