Office of the Project Manager, Combat Ammunition Systems (OPM-CAS) and ATK (NYSE: ATK) have successfully completed Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase 3 Design Verification guided flight testing (GFT) during a recent 48-round test at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. During this stringent test, PGK significantly exceeded expectations and requirements for both reliability and safety while demonstrating accuracy that exceeds the 30-meter Circle Error Probable (CEP) objective requirement.
During this end-of-Phase 3 GFT, structured to challenge PGK in the harshest gun launch environments, PGK demonstrated consistent, reliable performance following tactical vibration and temperature conditioning in both extreme heat and cold environments. Additionally, PGK-fuzed rounds were fired from both the M109 Paladin 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer and the M777A2 155mm Lightweight Towed Howitzer to ensure consistent performance across platforms. These results prove PGK's ability to dependably guide 155mm artillery projectiles over the operational envelope tested, significantly exceeding both Phase 3 reliability requirements as well as objective accuracy requirements.
"PGK's performance in this rigorous design verification testing surpassed expectations and demonstrates that PGK will perform as expected in combat conditions," said Bruce DeWitt, Vice President and General Manager for ATK Advanced Weapons division.
"This was a spectacular feat for our team," added Colonel Scott Turner, PM-CAS. "PGK performance demonstrated during this test far exceeds anything I've seen since I came on board two years ago - a major step in the right direction."
Pending official test scoring and review by OPM-CAS at an Independent Review Team Program Review in mid-September 2011, preliminary results indicate readiness to continue to the next EMD phase, including Army consideration of a potential PGK accelerated fielding option.
PGK is a low-cost, guided fuze that fits within the deep intrusion fuze well of U.S. high explosive artillery projectiles. PGK performs in-flight course corrections that greatly reduce artillery dispersion. The ATK design features a GPS-based, fixed-canard guidance and control approach with gun-hardened electronics and a self-generated power supply (no battery required). This rugged, yet elegant design involves only one moving part.
Today's battlefield is ever-changing in terms of terrain and engagement criteria. Reducing the risk of friendly and civilian casualties and collateral damage to infrastructure is critical. PGK is compatible with existing 155mm artillery stockpiles and provides an accurate, responsive, and flexible capability to reduce dispersion normally experienced with today's conventional inventories.
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