The army will buy GPS guided ammunition to hit the target instead of the target area, reduce collateral damage during precision strikes

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The Indian Army has sought to purchase 1,966 rounds of 155mm terminal guided ammunition capable of precision strikes on identified targets from Indian suppliers. Currently, the Army Artillery Regiment does not have such ammunition.

Regular ammunition for artillery guns in the army inventory has lower accuracy than terminal guided ammunition, which can hit a target with greater accuracy, reducing the risk of collateral damage in the target area. .

However, in 2019, the military inducted US Excalibur artillery ammunition for its 155mm howitzers. The artillery shell uses GPS guidance for accuracy. The Army also has Precision Guided Kits in its inventory, which are used with regular ammunition from conventional artillery guns to strike a target with greater precision.

An expression of interest (EoI) launched by the military on Friday said the 1,966 155mm Terminal Guided Ammunition (TGM) rounds, along with the support equipment it is seeking to purchase, will enhance capabilities artillery guns from its inventory, adding that they will be purchased under the Make II category of the Defense Acquisition Procedure 2020.

Stating that native ammunition will be an inexpensive option, the military also said its needs would increase dramatically in the future, with the majority of artillery regiments switching to 155mm guns as part of the modernization plan for the artillery in progress.

He further stated that Indian suppliers meeting technical, commercial and project requirements will receive a project sanction order to first develop 25 towers of a prototype of the TGMs.

Following this, the Request for Business Proposal will be issued to purchase 1,966 155mm TGM rounds, with an Indian component of at least 50%, as part of the defense procurement process, as well as equipment. support systems such as fire control systems, a projectile simulator and a severed projectile.

What will the TGMs do?

According to the EoI, the ammunition must be able to be guided to the target by GPS or other satellite navigation systems when fired and must be able to make the necessary corrections to its ballistic flight path as it moves towards target.

It states that when a target is designated, the designator must be capable of being used from a static or mobile platform, whether it is a land or air platform, such as a helicopter or UAV. . Ammunition, he adds, should be passive and only able to receive signals, and therefore should be resistant to interference. The EoI adds that they should be able to function in any weather and have a lifespan of 20 years.

A senior army officer had said that a TGM, with its precision strike capability, would be able to deal a lot of damage with fewer rounds compared to regular ammunition which would require more rounds. “In the long run, this will help reduce gun maintenance costs,” the officer said.

“You have to see what technology is used”

Former (retired) Artillery Major General PR Shankar told News18 that it was necessary to see what technology would be used to make this ammunition, especially since no Indian supplier currently manufactures it, nor even the basic ammunition for the 155mm guns.

“TGMs are different from precision guided kits, Excalibur ‘shoot and forget’ ammunition purchased by the military. No Indian supplier currently manufactures them, ”he said. He added that the technology used to make them would be critical as precision ammunition is an expensive affair. “It deteriorates faster and requires high maintenance. ”

Another senior army officer said the TGM ultimately purchased should not be the Russian laser-guided Krasnopol artillery shell – intended for use by the 155mm Bofors guns – of which 3,000 were purchased between 1999 and 2002. Krasnopol’s performance was suboptimal, especially in high altitude areas. This was also admitted by former Defense Minister AK Antony in Parliament.

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