In a groundbreaking collaboration, IIT Madras has joined forces with Munitions India Limited (MIL), a defense public sector enterprise, to design and develop smart ammunition for artillery guns. This partnership aims to enhance the accuracy and range of existing shells used in artillery guns, bringing about a potential revolution in modern warfare.
Increasing Accuracy and Lethality
The primary objective of this collaboration is to significantly improve the accuracy of the 155mm shell, reducing the circular error probable (CEP) to a mere 10 meters. Currently, indigenous ammunition in India has a CEP of 500 meters. By achieving this ambitious goal, the smart ammunition will ensure precise targeting and minimize collateral damage.
Furthermore, the collaboration also seeks to enhance the lethality of the ammunition upon impact. The smart ammunition will be designed to deliver devastating force when hitting the target, increasing its effectiveness on the battlefield.
Innovative Features of Smart Ammo
The smart ammunition will be compatible with 39 and 45-caliber 155mm artillery guns without requiring any modifications to the existing gun systems. It will feature a fin-stabilized, canard-controlled, and guided shell. With a maximum range of 38 kilometers and a minimum range of 8 kilometers, it will provide enhanced operational capabilities for artillery units.
The ammunition will incorporate three-mode fuse operation, allowing for point detonation, height of burst, and delayed detonation functionalities. These features will offer greater flexibility in engaging different types of targets and adapting to varying tactical scenarios.
Utilizing the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), the smart ammunition will have an independent guidance system. This reliance on indigenous satellite technology ensures independence from foreign governments' satellite systems and strengthens India's self-reliance in defense capabilities.
The Research and Development Process
A dedicated research team led by Prof. G Rajesh from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras will spearhead the development of the smart ammunition. The team will focus on integrating advanced technologies such as miniaturized electronics, sensors, and mechanical structures into the ammunition's design.
The shell's components will include guidance, navigation, and control systems, roll isolation strategies, canard actuation systems, fuze, shell body, and warhead. These intricate technological elements will work together to ensure the precision and effectiveness of the smart projectile.
Munitions India Limited's Expertise
Munitions India Limited, a state-owned defense company, specializes in the production, testing, research, development, and marketing of a wide range of ammunition and explosives for the armed forces. With MIL's expertise in conventional ammunition manufacturing and IIT Madras' prowess in developing guidance systems, the collaboration aims to pave the way for MIL's expansion into modern ammunition manufacturing with cutting-edge technologies.
A Paradigm Shift in Artillery Warfare
The development of smart ammunition through the collaboration between IIT Madras and Munitions India Limited marks a significant milestone in indigenization and technological advancement in the defense sector. By enhancing the accuracy, range, and lethality of artillery guns, this technology has the potential to reshape the landscape of artillery warfare.
As India strengthens its self-reliance in the defense industry, the development of smart ammunition represents a leap forward in achieving strategic autonomy and bolstering national security.