US manufacturer Orbital ATK (Stand S2-266) is ramping up production of its M1156 Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) for 155mm towed and self-propelled artillery systems, having produced more than 12,000 PGK for the US Army and Marine Corps. This quantity includes both PGK for 155mm artillery and for the US Army’s 120mm smoothbore mortar.
The first export customers, Australia and Canada, will take delivery of their M1156 PGK with the M777mm lightweight towed artillery systems later this year.
Orbital ATK's M1156 PGK features a GPS-based, fixed-canard guidance and control approach with gun-hardened electronics and a self-generated power supply, which requires no battery. It is a direct replacement for the standard deep-well nose-mounted artillery fuze in 155mm high explosive projectiles and performs in-flight corrections to provide a step change in accuracy and reduced collateral damage. In addition, it has a fail-safe option that prevents a PGK artillery round from detonating if it does not get close enough to the target.
In March 2015, Orbital ATK received a USD120 million first option contract that called for the production, lot acceptance testing and delivery of PGK to home and export customers. Production is scheduled to start early in 2016, with deliveries under the first option due to be completed early in 2018.
In June 2015, the company announced that during its first production lot acceptance testing, the PGK demonstrated median accuracy of less than 10m with a reliability of 97 per cent, when 42 155mm projectiles fitted with the PGK were fired from the 155mm/39 calibre M109A6 Paladin self-propelled artillery system. It has already been successfully fired from other 155mm artillery systems, including the PzH 2000 (52 cal), AS90 (39 cal) and Archer (52 cal).