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XM943 120mm Tank Round- Smart Target Activated Fire and Forget (STAFF)

Smart Target Activated Fire-and-Forget (STAFF) is a tank gun, anti-armor, smart projectile. In the STAFF concept, the projectile is fired over a target, allowing the sensor system to detect a target and fire an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) at the top of the tank or other armored target. The projectile follows a ballistic path and is roll-controlled through the use of fluidic-controlled jet nozzles located in the rear fin assembly.

STAFF is a 120mm tank round that searches out and destroys enemy armor at distances beyond the reach of conventional munitions. As a top-attack smart munition, STAFF destroys enemy armor by flying over it and firing a highly lethal explosively formed penetrator down into its lightly armored top. No enemy armor is safe from STAFF -- whether it's moving, at long range, or in defilade. Although STAFF is primarily designed as an anti-armor round, it complements the M830A1 tank round by being highly lethal against helicopters. STAFF is unique among antiarmor munitions because of its large sensor footprint and the standoff capability of its explosively formed penetrator warhead.

STAFF requires no change to the tank turret and no unique actions by the tank crew other than setting a single range zone switch. From aiming and firing to the last stages of its operation, STAFF functions much like a conventional round. During ballistic flight, STAFF establishes a vertical reference and orients itself with the ground. In the final seconds of flight, a search and track mode is initiated. The forward-scanning millimeter wave sensor establishes a large footprint for target acquisition. The round flies over the target, rolls to align the warhead, fuzes, and then fires its lethal penetrator down into the most vulnerable area of the tank.

The Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command laboratories submitted ideas for new systems to the Research, Development, and Acquisition Committee. The systems selected for development in 1982-84 include airborne self-defense, antitactical missile defense, Army digital distribution, assault breaker, self-propelled howitzer, smart target activated fire and forget projectile, and other indirect fire and air defense weapons.

Alliant Techsystems developed the STAFF round. Proof of principle was demonstrated in 1990. The Army was developing Smart Target Activated Fire and Forget top attack smart munitions. However, for cost reasons the STAFF program was terminated in FY 98 with final close-out in FY00.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:52:26 ZULU