(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Feb. 23, 2011) -- Early next month U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan will receive a first-of-its kind, GPS-guided 120mm mortar munition that can pinpoint targets at ranges up to 6,300 meters, service officials said.

The program, called Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative, or APMI, emerged out of a request from the field commander in Afghanistan in Feb. 2009. The precision rounds were recently test-fired at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

"The testing involved a significant amount of firing and safety requirements. The overall reliability of the round is meeting its requirement of greater than 90 percent. The testing, which has been going on since last fall, has gone extremely well," said Bruce Kay, Department of the Army systems coordinator, Mortar Systems. "This provides the commander with immediate response precision indirect- fire capability."

Overall, the Army plans to deliver 5,480 APMI rounds.

Related Links:

Army.mil: Fact Files - Indirect Fire Systems

Army.mil: Science and Technology News

STAND-TO!: The Army Modernization Strategy