MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russia’s research and industrial concern Techmash (an affiliate of Rostech) is working on the concept of a new 152-millimeter correctable trajectory shell for artillery pieces, the concern’s deputy CEO Alexander Kochkin said adding that the project had no name yet.
"Currently we are the drafting terms of reference and image of this new type of ammunition. I reckon we will get down to research and development in the near future. It will be a new 152-millimeter correctable trajectory shell for artillery pieces. The project has no name yet," he said.
As follows from Kochkin’s explanations, once out of the artillery barrel the new shell will follow an ordinary ballistic flight path most of the time. Near the target the built-in control system will be activated to correct the trajectory.
Kochkin remarked that equipping artillery shells with such control systems would be a rather tricky task due to the high dynamic impacts the shell is subject to at the moment of firing, in the process of rotation inside the artillery barrel and in flight.
"At high rotation speeds, up to 30,000 rounds per minute, optical instruments are useless. The image is blurry. Solving this problem will be a rather tricky task," he added.
Several means of correcting the flight path in the final phase were being considered, including flight control surfaces and miniaturized jet engines.
He speculated that the trajectory-correctable shells might take the medium price niche.
"They will be cheaper than guided shells of the Krasnopol type, but more expensive than ordinary shells," he said. Research into the new type of ammunition is absent from the state program for armaments, so Techmash will push ahead with research at its own expense.
According to open sources, the V.V. Bakhirev Research and Machine-Building Institute created a correctable trajectory 152-millimeter artillery shell. It was certified and used by Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
The shell flew most of the distance to the target as an ordinary artillery ammunition piece. The homing system was activated 600 meters away from the target, spotted by the laser target finder. The shell’s trajectory was fine-tuned with impulse thrusters.