Nexter Munitions’ 155mm KATANA round was successfully tested for ballistic behaviour and guidance system functionality in the ONERA S3MA wind tunnel at Mondane in late May and early June, the company announced on 20 July.
Despite the constraints imposed by the pandemic, close cooperation between Nexter and ONERA technical teams and some innovative problem-solving allowed for assessment and validation of various functions of the next-generation artillery munition.
The first test campaign focused on the round’s guided flight profile, from the moment of the opening of the trajectory control device, known as the Control Actuation Systems (CAS), to the point at which it arrives on target (see diagram). This enabled digital models to be refined and different ammunition configurations to be tested throughout the flight regime.
A second campaign, the Variable Mach Nozzle component, focused on the ballistic section of the trajectory, from the round leaving the muzzle to the opening of the CAS. This not only helped in confirming the digital models, but also allowed the constraints on the munition at very high velocities to be checked. This campaign marks a major milestone in validating the in-flight stability of KATANA over its entire velocity range and was the last such milestone before the first manned firings, planned for later this year.
The KATANA guided artillery round is a priority programme for Nexter Group, addressing the needs of modern 155mm artillery systems compatible with the Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) standard. By combining a very high-efficiency warhead with decametric accuracy, KATANA can handle all target genres and reduces the risk of collateral damage, thereby meeting requirements for use in urban areas or asymmetric warfare engagements.