The European Defence Agency (EDA) has released details of a Mission Abort System (MAS) developed for guided projectiles.
The MAS project commenced in late 2013 under the EDA’s Capability Technology (CapTech) Ammunition Technologies effort, and was funded by the German and Italian ministries of defence. The MAS is designed to prevent projectiles from travelling beyond the boundaries of testing ranges.
The final tests were conducted at the Meppen Proving Ground (WTD91) in Germany in the third quarter of 2016. The MAS demonstrator, developed by Diehl BGT Defence and Leonardo (then Finmeccanica), uses the 155 mm Vulcano projectile.
An EDA official working on the project, told Jane’s that two rounds were fired from the PzH2000 howitzer at range of more than 20 km during the final demonstration tests, adding that the MAS activated several seconds into the flight, “We have used the 155 mm Vulcano projectile with a sub-calibre of 92 mm for the demonstrator, however we can also configure the system for the 127 mm Vulcano, which has a sub-calibre of just 70 mm.”
The Vulcano warhead is replaced by an on-board MAS reaction system that consists of an RF receiver and a small detonation charge. The ground station monitors the projectile while in flight and sends safety signals at regular intervals through a datalink.
If the projectile leaves the pre-determined safe trajectory, which includes an additional safety margin, the ground system terminates any communication with the projectile, upon which the charge detonates and breaks the projectile into two parts.
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