Eurosatory 2014

Precision attack with Silver Bullet (ES14E3)

18 June 2014

Being shown for the first time is the BAE Systems Silver Bullet 155mm artillery precision guidance system. A product of the company’s Rokar division in Israel, Silver Bullet is the result of a seven-year development programme that has produced an artillery round that can achieve better than 20m circular error probability (CEP). Such precision is crucial in making artillery more relevant to modern warfare.

More than 120 rounds have been fired during the development programme, the first undertaken in 2009 to prove the system’s gun-hard properties. During a recent four-shot test, Silver Bullet rounds achieved 5m CEP. The weapon is intended primarily for 155mm/52 calibre weapons such as the BAE Systems M777 howitzer.

Silver Bullet is a self-contained unit that screws into the fuze well of a 155mm artillery shell.

The rear portion of the unit spins with the shell, but the forward part remains stable.

Included in the unit is a multipurpose fuze with point, delay and proximity options. Mounted on the guidance section are moving canards that cater for fire correction. The ability of the round to self-correct its trajectory means it only needs rough aiming, in turn saving a considerable amount of time to engage targets accurately. While a guided shell obviously costs more than an unguided round, BAE Systems claims the extra cost is more than offset by the need to fire far fewer rounds to achieve the desired effect.

Moreover, the precision allows artillery to engage a new set of targets that would otherwise require far more expensive missiles and launch platforms.

(257 words)