IAI wins IDF tender for production of TopGun

TopGun is a course correction fuze for artillery shells Fuze’s precision allows for use in urban combat zones while reducing risk of collateral damage.

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October 10, 2017 06:57
2 minute read.
IAI wins IDF tender for production of TopGun

artillery shells 88 248. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Defense giant Israel Aerospace Industries has won an IDF tender to develop, produce and supply its TopGun course correction fuze for thousands of artillery shells which will significantly improve their precision, the company announced on Monday.

Attached to standard 155-mm.artillery rounds where the fuze is normally screwed in, TopGun performs correction of the ballistic trajectory of the shell while in flight to a target with predefined coordinates.

In TopGun, which is capable of accurately calculating its location, steering is done with the help of small wings controlled by miniaturized avionics embedded into the fuze to adjust the trajectory of the shell.

“TopGun essentially converts standard artillery ammunition into a precision-guided weapon, which is highly relevant for future warfare arenas, both in Israel and globally,” IAI wrote in a statement, adding that “it allows expanding the task range allocated to artillery and faster, more efficient performance of artillery assignments.”

IAI reportedly won the tender, which was issued by the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development, over the Silver Bullet 155-mm. guidance kit produced by Jerusalem-based Rokar, a subsidiary of BAE Systems.

With the majority of operations fought by the IDF being in urban areas, the accuracy of shells has become increasingly important.

While Rokar’s Silver Bullet has less than a 20-meter circular error probability (CEP), TopGun is capable of a CEP of 10 meters when fired from any range, making the shell precise enough for urban combat and thereby reducing the risk of collateral damage.

Last year the surface-to-surface GPS-guided Romah rockets became operational in the IDF. Designed to strike targets at a range of 35 kilometers with an accuracy range of under 10 meters, these rockets make it possible to destroy targets even in the heart of an urban center, and are part of the IDF’s gradual increased reliance on guided surface-to-surface firepower, such as the highly precise Tamuz (Spike) missile.

Jacob Galifat, general manager of the IAI/MALAM Division, said that the “unique technology” of the system can be further customized for the operational requirements of the IDF.

“This project has faced us with new technological challenges, including protecting the survivability of electronic and mechanical components in a difficult firing environment and miniaturization of the entire avionics into the size of a fuze,” Galifat said, adding that the company estimates that the global demand for the product will “translate into business success in multiple markets worldwide.”

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