(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA/PENTAGON/DAVID B. GLEASON)
The Pentagon awarded US defense corporation Raytheon and Israel Military Industries with a contract to develop and manufacture GPS-guided mortar shells, IMI announced on Wednesday.
The 120-mm. mortar shells will be long-range, precision- guided projectiles, IMI said. The contract is worth $98 million, the company added.
“The accurate mortar shell is the fruit of joint development between the American Raytheon company, one of the largest defense companies in the world, and IMI, which is a leading company in the field of accurate, guided munitions,” IMI stated.
The 120-mm. mortar shell forms the principal weapon of US Marines for firepower support. The guided version of the shell offers “operational flexibility” and “excellent accuracy in striking the target,” according to the company, while “enlarging the existing assistance for these mortars, even in especially difficult weather conditions.”
The projectile will come with both a GPS and an inertial guidance system (the latter is dependent on motion sensors).
“Guided accurate munitions is at the core of the company’s business,” said IMI CEO Avi Felder. IMI’s research and development branch is focused on developing guided weapons, he added.
In September, IMI announced that it had won a €22.5m. contract to supply the Spanish Armed Forces with small-caliber ammunition.