Home6 firms in race to develop Terminally Guided Munition for Indian Army's 155mm guns6 Firms in race to develop Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) for Indian...

6 Firms in race to develop Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) for Indian Army’s 155mm artillery guns

6 Firms in race to develop Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) for Indian Army's 155mm artillery guns
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A major step has been taken by the Government on 4th November 2022, The Project Sanction Order has been issued to six Developing Agencies (DAs) for the development of 155 mm Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) under the Make-II scheme. These agencies include state-run Munitions India Ltd, Adani Defence Systems and Technologies Ltd (ADSTL), Bharat Forge Ltd, Economic Explosive Ltd, Premier Explosives, and SMPP Ltd.


What is Terminally Guided Munition ? Importance of it in modern warfare

The Terminally Guided Munitions of 155mm artillery guns has capability to hit a target with higher precision and lesser collateral damage than regular munitions. As the name suggest, these munitions are guided at their terminal or last stage while very close to the target for the strike with pinpoint accuracy. These munitions typically use radio signals from the global positioning system (GPS), laser guidance, and inertial navigation systems (INS)—using gyroscopes—to improve a weapon’s accuracy to less than 3 meters (approximately 10 feet).

The TGM usually have a seeker to capture the reflected / emitted energy of the target which has been illuminated by an external laser designator which could be ground or arial platforms such as UAVs.

The proliferation of anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems is likely to increase the operational utility of Precision Guided Munitions. In particular, peer competitors like China and Pakistan have deployed sophisticated air defenses that increase the risk to Indian forces entering and operating in these regions. Using advanced guidance systems, PGMs can be launched at long ranges to attack an enemy without risking Indian Armed forces.

Indian Army requirement & specifications for Terminally Guided Munition

In December 2021, Indian Army has issued an expression of interest for procurement of 1966 rounds of 155 mm terminally guided munition (TGM). The procurement is planned two phases.

The phase-I is going to be Prototype development phase in which 25 rounds of 155 mm Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) along with four Fire Control Systems are sought. The 6 private firms who have received the PSO will be developing the 25 TGM round and FCS.

In Phase-II or procurement stage, 1,966 rounds of 155 mm Terminally Guided Munitions to be delivered at the rate of 197 TGM per Year for 10 years. It also includes 170 fire control system, 87 projectile simulator and 87 sectionised projectile.

This munition is going to be fired from 155mm gun units of Indian Army using more than one technique for guidance with minimum human interference. The munition should be compatible with all In-Service 155mm guns of 39/45/52 calibre gun systems.

Primary mode of Guidance will be through jam resistant internal GPS/ IRNSS/GLONASS receiver. Secondary mode of guidance in addition to the primary mode may be through MMW/LASER/IR, wherein the designator will also be provided along with the munition system, capable of illuminating the target, which can operate either from a ground-based Observation Post /Air Observation Post from a helicopter/remotely controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The munition should be capable of receiving these target illuminating signals and then home onto the target. The munition should be resistant to jamming. It should have inbuilt Electronic Counter Measures which could enable its jam radio frequency generating devices along its trajectory. The Circular Error of Probability (CEP) of the munition should be less than 10 meters for all ranges while being guided in any terrain, ie plains, semi deserts, deserts, mountains and High Altitude Areas(HAA).

India to become manufacturing hub of 155mm artillery ammunitions

The guided 155mm artillery shells are quite effective and Indian army has to export this from foreign countries. Between 1992 and 2002, Indian army has procured 3000 Russian laser-guided artillery shell Krasnopol — meant for use by the 155mm Bofors guns but the performance of the Russian guided artillery was sub-optimal, particularly in high altitude areas. In 2019, the Army had inducted Excalibur artillery ammunition from the United States for its 155mm Howitzers.

The 155mm TGM is the most advanced artillery ammunition, and its technology was denied to India in the past. However, with the growing impetus on self-reliance, India has moved much ahead in this domain. India will very soon become the manufacturing hub for advanced 155mm artillery ammunitions – be it guided or unguided for all types of 155mm artillery guns which is operated worldwide.

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