Procurement Q2-2011

Chemring Ordnance Awarded Anti-Personel Obstacle Breaching Systems (APOBS) Contract (– 22 June 2011)

Inc. of Perry, Florida, US subsidiary, Chemring Ordnance, has been awarded a contract to manufacture the MK7 MOD 2 Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (“APOBS”) for the US Army and Marine Corps. The total estimated contract value is in excess of $150 million over three years if all option quantities are exercised.

The APOBS is a 130-pound two-man portable system capable of rapidly breaching a 0.6 meter footpath through fortified complex obstacles containing anti-personnel (AP) mines and light obstacles such as multi-strand wire. The aim of this system is to deploy a 45 meters line of explosive grenades by means of a rocket motor. The grenades are clipped to an overbraid support structure. Following deployment, the two fuzes put at each end of the line initiate the 108 grenades thanks to a detonating cord which is contained in the overbraid support and runs through the centre of the grenades.


APOBS Principle

Each grenade comprises a high-density PBXN-10 (94% RDX, 1.5% Hytemp and 4.5% DOA) main charge and a low density PBXN-10 booster sealed in a steel shell. The detonating cord which goes through the grenades contains PBXN-8 explosive (RDX, hydroxyethyl cellulose, stearic acid).


APOBS Grenade Schematic

IM tests were performed in the packed configuration and resulted in a pass to slow and fast cook-off, bullet and fragment impact and sympathetic reaction.


APOBS IM Signature (Packed)




U.S. Army Awards Raytheon $173 Million Contract for Excalibur ( – 21 April 2011)

Raytheon Company, TUCSON, Arizona, received a $173 million US Army fiscal year 2010 contract for the production of Excalibur precision-guided projectile rounds for in-theater use. This contract marks the beginning of full rate production for Excalibur Ia-2.

Fielded in 2007, Excalibur is a 155 mm precision-guided artillery round with extended range that is currently in use with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Excalibur Ia-2 aims at improving Excalibur shell to be fully compliant with the Operational Requirements Document (ORD): 30 km range; 20 m Circular Error of Probability (CEP), with 10 m as the objective by using GPS precision guidance technology; and reliability greater than 85 per cent and function in jammed environment. It must also handle the full charge 4 in the L/39 Paladin where it should yield a range of 40 km thanks to its base bleed.

Excalibur provides first round fire-for-effect capability with accuracy reported within 10 meters (32.8 feet) of its target. This accuracy protects warfighters in close proximity to the target and provides a precision engagement capability. Excalibur precision-guided projectiles give warfighters life-saving options when close air support is unavailable. With more than 300 rounds fired in theater, the U.S.  Army and Marine Corps have increased their use of Excalibur in the past year.

Excalibur Ia-2 shell has a unitary blast/fragmentation warhead which incorporates several IM features to mitigate warhead reaction to thermal and mechanical aggressions such as insensitive explosive PBXN-9 (92% HMX, 6% DOA and 2% Hytemp), internal polyethylene liner, lateral venting holes, special packaging. The shell in its container passed bullet impact, fragment impact, fast cook-off and sympathetic reaction tests. It however exhibited a type III reaction in slow cook-off configuration.

155 mm Excalibur Shell in Flight Configuration


Excalibur IM Signature (Packed)



Canada Buying More 'Smart' Munitions to Replenish Libya Mission ( – 14 June 2011)

Canada is ordering another 1,000 smart bombs as CF-18 fighters continue to carry out missions against Libya.

The Defence Department recently ordered the equipment needed for more than 1,300 laser-guided smart bombs. That order consisted of specialized nose and tail systems Paveway II – GBU-12, which transform an unguided "dumb bomb" into a laser-guided smart bomb.

The Paveway is fitted on the IM BLU-111 bomb. This bomb is filled with an insensitive cast-cured explosive PBXN-109. (64% RDX, 20% Aluminium and 16% HTPB). BLU-111 exhibits a good IM signature: type IV/V reaction in fast and slow cook-off, type V to bullet impact and a type IV to fragment impact. However it does not pass sympathetic reaction.


A Dassault Rafale carrying six GBU-12 Paveway IIs, plus four MICA AAMs



Marines order 120mm mortar rounds ( – 9 March 2011)


General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems in Florida will supply the U.S. Marines with 120mm mortar rounds under a contract worth as much as $199 million.

Two delivery orders under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract have already been awarded by the Marine's Ordnance and Tactical Systems command, the company said.

The ammunition for the service's Expeditionary Fire Support System is a family of spin-stabilized, insensitive munitions, including high explosive, smoke, illumination and practice rounds.

The rounds share common design elements, as well as a common primer and propelling charge.

The Expeditionary Fire Support System is a light, mobile and vertically transportable indirect fire support system designed for missions requiring tactical versatility, speed and close-in fire support. The system is composed of a pair of Prime Mover vehicles, a 120mm M327 mortar weapon, the four-round family of munitions and an ammunition trailer.

The mortar IM signature has been improved over former Composition B versions to be safe for transport on sea and air. The shells are filled with insensitive PBXW-128 cast‑cured composition (77% HMX and 23% binder). HE rounds are packed in PA117 containers which include blow out panels, foam packaging that melts in cook-off environment to prevent insulation of heat. Their IM signature has been evaluated in packed configuration. They passed slow cook-off, bullet impact and sympathetic reaction but exhibited a type III reaction to fragment impact and a type IV to fast-cook-off.


Tractor Vehicle and 120 mm Rifled Mortar Trailer


120 mm Mortar Round in its Packaging