Army seeking 155mm munitions to counter armored vehicles

By Nickolai Sukharev / November 17, 2023 at 4:49 PM

The Army is surveying industry for artillery rounds that are “capable of successfully combating armored vehicles,” according to a public announcement.

Issued as a market survey, the Army is seeking sources to manufacture 155mm caliber BONUS Mk 2 with a production rate of 450 rounds per month.

“Compatible with most existing artillery guns, BONUS Mk 2 is handled just like a conventional shell,” the announcement reads.

Developed by Swedish manufacturer, Bofors during the 1980s, a BONUS round deploys two submunitions that search for separate targets within a given footprint using an explosive warhead. Once deployed, the submunitions spin and descend without a parachute that “make it difficult to detect and countermeasure,” the announcement describes.

“If no targets are identified, the system self-destructs to avoid leaving live munitions on the battlefield,” the announcement adds.

Within the Army, one variant of BONUS ammunition is designed to counter lightly armored vehicles and personnel while another is designed to counter heavily armored vehicles, according to Army spokeswoman Ellen Lovett, who told Inside Defense in an email in September.

Though BONUS ammunition deploys submunitions, similar to conventional cluster munitions, the BONUS system meets the standards specified in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lovett added in the email.

The announcement follows an October market survey seeking production of XM1180 Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM), designed to be fired from the Extended Range Cannon Artillery, a self-propelled howitzer slated to replace the M109A7 Paladin.

The Army procures numerous types of 155mm rounds, including tracer, smoke and high explosive variants, according to service budget documents.

For fiscal year 2024, the Army allocated $150.8 million to procure 55,832 155mm rounds of all types, service documents state.