ATK has been awarded a $14.3m contract to start implementation of the precision capability requirement for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) rifled 120mm Precision Extended Range Mortar (PERM).
The USMC’s 24-month PERM development programme is aimed at demonstrating a precision mortar cartridge, which can deliver reliable accuracy within a circular error of 20m.
Following the testing phase, the programme intends to quickly transition the matured fire support system into production phase and finally deploy it for use in the battlefield.
ATK has partnered with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) for the programme.
As part of the technology demonstration programme, the team has already integrated ATK’s operationally-proven precision guidance fuse technology with the GD-OTS extended-range rifled mortar energetic subsystems.
ATK Armament Systems Division vice president and general manager Bruce DeWitt said that the combination would enable the USMC to achieve its precision mortar fielding objective in the most reliable and affordable path.
"Using mature, proven technologies significantly reduces development time, which we’ve proven by using our precision guidance kit technology to deliver – in one year’s time – a fully-qualified, precision mortar to meet the US Army’s aggressive accelerated precision mortar initiative," DeWitt added.
As a crucial element of the USMC’s ship-to-objective-manoeuvre (STOM) contingency operations, PERM helps deliver precision, long-range mortars to be fired from the expeditionary fire support system (EFSS) towed-mortar platform.
EFSS is a light, mobile and vertically transportable indirect fire support system, designed for conducting versatility, speed and close-in fire support missions.
Deployed with USMC since 2009, the EFSS can be transported by the MV-22B Osprey and the CH-53 helicopter.
The US Army is currently using ATK guidance fuse technology to meet requirements of precision guidance for 155mm artillery projectiles (XM1156) and 120mm mortar cartridges (XM395).