Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

In recent years, the type of military action seriously changed. To replace large-scale operations with the role of the armed forces came to combat acts of urban criteria and / or against the enemy, preferring ambush strategy. All this is very influenced by the current branch of the armed forces of the leading countries in the world, also requests time to reconsider the eyes of those or other matters of strategy and strategy. In one of the most difficult positions in the modern criteria of artillery hit. «God of War», in view of the circumstances, impartial, not adapted to modern warfare. The greatest combat effectiveness artillery systems show the attack surface targets in the criteria for combined arms combat. But in today’s counterinsurgency certain features of the artillery does not allow you to use it with the expected result.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

At the current time to the usual ways of artillery — range, the power of the shells, etc. — Added another important directions of. In the conditions of modern warfare special importance is the accuracy. Earlier, the artillery used for the squares, but in the current criteria it must have a clear opportunity to defeat the chosen target without a miss and the destruction of other objects. Yet, artillery, and other characteristics of the system except for accuracy continues to be the object of attention of scientists and engineers.


Make out techniques increase the range of the projectile. In the years shooting over long distances was the task of howitzers — guns with the barrel longish 15-30 caliber created for firing on the cable line movement. In the last few decades, there has been another trend. In accordance with the equation of motion of ballistic weapons designers had to decide sample increment firing range with the growth of the initial velocity of the projectile and the extension of the trunk. For example, the Russian / Russian self-propelled gun «MSTA-S» is equipped with 2A64 gun with a barrel length of 47 calibres, which is significantly superior to the traditional «howitzer» proportions and more resembles a kind of tank guns. Large barrel length improves the initial velocity of the projectile, and more efficiently use the energy of powder gases propelling charge. As a result of these measures have already been referred to ACS «MSTA-S» with a rational angle of elevation of the barrel can fire at targets at a distance of 15-20 km, depending on the used shell.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

At the same time, range depends not only on the length of the barrel. Almost characteristics trunk influence the range only indirectly, because only help accelerate the projectile propellant charge for a little longer. In recent years, many new types of artillery gunpowder used in modern propellant charge. The development of new cartridges with the charge in the leading countries were used by some new and unique solutions. For example, there is a powder with inclusions of explosives or a special form of grains of gunpowder. Such measures help to significantly increase the speed of the combustion of gunpowder and, as a consequence, the release of energy. In addition to using conventional propellants, although made by the new technologies currently being explored other options propellant. Abroad under investigation for use in their watery combustibles or even some metal powder. In theory, these techniques can significantly improve the energy transferred to the projectile, but as long parade gunners has to do classical solutions on the basis of gunpowder.

Noteworthy that in the race to increase the firing range «participate» is not only the trunks and propelling charges. For quite a long time, there are two methods to increment this parameter with the modernization of the projectile. For a more efficient dispersal of the projectile in the barrel must have rovnenky or close to the bottom of her face. But in flight for such «chopped off» the back of the shell formed vortices that impede it. To avoid the formation of these vortices were made shells with gas generators. Pyrotechnic special sword which is in the bottom of the shell, and burned through the nozzle emits gases. Those, in turn, fill the seat shell and prevent the formation of excessive turbulence, and in some measure disperse the projectile. As a result, the introduction of the gas generator range projectile increases by a significant amount. For example, once we take the ACS «MSTA-S». ZVOF91 projectile, filled bottom gasifier has the same weight characteristics and properties of the propellant as the ordinary high-explosive projectile ZVOF72. With all of this shell with the gasifier can fly at a distance of about 29 km, which is almost 20% more than the same setting projectile ZVOF72.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

Efficient, but more complex candidate projectile with a gas generator is active-rocket. He was ejected from the gun barrel with the powder charge, and then includes a solid engine. Thanks to such a system can significantly enhance the range of fire. The champion of this parameter at the current time is a shell Denel V-LAP. In 2006, during a test of the missile self-propelled gun of the German production PzH 2000 sent it to 56 km. Declared by the manufacturer that the greatest range of shooting a projectile even more — 60 km. For comparison, range SAU PzH 2000 mundane shell of the same weight with the same propellant charge does not exceed 28-30 km. Noteworthy that a prerequisite to record V-LAP projectile was not only the presence of a charge of rocket fuel, and its improved aerodynamics.

At the moment, taken a variety of samples in addition to increment range artillery shells. A more promising at the present time is to create a new active-rockets with increased thrust solid propellant motor. At the same time, the never-ending increase in range only due to the new composition of the fuel is unrealistic, since it limited the number of dimensions of the projectile. For this reason, there are quite noteworthy proposals, such as artillery shells equipped with folding wings, with which he will be able to plan for the longer distance.


Of course, the usual increase in the range of the projectile does not entail any useful effect. When flying long distances unguided munitions are very very deviate from the calculated line of traffic and hit a target for a reliable comparable small size will be very large expenditure of ammunition. In addition to economic inefficiency similar approach may not be appropriate because of the likely consequences in the form of destruction or allied civilian objects. Ensuring economic and combat effectiveness of shelling, even more so in complex criteria, can only be corrected with the help of ammunition.

The first guided artillery shell, which has come down to production and practical implementation, was a South American M712 Copperhead. This 155-mm ammunition has range of up to 16 km, a nd in the final section of the line movement suggests the target with a semi-active laser homing. Weighing about 62 pounds, «Copperhead» was carrying least 7 kg of explosive, but with the guidance system compensated for this defect. In the 80 years of the M712 projectile has been upgraded, then got the opportunity to be induced not only by the reflected light of the laser, and the infrared emission targets. According to various sources, the effectiveness of guided missile Copperhead compared with unmanaged ammunition over several 10-s time.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

On the emergence of adjustable M712 shells Russian Alliance said the development of the complex 2K24 «Centimeter», created for use with 152-mm artillery systems. The principle of guided missiles of this complex is similar to the South American «Copperhead»: Spotter illuminates the target with a laser and the shell is induced by light reflected from the target. Most firing range missiles «Centimeter» was 18 kilometers. The forthcoming development of the ideology of the complex steel shells «Krasnopol» and «Kitolov.» They just use semi-active laser guidance, but differ in their features. Thus, the 45-pound «Krasnopol» 152 mm caliber can fly at a distance of 25 km. Argued that the use of guided missiles of this type for the destruction of a particular purpose may be to achieve a saving of ammunition in 95-98% compared with the rate of uncontrolled «blanks». The projectile «Kitolov» has the smallest size (122 mm or 120 mm in the export version) and, as a consequence, the lowest range Accuracy at 12 km. On the basis of «whalers» was created corrected ammunition for 120 mm mortars.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

2K24 «Centimeter»

Corresponding feature of all outlined above guided missiles is to impose on the reflected laser light. Because of this, in addition to a successful attack requires a few people who will highlight the target with a laser. Thus, in contrast to the self-propelled gun or artillery systems, they will be small compared to the distance from the goal itself — the maximum in five to seven kilometers. This fact increases the risk of loss of personnel and because in Western countries a similar concept of a guided projectile was found to be ineffective and futile.

As a method of solving the existing problems in the United States was developed projectile M982 Excalibur. This shell no need for backlighting purposes, as it has a combined satellite and inertial guidance system. Before firing artillery crew receives intelligence from the target coordinates and enters them into electricity «stuffing» of the projectile. Next 155-mm projectile is fired, and adjusting its line of motion in accordance with the data of the inertial navigation system and satellite GPS, hit the target, or falls in the vicinity. The stated range of up to 60 km provided by the use of additional solid-fuel motor. In addition, the highest range is provided with a folding wing, which is planning to shell out top of the line of traffic. Claimed possible radial deviation (CWE) M982 projectile does not exceed 10-12 meters. M982 projectile can not put at grave risk of scouts and spotters, as the target coordinates can be obtained even what available means, including using unmanned vehicles. With all of this Excalibur has been criticized because the guidance does not provide the coordinates of the guaranteed settlement moves the goal. While the data on the target coordinates reach the gunners and as long as they produce a training projectile and shot technique opponent can manage to get away from the area.

Current trends in the field of artillery ammunition

M982 Excalibur

According to the estimates of U.S. economists, even in mass production projectile «Excalibur» can not cost less than 50-55 thousand dollars. It is possible to recognize the applicable price in comparison with the huge flow of unmanaged ammunition, but the price for himself on the projectile M982 looks pretty big. As candidates expensive correctable projectiles like «Copperhead», «Krasnopol» or «Excalibur» is offered a special module for ordinary unguided missiles. In 2010, the Israeli company IAI unveiled module TopGun, representing a unit fitted to the place of regular fuse. A module for 155-mm shells provides guidance on the signals of the munition satellite navigation system and is claimed to give CWE less than 20 meters at a distance of about 40 km. Since the system TopGun is an additional module, it can even be installed on any standard NATO projectile, regardless of the type having a gas generator or as an additional motor.


Virtually all measures to increase the effective range and accuracy of the method are guided projectile delivery to the target of the explosive charge. Over the last species are popular in the last decades are trinitrotoluene, «composition B» and other widely known substances and consistency. Soon there were proposals to reduce the explosive charge to perform special tasks. Under special puzzles in this context refers to the defeat of small targets surrounded by other objects that can not be destroyed. In such a case, it may be only the introduction of low-power explosives or general unfilled munitions. Go with this last development of new explosives, holding more than the highest explosive and blasting action. But their general introduction not yet practicable because of the highest prices.

As for the rest of the shells purpose, it is currently working on the last ammunition smoke, aerosols, which shield the infrared and laser radiation, etc. Also, in recent years it has been created a few rounds while lighting the pilot performing illumination in the infrared spectrum. Such ammunition can contribute to the criteria in the night units, thermal imaging equipment and kitted out with all this, not to help the enemy that does not have such equipment. Finally, it should be noted developments in DIME-shells. These promising ammunition based on the technology of DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive — «Dense inert iron explosive»), implying a filling of a special alloy shell nanoparticles. During the detonation of such a shell scatters around a huge number of small «grains» refractory metal that act like shards. With all this damage radius these «fragments» of the equivalent of a few meters, then they lose all their energy or burned. DIME-shells in the future may make konkurentnst ammunition classical assembly, but with a small explosive charge.


Certainly, regardless of the type of configuration of the upcoming modern warfare, artillery remains a part of the armed forces. But she will have to answer to the modern danger, with new tools and ammunition. As we see, the leading states are already making, can significantly increase the combat potential of even the guns of old times, to ensure that they perform the most complex tasks. With all this the bulk of future innovations in artillery, most likely, will be specific ammunition. Fire control systems and «hardware» will remain necessary, but their value will decline slightly.

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