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Updated February 7th, 2024 at 00:27 IST

IIT Madras & Munitions India to Develop Nation's First Smart Artillery Shell, Akin to US Excalibur

IIT Madras and Munitions India will collaborate to develop India's first 155mm smart ammunition, akin to the US M982 Excalibur used in the M777 howitzer.

Digital Desk
India Soldiers firing M777 howitzer
India Soldiers firing M777 howitzer | Image:PTI
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Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) has joined hands with Munitions India Limited, a defence public sector enterprise, to create India's first 155 smart ammunition, similar to the US M982 Excalibur that even India uses in its M777 UltraLight howitzer. 

First graphical visuals of the 155mm smart artillery shell.

According to reports, the main aim is to increase the accuracy of the 155 mm shell with a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 10 metres. Currently, Indian-made ammunition has a CEP of 500 metres. The collaboration also intends to boost lethality at the terminal impact point, basically increasing the kinetic impact of the shells.

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Primary Objectives India Aims to Fulfil with the Smart Artillery

Munitions India, the largest manufacturer of ammunition and explosives for the armed and paramilitary forces in the country, is partnering with Prof. G Rajesh and his team of researchers from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras for this two-year project.

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The primary objectives, according to Prof. Rajesh, of this initiative include developing a special purpose shell containing a guidance, navigation, and control system, along with roll isolation strategies, a canard actuation system, a fuse, a shell body, and a warhead. 

“The smart projectile will have complex technologies such as miniaturised electronics, sensors, and mechanical structures. The proposed smart projectile will use the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) for guidance. This means independence from foreign governments’ satellite systems," Rajesh added.

Ravi Kant, Chairman and Managing Director of Munitions India, also spoke about the importance of this project for India's 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) goal. Prof. Rajesh had also added that the 155mm Indian Smart Ammunition can be launched from 39 and 45-calibre artillery guns without any modifications to the gun system.

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About Desi-Excalibur

Key features of the smart ammunition include being fin-stabilised, canard-controlled, and guided, with a maximum range of 38 km and a minimum range of 8 km. The ammunition as of now can operate with a 3-mode fuse operation (point detonation, height of burst, and delayed detonation) and is guided by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with GPS backup. This use of NAVIC as the primary guidance system would also ensure complete independence from foreign agency involvement in guiding the ammunition. 

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Published February 5th, 2024 at 18:17 IST

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