Army Fast Tracks GPS Mortar Round

The Army is fast tracking a GPS guided 120mm mortar round to Afghanistan in response to an urgent request for precision mortar fire from commanders on the ground there, and should be fielded by the end of the year. Called the Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI), it improves upon the current round’s 136-meter Circular Error Probable (CEP) reducing it to about 10-meters.

"This is designed for a precision capability such as against a sniper in a building, or enemies in a bunker or trench. If you were to engage with a conventional mortar round, you would have to fire 8-to-10 rounds to kill or suppress the target. With APMI, you will probably be able to do the same thing with one or two rounds," said Bruce Kay, systems coordinator for the Army’s mortar programs in a press release.

The Army will soon down-select from one of three competing industry teams: Raytheon-Israeli Military Industries, General Dynamics and ATK.

This is another example of the Army redressing a long neglected weapon that will be hugely important in the small unit, infantry battles that will dominate current and future wars.

-- Greg

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