Mk182 5-inch Kinetic Energy Electronically Timed (KE-ET)
"Shotgun Projectile" "BB" round
Task Force (TF) Hip Pocket was established in 2002 to address the vulnerabilities exploited in the attack on USS COLE (DDG 67). Additionally, the Navy developed the 5"/54 Force Protection "BB" rounds which has a greater effective area and adds significant capability against high-speed small craft. Over 6,000 rounds have been delivered and will be deployed to the fleet this year.
The KE-ET round development effort was initiated in Fall 2002 to provide increased Surface Warfare capabilities against asymmetric threats. The project was an accelerated product improvement that made use of components from the 5" ammo programs to field a round commonly called the "BB" round that could be fired down a bearing at incoming small boats. The round gets its name from the 9000 tungsten pellets that are packed into a cargo projectile body. The round has demonstrated a dramatic increase in the lethality against troops and light boats over the legacy 5" rounds.
Shipboard testing and demonstration was conducted in June 2003 and further demonstrated the accuracy and lethality of the round. It was confirmed that the BB round doubled the area of lethality against the small threat. The demonstration was successful enough for the Navy to initiate the modifications necessary to fire this round from all the different 5" gun configurations, including the 5"/62, Mod 4 guns that are in the new DDG ships.
The intent was to integrate the software into all 5"/54 equipped ships in 2004. Production was completed in December 2004, and the Navy expected to see the BB round in action with an upcoming deployment in 3rd Quarter Fiscal Year 2005. This was an example of rapidly fielding enhanced capability to the Fleet.
With only thirteen months since their previous deployment, USS HIGGINS (DDG 76) deployed again on May 6, 2005 in company with the NIMITZ Strike Group. A brief stop at the North Island Naval Weapons Station provided HIGGINS with several new combat capabilities, particularly the new Tactical Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and the High Explosive Electronically Timed (HE-ET) and Kinetic Energy Electronically Timed (KE-ET) 5" projectiles. While the TACTOM missiles significantly enhance HIGGINS' Strike warfare capabilities, the HE-ET and KE-ET rounds provide the ship more capable defense against an asymmetric surface threat. The existing kinetic energy round, Mk 182 KE-ET, expels the payload of tungsten alloy BBs in the rearward direction.
The US Army TACOM PICATINNY entered into an Acquisition Transaction for Prototype (using Section 845 of Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions authority] Agreement Number DAAE30-01-9-0800 with Veritay Technology, Inc on 27 September 2006 for Development of A Full Scale All-Up Modified Mk 182 Ke-Et Round. The estimated completion date was 27 June 2007. The U.S. Government investment was $460,224. Technical objectives of this effort including the technology areas in which the project was conducted were development of the technologies required to create a kinetic energy round for the Navy's 5-inch gun that will deploy numerous non-energetic penetrators in the forward direction as the round approaches its target.
By pushing the payload out the front, the kinetic energy will be increased by a factor of 2-5 times compared to rearward expulsion, thereby substantially increasing the lethality of the round. This project broadens the technology base by increasing the kinetic energy of the payload in a simple fashion that has applicability to other ammunition types. This approach results in the enhanced lethality of an existing Navy round, which leverages the existing technology. This project formed new relationships between Veritay, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head and NSWC Dahlgren. The Navy technology is potentially applicable to many Army and Navy rounds. The results of the testing were briefed to all Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium members for further collaboration.
The Mk 182 KE-ET should not be confused with the MK-182 Super RBOC cartridge, the the first wide spread decoy system applied to all major Navy surface combatants. The MK-182 was successfully operationally evaluated in 1977. Super Rapid-Blooming Offboard Chaff [Super RBOC] and its family of decoys significantly improved the Navy's capability to conduct electronic warfare from its surface combatants.