WASHINGTON — BAE Systems has received an $8 million contract to develop precision guidance kits for artillery shells that allow the rounds to operate in a GPS-denied environment, according to a Jan. 30 company statement.

Operating in a GPS-jammed environment is becoming increasingly important, especially as the U.S. Army examines how it might go up against an adversary with capabilities similar to its own. Hardening weapon systems’ capabilities in anti-access, area denial operations and against cyberattacks is critical for the future fight, the Army says.

The kits will provide 155mm artillery munitions with the capability to make in-flight course corrections that contribute to strike accuracy and greater range, the statement added.

[US Army awards BAE contract to build full-rate production howitzers]

“The precision strike capability also allows war fighters to accurately engage targets for longer periods of time with less ammunition and logistical sustainment,” the statement noted.

The new guidance kits serve as an example of how the Army is finding ways to make what it already owns more capable and flexible in current and future fights.

According to BAE Systems, its precision guidance kits are “compatible” with current and experimental artillery munitions and propellants, as well as firing platforms like the M777 lightweight towed howitzers and the M109 self-propelled howitzer.

General Dynamics also received a contract to provide the Army with PGKs but did not release an announcement.

After November 2018, the Army will launch a full-and-open competition to procure PGKs where any company can submit a proposal regardless of whether it currently holds an Army contract to develop the kits. One company will be chosen as a winner to provide guidance kits for 155mm artillery munitions.

UPDATE — This story has been updated to include information related to a General Dynamics contract award for PGKs and the Army’s plan to kick off a competition at the end of 2018 to supply the service with PGKs.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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