Army developing safer, extended range rocket-assisted artillery round
By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Arsenal Public AffairsAugust 25, 2016
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.--The Army is developing a new 155 mm artillery round that will extend cannon range to more than 24 miles (40km), with the added benefits of greater safety for service members and the ability to deliver near-precision strike capability. The XM1113 Insensitive Munition High Explosive Rocket Assisted Projectile, or XM1113 RAP, will replace the aging M549A1 rounds produced in the 1970s and 1980s and help U.S. Soldiers and Marines maintain battlefield overmatch."The XM1113 provides the user with cannon-launched munitions to engage targets out beyond the current 30 kilometer capability," said Ductri Nguyen, XM1113 Integrated Product Team Lead. "The new projectile is currently designed to reach 40-plus kilometers and will be compatible with the existing M1156 Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) that provides near precision strike capability," he said.Soldiers can screw the PGK fuze into the fuze well of conventional 155 mm high explosive cannon artillery projectiles, replacing the standard fuze. This allows troops to turn their conventional artillery rounds into "smart" munitions with near- precision accuracy. The new artillery round achieves its extended range capabilities through increased thrust and a reengineered artillery shell shape."The XM1113 uses a large high-performance rocket motor that delivers nearly three times the amount of thrust when compared to the legacy M549A1 RAP," said Nguyen. "Its exterior profile shape has also been streamlined for lower drag to achieve the 40-plus kilometers when fired from the existing fielded 39-caliber 155mm weapon systems."The rocket assisted projectile can be fired from the currently fielded M777A2. Nguyen said his munitions team will be "working closely with the weapon system IPT (Integrated Product Team) at Picatinny to ensure that the XM1113 will be compatible with future long range weapon systems."The traditional high explosive, TNT, inside typical artillery rounds has also been replaced by Insensitive Munition Explosive, which is less volatile and reactive to outside stimuli, such as rocket propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and extreme high temperatures. For instance, if a rocket grenade hits a convoy transporting the rounds, the rounds are less likely to detonate and explode.The XM113 program is a joint development between the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Program Executive Office Ammunition, both located at Picatinny Arsenal. The Program Executive Ammunition is the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition that manages the complete lifecycle of all ammunition from "cradle to grave."ARDEC has the core competency and capability to provide all of the engineering for ammunition development and lifecycle support for US. Army and Marine Corps. This XM1113 developmental effort is being led by the Non Line of Sight Cannon Artillery Division. The XM1113 Rocket Assisted Projectile has been developed in-house and is a fully government-owned solution. The XM1113 is currently planned for Limited Rate Initial Production in Fiscal Year 2022.
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