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Oto Melara, Diehl Test Fire New Guided 155mm munition

Jun. 17, 2014 - 11:59AM   |  
By TOM KINGTON   |   Comments
A successful test firing of the Vulcano 155mm ammunition was announced at Eurosatory.
A successful test firing of the Vulcano 155mm ammunition was announced at Eurosatory. (Oto Melara)
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PARIS — Italy’s Oto Melara and Germany’s Diehl Defence have carried out a successful test firing of Oto Melara’s Vulcano 155mm munition, the firm said here at the Eurosatory exhibition.

Oto Melara and Diehl signed to team on large-caliber conventional and guided ammunition for navies and armies at Eurosatory two years ago.

The latest firing took place at Alkantpan Proving Ground in South Africa in May using a German PzH 2000 howitzer.

Oto Melara is testing unguided as well as guided 155mm and 127mm munitions that use GPS and an inertial measurement unit (IMU), as well as variants adding infrared targeting for naval use and semi-active laser targeting.

The 155mm rounds fired during the tests in South Africa were unguided as well as guided, and used GPS, IMU and semi-active laser targeting.

Infrared guidance was also tested, although IR will only be used with the 127mm naval munition.

An unguided shell was fired 52 kilometers, the maximum allowed at the test range. Oto Melara said the guided munition could have reached 80 kilometers.

The 155mm shell configuration has now been settled, an official at the show said, with full qualification expected to start by year end, qualification to be achieved in 2015 followed by production in 2016.

Italy and Germany, already customers for the Vulcano 127mm naval shell, are seen as potential customers for the 155mm version.

Pakistan, which has sent officials to witness test firings in Italy, is also seen as a possible buyer of the 155mm munition.

Email: tkington@defensenews.com.

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