Following final firing trials, by mid-2021, Spain’s EXPAL and the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) are expected to have qualified the latest two 155 mm artillery projectiles for the Spanish Army, enabling EXPAL to offer for export a suite of 155 mm artillery projectiles plus the associated fuzes and modular charge systems (MCS).
EXPAL told Janes in a statement that firing trials are to STANAG 4224 and are being carried out at the National Institute of Aerospace Technique, which belongs to the Spanish MoD.
The complete family of EXPAL 155 mm extended range projectiles, from left to right, include smoke, illuminating, and high-explosive versions. (EXPAL)
The latest two 155 mm artillery projectiles being qualified are multi-spectral smoke (designated 155 SMK RP ER02A1) and illuminating (designated 155 ILLUM ER02A1). Both can be supplied as a boat tail (BT) or base bleed (BB) munition.
Maximum range of the ER02A1 projectiles – including the in-production high-explosive (HE) variant – when fired from a 155/52 calibre ordnance is 30,000 m with a BT design and 39,000 m with a BB design.
These 155 mm projectiles meet the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding for 155 mm artillery projectiles and can be fired from 155 mm 39/45/52 calibre weapons and used with older bag type charges or the latest MCS, according to EXPAL.
The smoke projectile has a payload of four canisters containing a chemical mixture based on red phosphorous that produces a dense smoke screen in visible and infrared.
According to EXPAL, one projectile will form a smoke screen about 30 m wide and 6 m high, lasting for more than 120 seconds, but these figures depend on ambient conditions such as wind speed.