Artillery: November 17, 1999


ARTILLERY: South Africa's Somchem division of Denel has designed and plans to test a new rocket-boosted 155mm artillery shell, with which it hopes to enhance export sales of its 155mm artillery systems. Fired from a 52-caliber barrel, a standard "boat tail" shell will travel 32.5km. The "base bleed" type of shell (which has a burning element that keeps a bubble of gas behind the shell, making it more aerodynamic) can reach 41km with the same charge from the same barrel. The new rocket-boosted shells will be able to reach 52.5km. While the shell gives up some explosive force to gain range, it still has adequate lethality for most missions.--Stephen V Cole


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