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Experts predict an individual Soldier of the future armed with a 40mm grenade may have the same lethal effects as 155mm artillery.
"Lethality is more than just offensive lethality," said Keith Jadus, acting director of the lethality portfolio for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. "It is the ability to provide protection. Lethality is what protects our Soldiers. It is the capability to reach farther than our adversary and the ability for Soldiers to hold their ground, protect their ground and move forward.
Gilbert described the round as being complementary to the XM25. The XM25 is a Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, which has an onboard laser system that determines the distance to the target.
“SAGM is complimentary to that; we are not competing against it,” Gilbert explained. “The XM25 provides direct fire, SAGM is indirect.”
The second phase was making the fuze smart by including sensors. The round detonates in what is called airburst. It will detonate over and past defilade obstacles that are detected by the sensor.
With this new capability, which is fully autonomous onboard smart sensors, much like a smartphone, the grenade can perform a task without being told to do so by the user. It is designed so that, when fired, it will recognize its surroundings and can detonate over an obstacle that might conceal the enemy.
The Miniature Hit-to-Kill, or MHTK, guided missile is about 27 inches long, 1.6 inches in diameter and weighs just 5 pounds. It has no warhead. Rather, as the name implies, it is designed to intercept and defeat rocket, artillery and mortar threats with kinetic energy during a direct hit.
Initially researchers developed three candidate interceptors under EAPS ID, but in 2013, the requirements changed to exclude additional fire control sensors in the battlefield which led to a system down select. The Army redirected MHTK efforts to incorporate the risk reduction miniature fully active RF seeker that the AMRDEC had been working on with applied research S&T funding.
Also in 2013 it was announced that all IFPC Inc2-I interceptors would share a common launcher, the Multi-Mission Launcher. In a separate effort managed by AMRDEC, the MML is being designed to fire a variety of missiles to meet IFPC Inc2-I requirements. The MML tubes allow for multiple missiles of different types to be loaded simultaneously.