BAE Systems and Leonardo have announced an initiative to pursue collaborations on new precision-guided solutions that will offer US and allied military forces a range of low-risk, cost effective, advanced munitions for advanced, large caliber weapon systems, the companies said.
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 is currently on board the US Navy´s Zumwalt class of destroyers, and the Mk 45 is widely used by the Navy and allied nations.
The new adaptations of Vulcano will also focus on providing solutions for land-based 155-mm artillery systems, including all variants of the M777 and M109 howitzers for the US military and allies around the world.
In testing, the 155-mm Vulcano achieved launch accelerations that support maximum engagement ranges similar to distances required for the former Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) 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 will also 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.
BAE Systems provides some of the world´s most advanced, technology-led defense, aerospace, and security solutions. The company employs a skilled workforce of 83,100 people in more than 30 countries. Working with customers and local partners, BAE Systems develops, engineers, manufactures, and supports products and systems to deliver military capability, protect national security and people, and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.
Leonardo is among the top ten global players in aerospace, defence, and security and Italy´s main industrial company.