Surface Forces: February 9, 2000


The US Navy, which was previously forced to delay the expected introduction of the ERGM (Extended Range Guided Munition) from 2001 to 2004, now says that recent test successes will allow this to be moved up to 2003. ERGM, which is to arm the DD21 Land Attack Destroyer and some existing warships, will have a range of 116km (62 miles) with an accuracy of 20m. Each shell will release 72 M80 submunitions, each of which will be able to penetrate 76mm of armor. That should be enough to penetrate the top armor of most vehicles, over the engine if not the turret itself. The recent tests have shown that the new tailfin design can stand the shock of firing from a 127mm cannon, while another test proved that the new rocket motor design will ignite when scheduled (at the height of its arc, not when the gun is fired).--Stephen V Cole


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