Northrop Grumman to build one-shot-one-kill shell for US Navy
As the age of the smart weapon continues, Northrop Grumman has been awarded a US Navy contract to develop a new self-guided 57-mm artillery shell for the Navy's Mk110 Naval Gun Mount medium-sized gun used on Littoral Combat Ships.
If you watch old movies or newsreels of naval combat, they tend to resemble gunpowder-besmirched storms with shot and shell blasting all over the place like steel rain. Today, things have changed as the major navies rely much more on precision rather than sheer firepower. Instead of massive salvos of giant shells packed with high explosives fired in the hopes of one of them landing close enough to the target to cause some damage, the goal nowadays is to shoot one round filled with not much explosives designed to land just where it can do the most good – or the most harm, depending on your point of view.
This one-shot-one-kill approach is behind the new 57-mm shell being developed by Northrop. Using technology similar to the kits the company makes to turn dumb iron bombs into precision munitions, the new shell uses a miniaturized and ruggedized version that incorporates seeker sensors to lock onto and home in on even a small, fast, agile target, and an aft-mounted directional system to steer it in for the final impact. In addition, the fuse can self-select for proximity or point-detonation mode for maximum effect.
The result is a round that can be fired at longer range yet still be able to engage and destroy a target no matter how many times it turns to evade. Also, the new shell can do this without any modifications to the existing deck gun.
“Our new 57-mm guided ammunition is truly innovative in its ability to identify, track and guide itself to a target,” said Dave Fine, vice president, armament systems, Northrop Grumman. “The Navy will gain a greater capability to defend against moving threats and a new level of accuracy to defeat them.”
Source: Northrop Grumman