Firing platforms M109 & M777 will fire XM1128 next-gen shell

WASHINGTON, US — Soon, the American firing platforms M109 and M777 will fire a new generation of 155mm ammunition. The Office of the Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems published a notice on SAM.gov. According to the document, Washington is expected very soon to award the production of ammunition.

New hybrid navigation system into Spanish 155mm howitzers
Photo credit: Wikimedia

The 155mm artillery projectiles are the future of the US Army’s self-propelled and towed howitzers. They should improve the combat capability of the artillery in two main directions: efficiency and increased range. XM1128 is actually a booster designed to achieve a maximum range of 30–40 km. Experts explain that the increase in range will be achieved through venting. This technological advance, as well as the design of the shell of the 155mm projectile, is American technology.

The XM1128 is a high-explosive artillery shell. Its use will be conventional fire support, people familiar with the matter say. The force structure and logistical burden remain unchanged. However, counterfire and projectile reactions are enhanced. In this way, analysts say, the survivability and sustainment of the combat team are increased.

Access to information from open sources sheds more light on the structure of XM1128. The projectile has already been tested. During testing, the XM1128 demonstrated interoperability for use with the M1156 Precision Guidance Kit [PGK]. This means that the base is compatible with 52-caliber artillery guns, the XM1128 will also be able to operate with the 58-caliber Extended Range Artillery [[ERCA] system.

The integration of the XM1128 with the PGK means that the projectile will be much more accurate, resulting in a reduction in the number of rounds used to achieve the desired effect. PGK will give more advantages to artillery fire with XM1128 – boosting anti-fire and lethality. This combination is expected to result in greater blocking capabilities. Military experts claim that XM1128 + PGK will reduce fratricide and collateral damage.

Firing platforms M109 & M777 will fire XM1128 next-gen projectile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The XM1128 consists of a steel body. It has a gold-plated metal rotating band and a plastic obturator. The projectile cavity is filled with IM explosive Insensitive Munitions explosive [IMX]-104 and polymer-bound explosive [PBXN]-9 additional charge. The main drag of the projectile is achieved by a base venting propellant at its rear.

The 155mm HE XM1128 projectile is expected to have the following variations: the 155mm XM1128 artillery metal shell, the IMX-104 explosive, a fusible detonator plug, and the PBXN-9 subcharge.

The US government, through the Pentagon, is expected to sign five-year contracts with the contractors [or contractor]. According to preliminary information, 261,000 units of the XM1128 should be produced in the coming years. Most likely, the contractors will be American or Canadian companies.

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