After a competitive shoot-off, the U.S. Army has selected Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to rapidly deliver a new precision-guided mortar for Afghanistan.
The Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI) began in response to an operational needs statement for a GPS-guided 120-millimeter round for Afghanistan. The service plans to field the round in November. The mortar must have an accuracy of 10 meters (circular error probable).
A contract was signed last week with ATK, Maj. Jeffrey Hilt, APMI program lead for the Army, said at an April 21 conference of the Precision Strike Association.
Raytheon Missile Systems and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems were also competing. In November, the Army awarded the three companies $5 million each to design and demonstrate the round in three months. The Army tested the rounds and completed a competitive shoot-off this past winter.
While APMI is currently not a program of record, there is a possibility it will become one, Hilt said. If it does become a program of record, there will be another shoot-off and down select, he added.
This means that while ATK was selected for this phase of the program, the company will not necessarily be the contractor for the program of record. Hilt said the other companies who competed have the opportunity to make fixes to their systems and may be able to compete again down the road.
APMI will be integrated with current mortar fire control stations.