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25 Oct 02. Three major international weapons developers have announced their teaming for the UK Indirect Fire Precision Attack (IFPA) programme with regard to Guided Artillery Ammunition (GAA).

BAE SYSTEMS RO Defence, UK, will provide details of its new Blast Frag submunition; Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTNA/RTNB), through its Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, will provide guidance expertise from its XM982 Excalibur programme, now in development; and Rheinmetall W&M, Ratingen, Germany will design a new thin-wall steel projectile body and integrate their GIWS SMArt sensor-fuzed submunition in the design. The three parties will jointly address aerodynamic, ballistic and interface parameters as well as system integration requirements.

The intent of the programme is to provide a family of guided munitions to meet the requirements of the UK and other countries for long-range, precision-guided artillery for current and future 155mm howitzers of allied nations by leveraging the technologies being developed simultaneously by these three global companies.

The GAA programme will focus on meeting a +quick win, opportunity based on
integration of mature products and technologies including an interoperable design for sensor-fuzed and blast-fragmenting payload guided projectiles. There will be options for joining the GAA programme for a number of nations if these designs meet their requirements for guided sensor-fuzed or blast-frag projectiles.

“This Partnership brings together three internationally renowned companies with
unique complementary skills in the field of guided munitions. By combining our
technologies, we are looking to present enhanced artillery system solutions to meet the future challenges faced by our armed forces. We are all very excited by this new venture”, said Tony Lawrence, Sales and Business Development Director for BAE SYSTEMS RO Defence.

“The old model of developing and producing weapons for a national customer, followed by sequential FMS cases is no longer valid”, said Raytheon Senior Business Development Manager George Svitak, “technology moves too fast and the user needs a fielded, low cost, interoperable capability before the next fight – not in development. This demonstration programme and strong international team we have formed are key elements in fielding this exciting new capability to our armed forces. ”

Rheinmetall Weapons and Munitions GMBH Strategic Planning Director Dr. Joseph Kruse said that “this is a unique chance to harmonize US and European requirements and to incorporate German technology based on more than a century of Rheinmetall’s experience in artillery systems”.

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