Mönch US correspondent Marty Kauchak is attending the 2018 Surface Navy Association 30th Annual National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia; usa. He files this end of day report with highlights from the exhibition floor and conference rooms.
Orbital ATK has heard the US Navy’s clarion call for more accurate, lethal and longer-range ship-launched projectiles. The company is investing internal R&D resources to demonstrate an affordable, highly manoeuvrable, and extended range 5in projectile known internally as Precision Guidance Kit (PGK)-Aft Guided 5-inch. The projectile is expected to compete late this year in a heretofore, low-profile US Navy competition to advance the capabilities of the shipborne 5in weapon system. Jarrod Krull, Manager for Communications at Orbital ATK, emphasised his company is gaining efficiencies, including cost savings, in this new projectile by using combat-proven and gun-hardened technology the company developed for its M1156 PGK. With respect to Orbital ATK’s new projectile, “this is now steered ‘aft’ for greater manoeuvrability, it extends the range beyond 26 nm [48 km] and delivers less than one meter accuracy even in GPS degraded environments,” Mr. Krull said.
The PGK-Aft projectile is “agnostic,” in that its design supports multiple, advanced terminal seekers.
Last December, Orbital ATK conducted a successful, self-funded, initial, live-fire testing of PGK-Aft on 155mm prototypes. The nascent Orbital ATK project is, “in its first stage of development,” Mr. Krull concluded.
The Orbital ATK solution is expected to most likely compete in the US Navy down select effort against other projectiles, including Raytheon’s proposed solution – a 5in variant, the EXCALIBUR N5 munition.