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BAE, Leonardo partner on precision-guided artillery ammunition

By Stephen Carlson
BAE, Leonardo partner on precision-guided artillery ammunition
The U.S. Army Paladin self-propelled artillery fires 155mm rounds during training in Poland. U.S. Army photo

June 28 (UPI) -- BAE Systems and Leonardo are partnering to develop new precision-guided munitions for use with large-caliber ground and naval guns for U.S. and allied military forces.

The program will focus on adaptations and derivatives of the current Vulcano line of precision-guided artillery ammunition. The new munitions would be used on a range of heavy gun systems, including the standard MK-45 5-inch naval gun and the BAE Advanced Gun System on the Zumwalt-class destroyer.

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"The Vulcano long-range guided munition family, part of the Leonardo's global offer of naval, land-based, and aeronautical weapon systems for customers worldwide, represents state-of-the-art technology with its unmatched range, accuracy, and effectiveness, which was successfully demonstrated in testing," Gianpiero Lorandi, managing director at Leonardo Defense Systems, said in a press release.

"Not only is it compatible with 155mm land and 5-inch naval gun systems, Vulcano can also be easily integrated into current and future platforms such as the AGS, a major benefit."

In addition to naval guns, the program will seek to provide improved ranges for ground-based 155mm howitzers and self-propelled artillery used by the U.S. and its allies.

This would be accomplished with rocket-assisted guided projectiles with ranges up to 80 miles like the canceled Long Range Land Attack Projectile program.

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Vulcano is a line of extended range guided and unguided munitions for the 76mm and 127mm naval guns and 15mm ground artillery. The guided rounds can use a combination of GPS, inertial navigation, and semi-active laser. The newer versions to be developed may include infrared guidance systems as well.

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