Indian Institute of Technology Madras collaborates with Munitions India to develop India’s first indigenously designed smart ammunition for artillery guns
To bring indigenisation to India’s defence sector, the state-owned Munitions India Limited (MIL), the country’s biggest ammunition manufacturer, joins hands with IIT Madras to develop India’s first indigenously designed 155 Smart Ammunition. This collaboration seeks to enhance the accuracy of the 155 mm shell for artillery guns. This smart ammunition is similar to the US M982 Excalibur, which the Indian Army uses in its M777 Ultra-Light Howitzer guns.
Under the guidance of the Indian NavIC satellite constellation (Navigation with Indian Constellation), the initiative seeks to transform artillery capabilities for the Indian Army. Headed by Prof G. Rajesh and his team at IIT Madras, the project aims to enhance the accuracy of the 155 mm shell by 50 times compared to existing counterparts, achieving a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of 10 meters, as stated by IIT Madras.
The artillery is designed to be launched from current 155mm artillery guns without requiring any modifications to the existing gun system. Unlike conventional shells, it will feature control surfaces to enhance manoeuvrability, adopting a configuration with fins for stability, canard control, and a guided shell.
“We are confident that MIL’s might in conventional ammunition manufacturing and IIT Madras’s brain in developing a guidance system will pave the way for MIL’s foray into modern ammunition manufacturing with Niche Technologies,” said Ravi Kant, Chairman and Managing Director of Munitions India Limited.
The smart shell, expected to have a minimum range of 8km and a maximum range of 38km, integrates three unique detonation modes: point detonation, height of burst, and delayed detonation.
Regarding this project, Prof G. Rajesh, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “The Special Purpose Shell will house the guidance, navigation and control system along with roll isolation strategies, canard actuation system, fuze, shell body and warhead. The smart projectile will have complex technologies such as miniaturised electronics/sensors and mechanical structures.”
The partnership between IIT Madras and Munitions India Limited significantly advances India’s defence capabilities. Through leveraging domestic expertise and state-of-the-art technology, the creation of smart ammunition holds the potential to strengthen national security and promote self-reliance in defence production.