ATK wins USMC 120mm mortar system contract
ATK will develop a solution to meet the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) requirement for a rifled, 120mm, Precision Extended Range Mortar (PERM) under a new contract announced on 13 December. The $14.3 million contract will see ATK’s Armament Systems division will serve as the prime contractor to the USMC for the 24-month PERM development programme.
The PERM programme will demonstrate a precision mortar cartridge capable of reliably providing accuracy within 20 meters circular error probable and can then be quickly transitioned to production and ultimately fielding.
The PERM initiative is integral to the USMC Ship-to-Objective-Maneuver (STOM) contingency operations that call for precision, long-range (16 – 20km) mortars fired from the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) towed-mortar platform in support of marine infantry units. The EFSS is a light, mobile and vertically transportable indirect fire support system designed for missions requiring tactical versatility, speed and close-in fire support. The EFSS is designed to be internally transportable in the MV-22B Osprey and the CH-53 helicopter and has been in fielded with the USMC since 2009.
ATK has teamed with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) for the programme. The ATK / GD-OTS PERM technical solution combines ATK’s patented and operationally-proven precision guidance fuze technology with the GD-OTS extended-range rifled mortar energetic subsystems developed during the PERM Technical Demonstration programme.
Bruce DeWitt, vice president and general manager for ATK Armament Systems Division, said: ‘This best-in-class combination provides the most reliable and affordable path to achieve the marine corps’ objective of fielding a precision mortar. Using mature, proven technologies also significantly reduces development time, which we’ve proven by using our Precision Guidance Kit technology to deliver – in one year’s time – a fully-qualified, precision mortar to meet the US Army’s aggressive Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative.’
ATK guidance fuze technology is currently being used by the US Army to meet precision guidance requirements for 155mm artillery projectiles (XM1156) and 120mm mortar cartridges (XM395). The ATK / GD-OTS PERM projectile will capitalise on these ongoing US Army development and production programmes to incorporate design commonality, lessons learned, and future product improvements.
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