India Scouts to Induct Army's First-Ever Terminal Guided Munitions to Prevent Collateral Damage
Indian artillery is reorganising itself for the future with 155mm guns as the mainstay with enhanced ranges to optimise the use of ammunition with precision strikes and greater lethality, as well as minimum collateral damage.
The Indian Army has begun the process of procuring 1,966 rounds of 155mm terminal guided munitions to prevent collateral damage during a conflict without compromising the lethality.
An army document revealed on Friday that the ammunition will be capable of receiving signals from satellite-based radio-navigation systems such as American GPS, Russian GLONASS, and India's IRNSS. At present, the Army's Regiment of Artillery does not have any such munitions.
"The guidance system of the ammunition must allow it to change its ballistic trajectory and approach target at a near-vertical angle of minimum 80Â°," the document read.
The munitions can hit the target at a range of up to 20 km with less than 10 m of circular error of probability in any terrain. A circular error of probability refers to the average distance between a target and the terminal end of an object's path of travel.
The document indicated that these munitions will also be supplied directly to forward posts, as they may be air-dropping from military transport jets. The ammunition will be resistant to jamming.
"It should also be provided with electronic countermeasures features which could enable it to jam radio frequency generating devices along its trajectory," the document read.
The terminal guided munitions will be capable of penetrating eight inches of reinforced concrete.
The Army has also said that its requirement will increase manifold in the future, which may go up to 33,372 rounds in the initial stage of induction.
In September, the Defence Acquisition Council, the apex body in the Indian Defence Ministry related to capital acquisition, approved $596 million to procure terminally-guided munitions.
Since 2017, the Indian Army has expedited the modernisation of its artillery to give it teeth in the west of the country and on China's borders. It had inducted K9 Vajra and M777 guns, both featuring 155mm specifications, in 2018.
The Vajra is a tracked, self-propelled gun, and the 4.5 tonne M777 is a lightweight howitzer that can be carried underslung by a helicopter and sent to China's northern border.
India's ordnance factory board has also been modernising 300 vintage 130mm guns to 155 mm/ 45 calibre; they are expected to be completed by 2022.
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