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BAE NGAA - Next Generation 155mm bullet

Kirkhill

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1 bullet
Many fillings
Cheaper materials
Cheaper production
Faster production
Longer range




Edit:

BAE Systems is not looking only at today issues, such as production and costs. Its NGAA also aims to be future-proof, payload modularity opening doors, the new round featuring a potential for a range of non-lethal end effects in the electronic warfare, communications and navigation fields, maxing the 155 mm artillery ammunition a fast deployable small uncrewed system, other even more innovative payloads being potentially developed.

Instead of GPS satellites orbiting over head deploying a field of transmitter nodes on the ground?
 
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Not sure how keen I am on with all electronic fuzes? Those centrifugally operated plates make a nice failsafe.
 
1 bullet
Many fillings
Cheaper materials
Cheaper production
Faster production
Longer range
They hooked you with marketing garbage.

The idea that one type of casing can be used for multiple fillings is a little silly - as the casing for a bursting round (HE, and some Smoke) won't be the same as a base ejecting round (Illum or some Smoke), and even bursting rounds will have different casings based on optimal usage for the filler.

Cheaper Materials - okay I can buy that
Cheaper Production, and Faster Production are generally a symptom of new lines and larger quantities.

Longer Range: What I am hearing is more or hotter propellant - that comes with its own issues...
 
They hooked you with marketing garbage.

The idea that one type of casing can be used for multiple fillings is a little silly - as the casing for a bursting round (HE, and some Smoke) won't be the same as a base ejecting round (Illum or some Smoke), and even bursting rounds will have different casings based on optimal usage for the filler.

Cheaper Materials - okay I can buy that
Cheaper Production, and Faster Production are generally a symptom of new lines and larger quantities.

Longer Range: What I am hearing is more or hotter propellant - that comes with its own issues...

All true, unless you are willing to trade some aerodynamics and flight efficiencies for production efficiencies.

Also, with respect to the fill, the implication seems to be that they might be looking at a preformed solid rather than a liquid fill?

PS - I wonder if they are being able to port some of what they have learned while developing the Vulcano rounds.

 
They hooked you with marketing garbage.

The idea that one type of casing can be used for multiple fillings is a little silly - as the casing for a bursting round (HE, and some Smoke) won't be the same as a base ejecting round (Illum or some Smoke), and even bursting rounds will have different casings based on optimal usage for the filler.

Cheaper Materials - okay I can buy that
Cheaper Production, and Faster Production are generally a symptom of new lines and larger quantities.

Longer Range: What I am hearing is more or hotter propellant - that comes with its own issues...
There has been a change going on for some time. Back in my day the M107 was the standard projectile and when it functioned it would tear into numerous irregular fragments and splinters (some as big as the length of the whole projectile and several inches wide). That has been pretty much replaced by the M795 which has a different aerodynamic shape creating longer range and a different steel composition which creates significantly better and more lethal anti personnel fragmentation (@Petard is the guy to talk to on all the details)

We also used a bursting WP shell and a base ejection HC smoke shell. The M825 is a nice new round that is an air burst round that ejects WP wedges and makes a significantly better screening effect than either of the two older rounds.

I think the three workhouse artillery rounds are bursting HE, screening WP and illumination. The latter two function primarily by base ejection through a base plate/plug that gets kicked off at the time of functioning. The HE can have a solid body without a removable base plate/plug.

Technically one could manufacture a single shell with a base plate/plug and use it for all three rounds - but - if a shell with such a plate/plug was filled with explosive, how would the plate/plug affect the lethality of the fragmentation of the body shell? Effectively the plug needs to take the shock of the propelling charge and propel the shell yet be capable of being kicked off the shell at the time of function to eject a filler. That logically would result in considerable amount of the force of a detonating HE filler to be expelled out of the back of the shell rather than laterally. One would need to design a single shell which can be capable of either expelling a cargo or being sealed in such a way as to direct the HE explosive force laterally. I'm not saying its impossible but it strikes me as a difficult proposition for a standard and cheaper to produce single multi-purpose shell.

🍻
 
All true, unless you are willing to trade some aerodynamics and flight efficiencies for production efficiencies.
Counter to the Goal, more range and more accuracy.
Also, with respect to the fill, the implication seems to be that they might be looking at a preformed solid rather than a liquid fill?
The problem with preformed solids in non straight wall bodies is that you generally don’t get the same amounts of material.

Now I’m somewhat interested in adaptive manufacturing of the body around the filler.
That would allow for max fill of a solid and a purpose built casing for each munition type.

@FJAG that would allow a fairly easy adjustment to the body, to solve the baseplate issues either one makes it with or without.

I’m aware it’s being down for certain things, but I haven’t seen anyone try it yet for artillery shells.


PS - I wonder if they are being able to port some of what they have learned while developing the Vulcano rounds.


I’m always skeptical with Marketing and BD claims, but I’m always interested to see what’s able to be done.
 
There has been a change going on for some time. Back in my day the M107 was the standard projectile and when it functioned it would tear into numerous irregular fragments and splinters (some as big as the length of the whole projectile and several inches wide). That has been pretty much replaced by the M795 which has a different aerodynamic shape creating longer range and a different steel composition which creates significantly better and more lethal anti personnel fragmentation (@Petard is the guy to talk to on all the details)

We also used a bursting WP shell and a base ejection HC smoke shell. The M825 is a nice new round that is an air burst round that ejects WP wedges and makes a significantly better screening effect than either of the two older rounds.

I think the three workhouse artillery rounds are bursting HE, screening WP and illumination. The latter two function primarily by base ejection through a base plate/plug that gets kicked off at the time of functioning. The HE can have a solid body without a removable base plate/plug.

Technically one could manufacture a single shell with a base plate/plug and use it for all three rounds - but - if a shell with such a plate/plug was filled with explosive, how would the plate/plug affect the lethality of the fragmentation of the body shell? Effectively the plug needs to take the shock of the propelling charge and propel the shell yet be capable of being kicked off the shell at the time of function to eject a filler. That logically would result in considerable amount of the force of a detonating HE filler to be expelled out of the back of the shell rather than laterally. One would need to design a single shell which can be capable of either expelling a cargo or being sealed in such a way as to direct the HE explosive force laterally. I'm not saying its impossible but it strikes me as a difficult proposition for a standard and cheaper to produce single multi-purpose shell.

🍻

Could you have a single shell with base plugs of different thicknesses?

I am thinking in terms of some burst plate designs that I have encountered in place of pressure relief valves. One flanged or threaded fitting holding a sheet of metal of varying thicknesses.

The implication from the presentations seemed to be that the shell and the electronic fuse were one piece, the filler was inserted in the shell from the base and then the base attached. The CCF screwed into the nose of the shell, or the e-fuse, as per normal.
 
Counter to the Goal, more range and more accuracy.

Unless you aren't relying on ballistics so much as flying the projectile to the target with the CCF?


The problem with preformed solids in non straight wall bodies is that you generally don’t get the same amounts of material.

The preformed solid might be sufficiently malleable.

Now I’m somewhat interested in adaptive manufacturing of the body around the filler.
That would allow for max fill of a solid and a purpose built casing for each munition type.


@FJAG that would allow a fairly easy adjustment to the body, to solve the baseplate issues either one makes it with or without.

I’m aware it’s being down for certain things, but I haven’t seen anyone try it yet for artillery shells.


I’m always skeptical with Marketing and BD claims, but I’m always interested to see what’s able to be done.

I am always reluctant to say something is impossible.

We should be finding out soon because I think they were talking about trials fall 2023. We're right about there now.
 
Unless you aren't relying on ballistics so much as flying the projectile to the target with the CCF?
You need a very uniform projectile with a known BC to use a guiding kit, as it needs to know what corrections to flight will do.
The preformed solid might be sufficiently malleable.
Most of the softeners decrease the effectiveness of the explosives. Artillery shells need a highly effective explosive filler due to the lack of space/weight.
But @AmmoTech90 would be a much better source for that stuff than I.

I am always reluctant to say something is impossible.
I’m a firm believer in “Distrust, and verify”
We should be finding out soon because I think they were talking about trials fall 2023. We're right about there now.
Yup.
 
Could you have a single shell with base plugs of different thicknesses?

I am thinking in terms of some burst plate designs that I have encountered in place of pressure relief valves. One flanged or threaded fitting holding a sheet of metal of varying thicknesses.

The implication from the presentations seemed to be that the shell and the electronic fuse were one piece, the filler was inserted in the shell from the base and then the base attached. The CCF screwed into the nose of the shell, or the e-fuse, as per normal.
That's way beyond my level of expertise.

I can't see the fuze and shell as one piece and don't think the material suggests that. A shell is a cast forging and a fuze an assembly of electronic and metal parts. By manufacturing necessity they are two components manufactured separately and assembled at some point (most often in the field, just before firing).

I could think of several ways to "harden" the base plate so that it is more suitable to a bursting round but none of them are as efficient as a shell cast in one piece and they complicate the manufacturing process. I'm not saying it can't be done, but, like @KevinB, I'm from Missouri and I'd want to see a lot more tech specs and trial results before I'd believe the literature.

Obviously, the folks at BAE ain't stupid and they must have a plan before they start trolling the purchaser community. The idea of simplifying and increasing production and reducing costs are the golden goose everyone is chasing right now as it becomes obvious that large amounts of cheap rounds with a good shelf life are highly desirable.

🍻
 
Honestly price comes down for nearly everything when you make it in significant quantities.

I suspect that a lot of this is more new production lines, that can use ‘lesser’ materials. Calling out specific metals when you can find the same or better material properties in other alloys, isn’t wise - and a lot of TDP items are simply the way they are as that was the standard when they where originally designed.

Other efficiencies can be found in manufacturing, so while I don’t doubt some of BAE’s claims, others I’m a little skeptical of until we see the pudding.
 
Unless you aren't relying on ballistics so much as flying the projectile to the target with the CCF?
A CCF reduces the CEP, you still need to push a 100lb projectile 40+km. That's a lot of KE you need to overcome to make changes in direction. The CCF makes sure the unexpected ballistic variations encountered along the way are mitigated.
I am always reluctant to say something is impossible.
Always regard vendors material as wildly optimistic at best to outright lies at worst, with vapourware somewhere in between.

In regard to casting the fill it sounds like they're going with a more exotic, probably IM, polymer bonded explosive. pBXN9 has been used for decades, but some of the newer stuff can be tricky to cast quickly, efficiently, and effectively. That's all I can say. Applying new mixing techniques as they mention might work, it might completely useless. The manufacturer is only going to mention one of those outcomes.

Internal shell geometry really varies from type to type for very good reasons. The different fills react differently to the massive acceleration, components have to survive said acceleration and rotation.

My opinion is there will be one external profile and a the safe variety inside. Maybe they'll be able to use inserts for illum and smk and the base shell for HE. Still doesn't solve the base plate question. How do prevent HE from getting into cracks in the baseplate when filling, especially if using some acoustic mixing. The L50 IM 105 used a big rubber condom to mitigate shock to the full that helped provide some of the IM rating. Maybe stick that in.

Cool stuff is being developed, but at this point you can have that stuff cheap, fast or good, and you only get one choice. I'm sure that we'll be able to add one in the next few years. We only had modern shell types for 100 years and they've come a long way.
 
I'm not sure it does have one common shell body for lethal and non lethal functions, perhaps they mean it's a family of projectiles with roughly the same ballistic performance? I'm skeptical of the argument every round needs a course correction fuze. It's not always possible, nor necessary in many cases, to engage with precision lethal effects, and even less so for non lethal. In convectional warfare target definition is very dynamic, and often covers such a broad area that some use of "probable error" is still an effective way to suppress a target over time. Most of the errors in shooting with nonlethal can be mitigated by properly accounting for non standard conditions (Met, charge temp, MV's, Proj Wt, etc) anyway. Even for lethal effects a Registration mission will shoot out most errors, without having to rely on an expensive course correction fuze for each rd

In any case it sounds like BAE are still fishing, it might be a ways off from full production. Canadian Artillery units need something now, and the Assegai family of ammunition is pretty close in perfomance to that BAE proposal. It improves the M777 capability exponentially, not just in terms of range but also in better terminal effects, for example the increased lethality of the PFF HE rd or multi-spectral smoke. It'd be great if Canada bought even a limited stock of the Assegai ammunition for Op Reassurance, as many NATO countries (and Australia) have. But we won't
Instead, Cdn Gunners will continue to contend with point detonating fuzes that go premature, are firing almost entirely legacy ammunition, like the ancient M107 with the old Smk and Illum rds of the same projectile family, that is, when they do get the odd rd to fire.
 

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I am pretty certain DENEL in South Africa came up with a one shell fits all solution early 2000's but it did not take. They also made a 105 round that went 30km. At the time was pretty good, it also provided good effect on the target. No one wanted to buy from SA. I am wondering if now GD is involved will we see some of the SA designs on the market. They have signed some pretty good deals for Ammo sales lately.
 
In any case it sounds like BAE are still fishing, it might be a ways off from full production. Canadian Artillery units need something now, and the Assegai family of ammunition is pretty close in perfomance to that BAE proposal.

Stealing Season 1 GIF by BET Plus
 
Well Denel was acquired by Rheinmetall, now a wholly owned subsidiary.

As I recall one of Denel's rounds was a proper Shrapnel round. To get their 105mm effects up to the level of 155s they packed their round with balls rather than just relying on the case fragmentation IIRC.
 
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