Soldiers train with new precision-guided artillery
ROSE BARRACKS, Germany – History was made once more as troopers assigned to Alpha Battery, Field Artillery, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, fired XM1156 Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) fuses using M777A2 Howitzer weapon systems.
It was the unit’s first field demonstration of the ammunition on July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area near Rose Barracks, Germany.
The M777A2 Howitzer is managed by the Project Manager Towed Artillery Systems and the PGK is managed by the Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems. Both are part of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
The PGK fuse is a GPS guidance kit with proximity and detonating fusing functions. This fuse, when attached to the tip of a 155 mm High Explosive (HE) projectile, helps to correct its ballistic trajectory.
This converts a current stockpile of conventional HE ammunition into near-precision projectiles, while simultaneously reducing the logistic footprint for our armed forces.
“PGK is a fuse that is smart and steers itself to the target using satellites,” said Sgt. Tyler J. Pint, an Alpha Battery section chief. “This is a new experience where 2 CR will be firing it for the first time in Germany.”
Maj. Joseph Miller, squadron executive officer, further explained the training.
“We’ve had a team from Fort Sill come over and are training us how to use a fuse on a conventional round to improve our accuracy,” said Miller. “The big change is, obviously, our accuracy.”
“Through the efficient training provided by our PGK New Equipment Training Team, numerous units have been highly effective at having effects on target,” said Maj. Kenneth Fowler, PGK Assistant Product Manager at Picatinny Arsenal, who assisted with the training.
With the acquisition of this technology, troopers will be able to fire rounds with greater precision and lethality, while reducing the potential for collateral damage to friendly troops and non-combatants.
“On a normal conventional round, you will have multiple points of impact, we call that ‘mass’,” said Miller.
“With this fuse, I can fire a section [one gun] or a platoon [three guns] and achieve the same effects.”
While being able to add a weapon to any arsenal can be exciting, it can also create additional logistical concerns for units.
“It doesn’t take a whole lot of extra cargo space, so we can bring conventional munitions along with a small set of these fuses, put the fuses on the round and still achieve the desired effects that the commander wants,” said Miller. “It’s the Army taking those steps forward to improve accuracy and doing more with less.”
“I foresee this becoming a very big thing in U.S. Army Field Artillery,” said Pint. “So far, this experience has been enjoyable and I have learned quite a lot about the fuse and precision guidance munitions since I have been out here.”
In addition to training troops on how to use the PGK, various international partners attended the new equipment training to observe the capability of PGK.
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