Germany's SMArt 155 sensor-fused artillery ammunition stops tanks in their tracks
Manufactured and marketed by GIWS, the SMArt 155 artillery round is specifically designed to blunt armoured thrusts. GIWS is a joint venture of Rheinmetall AG and the Diehl Group, Germany's top two ammunition makers. Responding to the Indian Army's plans to modernize its artillery capabilities, GIWS displays the SMArt 155 at the Defexpo 2010 defence show in New Dehli.
Standing for Sensor-fused Munition for Artillery, Calibre 155mm, SMArt 155 is a robust, highly effective "fire and forget" artillery shell. Each round carries a payload consisting of two autonomous, intelligent, high-performance submunitions. These are capable of neutralizing stationary and moving armoured vehicles of all types, including main battle tanks, in any environment and in all weathers. SMArt 155 makes it possible to halt an armoured assault with minimum ammunition expenditure and pinpoint accuracy, even at long ranges of engagement. The risk of collateral damage is reduced to a minimum.
The projectile features a thin-walled carrier shell, providing maximum volume for the two submunitions. Combining a multi-mode sensor system with an explosively formed projectile, or EFP, the submunitions are extremely effective. Excellent target detection and false target rejection capabilities, a large footprint, a high hit probability and outstanding warhead performance combine to assure maximum lethality and havoc on the ground, effectively neutralizing enemy armour formations.
Fire missions can be completed with just a few projectiles in very short order. This enables shoot-and-scoot tactics, significantly reducing the effectiveness of enemy counter-battery fire, a critical factor for force protection.
Redundant self-destruction is a key feature of SMArt, whose designers took special care to avoid the risk of unexploded ordnance. If no target is detected within a submunition’s footprint, two independent and redundant mechanisms – consisting of robust, simple components – ensure that the round reliably self-destructs, enabling friendly troops to move into the zone with a high degree of confidence.
Target or no target, the warhead is designed to fire as soon as the parachute-suspended submunition descends to within less than 20 metres of the ground. If this function fails and the submunition lands intact, the warhead automatically detonates as soon as the battery voltage falls below a certain level. This mode also covers possible malfunctions of the sensors or electronics.
GIWS first developed the projectile late in the Cold War, enabling the German Bundeswehr to counter the threat from Warsaw Pact tank formations, resulting in a highly cost-effective form of deterrence.
Today, the armies of Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Australia all field the SMArt 155. Steadily upgraded, the round has functioned perfectly in 26 live fire procurement trials, confirming SMArt's extraordinary reliability.
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