Artillery: July 19, 2000

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GIAT of France is working on several new designs for 155mm artillery shells. GIAT notes that most armies today want shells that are more accurate and effective. If a few precision-guided shells can do the job of 100 unguided shells (despite a higher cost), the supply system is easier to manage, the gun can move before any retaliatory fire, and politically-sensitive civilian casualties can be minimized. SAMPRASS is a GPS-guided shell that might enter service by 2008. SPACIDO uses a radar with the gun battery to improve the aiming of conventional shells. This allows less expensive ammunition to do the job of expensive precision-guided shells. The French are also concerned that the GPS system might be jammed by an enemy or turned off by the US. PELICAN can be fitted with a variety of warheads for special missions. These could include anti-tank bomblets, anti-bunker munitions, or a reconnaissance module.--Stephen V Cole

 


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