Artillery: August 5, 2000


NEW RUSSIAN CANNON SHELLS: Russia's KDP Design Bureau has created three new laser-guided projectiles, in 100mm, 125mm, and 152mm caliber. The 100mm 9M117M1 Arkan can be fired by the BMP-3. From a standard BMP-3, it has a range of 4,000m, but from the improved BMP-3M, it can reach 5,500m. The Arkan is an upgrade to the 9M117 Bastion, which is also known as the AT-10 Stabber. The later 9M117M had a tandem warhead to defeat reactive armor. The Arkan round is part of a major upgrade package for the BMP-3, which includes a new turret and fire control system. Besides Arkan, there is also a new 100m long-range high-explosive fragmentation round. The 125mm Invar projectile is designed to be fired from T-72 or T-80 tanks; it is not clear if it could be fired from other tank models armed with 125mm cannons. It has a maximum range of 5,500m and (being an upgrade of the 9M119 Reflecks AT-11 Sniper) has a tandem warhead to defeat explosive reactive armor. The KDP Bureau has also produced a new high explosive fragmentation round with a range of 7,000m for 125mm tank cannons. It is designed to neutralize enemy infantry positions when artillery is not available. The new 152mm Avora laser-guided howitzer projectile is a replacement for the well-known Krasnopol laser-guided shells. It is said to be more accurate, have a more powerful warhead, and to have a lower production cost than Krasnopol. Avora uses the new Lomo-series laser seeker.--Stephen V Cole


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