|From ATK's press releases,
( http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=985 )
ATK Receives $5 Million Award for U.S. Army's Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI)
Nov 30, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) has received a $5 million contract from the U.S. Army for the first phase of the Army's Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI). ATK is one of three companies selected for the first phase of the competition. Phase one consists of a three month design, maturation and demonstration program aimed at developing a precision mortar capability. The first phase concludes with flight tests and a competitive "shoot off" amongst industry designs.
Prior to winning the award, ATK successfully concluded a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) flight test program of its Mortar Guidance Kit (MGK) design. ATK's MGK design demonstrated its ability to accurately and reliably guide a 120mm mortar to within 10 meters of targets at ranges in excess of 6'500 meters.
"Our MGK design leverages our proven Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) technology and production facilities already in place for 155mm artillery to quickly deliver an affordable, low risk, precision 120mm mortar capability to the field," said Jack Cronin, President, ATK Mission Systems. "Most importantly, the recent CRADA tests demonstrated that our MGK technology is mature enough to meet our warfighter's urgent operational needs."
ATK's MGK converts M934 mortar bodies into affordable, precision mortar rounds by adding GPS guidance and navigation capability in a package that replaces standard fuzes in the mortar's fuze well. Based on ATK's PGK for 155mm artillery, MGK has more than 90 percent commonality with PGK. The manufacturing of MGK can be accomplished using the ATK PGK production line, providing a rapid low-risk path to fielding.
The U.S. Army is sponsoring APMI to meet operational needs for a precision, 120mm mortar capability for reliable and lethal response to enemy engagements - especially in mountainous terrain inaccessible to artillery. A precision guided mortar provides field commanders with indirect fire capability to successfully engage targets while mitigating collateral damage. Additionally, greater accuracy reduces the number of rounds required to successfully defeat targets while reducing in-theater logistical requirements.
So it's finally happened: the tech in the PGK Precision Guidance Kit for 155 & 105mm artillery projectiles is now migrating into a kit for 120mm mortar projectiles.
(Now all that's left in my crazy scheme is to convince the 127mm naval gun ammunition folks and its users to get on this precision bandwagon...!)