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Best Buy Projectile

The Best Buy ATD (WE.52) developed and demonstrated a gun-fired, rocket-assisted, jointed-composite, 5-inch projectile with a high lift-to-drag ratio; and double the number of carried submunitions compared to the extended-range gun munition (EX-171 ERGM) from 72 to 143, delivered from sea-based guns to at least 50% farther range (from 63 nmi to 100 nmi) that match or exceed expected shore performance of the 155-mm M198 gun-fired projectile. The Naval Gun-Fired System [NGFS] Best Buy Projectile was used to demonstrate technology in a 5-inch gun configuration. However, this technology is scaleable to the 155-millimeter guns. The transition target is the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) being developed for the Advanced Gun System (AGS).

The Best Buy Projectile represents mature technology and was designed for future production in large quantities at a low cost. It is a double-ram design weighing 165 pounds and is 111 inches tall. The Best Buy Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) was started in FY 1997 and was completed in FY 2000. The ATD successfully developed and flight tested high performance composite jointed projectiles that maximize projectile payload and range performance for the improved Navy Mk 45 gun (MOD 4 5"/62). The high capacity projectile utilized a high lift-to-drag composite airframe for launch from a five-inch gun, and a quick-connect joint which connected the payload and propellant sections.

This program demonstrated high-risk/high-payoff technologies that could significantly improve the warfighting capabilities of the fleet and joint forces and provides the opportunity to identify and move emerging technologies quickly and efficiently from the laboratory to the fleet. Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) programs are selected for a match between technological potential and Navy requirements which are derived from operational issues of concern to the fleet, Joint Mission Area/Support Area assessments, and the Science and Technology Roundtables. Risk-reducing ATDs cover integrating and assessing technology in a realistic operational environment and are focused on laying the technical foundations for acquiring improvements to future joint warfighting capabilities. Each demonstration is designed to assess the extent to which the technology is feasible, affordable and compatible with operational concepts and projected force structure.

The Best Buy Projectile was tested in various short-range and extended range gun tests to assess performance. The projectiles can be launched from the ship at a standoff of at least 30 miles. The flight trajectory consists of a ballistic phase and a range extended glide phase. As the projectile approaches the targeted area it performs a terminal maneuver that gives the projectile a vertical orientation with respect the ground.

The NGFS is leveraging the successes of the ATD by adapting the Best Buy Projectile design to meet the CMCO mission requirements. The Best Buy ATD primarily addressed the composite airframe, rocket motor, and longrange, aerodynamic and mechanical aspects of the projectile. As part of the NGFS development, SAIC will conduct a flight test program to demonstrate improved guidance, control, and accuracy. During these tests the projectiles were equipped with a GPS-aided INS guidance system. SAIC used the same GN&C components that they were developing for the Advanced Gun System Land Attack Projectile.

The counter-mine warheads are smaller than those used in the MODS in order to accommodate the 5" diameter of the Best Buy Projectile, but it is the same technology, namely, chemical darts for mine clearance and the CRW for obstacle clearance on the beach. There are two variants, one projectile configured to deliver the chemical darts and another to deliver a single CRW. The Best Buy Projectile (5") can deliver 612 chemical darts and a 155-mm projectile is projected to be able to deliver 1,120 chemical darts.

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