‘Smart’ Artillery Shell Self-Guides To A Moving Target After Firing


Northrop Grumman announced today (Oct. 4) the U.S. Navy has awarded a development contract for the company’s new self-guided 57-mm high explosive artillery ammunition—an artillery shell that can fine-tune its trajectory after it has been fired. Northrop Grumman will test and “mature” the ordnance for acceptance by the Navy.

Using the latest generation of Northrop Grumman’s Precision Guidance Kit (PGK), the new artillery shells offer continuous aerodynamic guidance to control trajectory “no matter how often the target may pivot.” According to Northrop Grumman’s Plymouth, Minnesota-based research facility, “This new guided ammunition will give the Navy greater stand-off range and a cost-effective solution against small, fast-moving threats, without any weapon system modifications.”

Northrop Grumman said the new munition, meant to be used with the Mk 110 Naval Gun Mount, can also maneuver to avoid advanced-tech fast-moving surface threats, drones and swarming threats. It does this with an onboard seeker and also uses a fuse that is capable of self-selecting for either proximity or point-detonation depending on the target.

Dave Fine, VP of armament systems at Northrop Grumman, said, “Our new 57-mm guided ammunition is truly innovative in its ability to identify, track and guide itself to a target. The Navy will gain a greater capability to defend against moving threats and a new level of accuracy to defeat them.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. That is a good question Jeremy, but as an old artillery ‘red leg’ from the Vietnam era who spent 18 months shooting 105s and 8″ self-propelled guns I would have very much appreciated this ability! And so would the infantry fellows I was supporting.