Army requests $24M in funding shift to test hit-to-kill munition

By Ashley Tressel / July 8, 2019 at 11:52 AM

The Army wants to shift $24.4 million in fiscal year 2018 base funding to demonstrate an anti-armor projectile that is part of an effort to replace the U.S. military’s cluster munitions stores.

"Funds are required to support the demonstration of a long-range [greater than 60 kilometers] hit-to-kill (HTK) munition to address the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program's Cannon Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM) Increment I initiative," according to a June 25 reprogramming request obtained by Inside Defense.

The Pentagon's cluster munition policy as of 2018 allows the services to retain their cluster munition stockpiles and acquire new ones resulting in no more than 1% unexploded ordnance.

The Army's project management office for combat ammunition systems held an industry day last fall to discuss C-DAEM Increments 1 and 2: 1 for mobile, armored threats and 2 for lightly armored, stationary targets, such as personnel, artillery, air defense and communications sites.

C-DAEM Increment 1 is intended to confront moving armored vehicles -- self-propelled howitzers, main-battle and light tanks, armored fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, air defense artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems.

The reprogramming request states the hit-to-kill munition is also a candidate for a "Multi-Domain Cannon Artillery" that addresses capabilities requested by U.S. Army Pacific.

"The hit-to-kill effort: (1) upgrades the mature Excalibur airframe with an armored target seeker, (2) is the quickest solution to address four extremely high risk gaps by defeating moving and imprecisely located armored targets at long ranges, (3) is fully compatible with current Army howitzers, and (4) is low risk for compatibility with future howitzers (ERCA and M777ER)," according to the request. "Also, the effort will significantly reduce the cost per kill and improves the stowed kills of cannon artillery compared to existing non policy-compliant cluster munitions against medium and heavy armor."