BAE Systems, Leonardo join forces for new precision-guided munitions
BAE Systems and Leonardo are teaming up for the development of new precision-guided munitions for advanced, large caliber weapon systems.
The companies are expecting to offer 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 U.S. Navy’s Zumwalt class of destroyers, and the Mk 45 is widely used by the Navy and allied nations.
“As a leading global provider and integrator of all major caliber weapon systems, we are expertly positioned to integrate mission-driven, advanced, and affordable munitions like Vulcano into land and naval gun systems,” said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems.
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 U.S. military and allies.
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, according to BAE Systems.
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.