BAE Systems, Leonardo to Collaborate on New Precision-Guided Munitions
ARLINGTON, Va. — BAE Systems and Leonardo have announced an initiative to pursue collaborations on new precision-guided solutions that will offer U.S. and allied military forces a range of low-risk, cost-effective, advanced munitions for advanced, large-caliber weapon systems, BAE Systems said in a June 28 release.
The two companies anticipate offering new adaptations of Leonardo’s Vulcano — a family of gun-launched munitions that exceed the performance of currently available precision-guided projectiles — in a variety of gun systems, including the BAE Systems-built Advanced Gun System (AGS) and the Mk 45 naval gun. The AGS currently is aboard the U.S. Navy’s first-in-class Zumwalt destroyer, and the Mk 45 is widely used by the Navy and allied nations.
The new adaptations of Vulcano also will focus on providing solutions for land-based 155mm artillery systems, including all variants of the M777 and M109 howitzers for the U.S. military and allies around the world. In testing, the 155mm Vulcano achieved launch accelerations that support maximum engagement ranges similar to distances required for the former Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile program. The Mk 45 naval gun offers the potential to fire the 5-inch Vulcano at 20 rounds per minute to a maximum range over three times greater than existing munitions.
As part of this effort, BAE Systems and Leonardo also will explore offering an enhanced guidance and navigation unit, including semi-active laser and infrared seeker options designed to ensure pinpoint accuracy and provide moving-target capability to address air-, land- and sea-based threats from land and naval weapons. Both companies will continue to independently offer land and naval guns beyond this joint work.