Military Deploys AMPI GPS Guided Mortar Rounds
Military deploys accelerated precision mortar initiative cartridges...
The U.S. Army has deployed the first wave of its new GPS-guided precision mortar rounds. The new projectile, known as an Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative cartridge (APMI), is a GPS-guided 120-millimeter mortar that finally gives infantry commanders ‘precision-strike capability’.
The APMI XM395 GPS-guided cartridge, builds on the standard 120-millimeter projectile body by adding a GPS receiver in the nose, a controller that steers the directional fins, as well as an adjustable smart fuse system that allows the round to detonate in the air, upon impact, or after penetrating its target.
Image Credit: U.S. Army, 2011.
AMPI XM395 GPS-Guided Mortar
After seeing more than 10 years of action, the standard mortar design remains unchanged, and extremely inaccurate. A 120mm mortar round at its maximum range has an accuracy of within a 136 meter radius about half of the time. Measured in military terms as a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 136, this means that at the maximum range of over 7000m, a standard mortar can be expected to strike within a radius of 136m from the target 50 percent of the time.
The new APMIs however, have a CEP of just 10. While 10m may initially seem like a rather large margin for error, test have shown it be at least seven times more accurate when compared with existing mortar capabilities; needless to say that’s a tremendous improvement.
The benefits of the new GPS-guide APMIs are a great step forward, firstly the accuracy of the new APMIs will cut down on the blanket bombing employed to strike targets with inaccurate mortars, which in turn will reduce collateral damage and loss of civilian lives. The fewer number of rounds required to hit targets will also save on ammunition and money, as well as reduce the number of risky resupply missions. It will also make it possible to strike targets that are hiding civilian areas in order not to be engaged upon.
The new APMIs in Afghanistan have already been received by one Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) with another seven IBCTs expected to be armed with them in the next six months.
- Audra Calloway: Picatinny fields first precision-guided mortars to troops in Afghanistan. U.S. Army, 03/29/2011.
- Clay Dillow: Army Deploys First GPS-Guided Mortars. Popular Science, 40/07/2011.