MRM KE / CE 120mm
Medium Range Precision Attack Munition 105/120mm Tank Round
The US Army Medium Range Munition program is designed to provide main
battle tanks an extended range, beyond line-of-sight precision
engagement capability. The MRM program is pursueing both Kinetic Energy
(KE) and Shaped Charge (Chemical Energy - CE) solutions. MRM is a fire
and forget, guided, "smart," tank fired, projectile that could employ
either a kinetic energy penetrator or an advanced warhead to defeat high
valued targets including the most advanced armored threats. MRM will
have dual mode sensor, enabling either full autonomous acquisition of
vehicle targets in it's field of view or can be directed to engage a
specific vehicle or non-signature target through the use of a laser
MRM-KE is designed for 105mm and
120mm cartridges and comprises an interchangeable sensor component using
multi-mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL), GPS and MMW guidance, a common
rocket motor and a kinetic penetrator packed into the warhead section.
The MRM will be fired by a tank as a conventional round, as it starts it
flight, the round will acquire GPS position followed by mid-course
updates and at the peak of its trajectory, ignite the rocket motor to
accelerating to achieve maximum lethality. The round will be able to
maneuver by employing impulse thrusters to maneuver and hit at the
target's center. It is designed for effective range of up to 7.5 km.
MRM-KE was first tested in August 2004.
MRM CE - Raytheon,
developing a CE version of the MRM fitted with a SAL seeker, performed
a first successful test of the new projectile in June 2006, fired
at a moving tank at a range of 8.7 km. The semi-active laser seeker
projectile survived gun launch, then acquired, tracked and maneuvered
toward the moving target. This was the first test shot in a planned
series of SAL projectiles fired from a M1A2 SEP as Raytheon continues
to mature its semi-active laser seeker capabilities. The MRM-CE
will be able to engage battlefield targets at extended ranges, including
beyond line of sight, autonomously or designated with external laser
target designation. The MRM-CE is a key component of the Army's
FCS (Future Combat Systems) vehicles and a potential spin-out to
M1A2 Abrams SEP.
The first beyond line of sight mission test,
held at the U.S. Army's Yuma, Ariz., Proving Grounds on Sept.
25, 2006, the laser guided MRM-CE projectile was fired from
an Abrams M1A2 SEP (system enhancement program) tank, scored an
extended-range, guided direct hit at a moving T-72 tank at a range
of 5.4 miles (8.7 km). The test demonstrated the laser-guided seeker's
ability to successfully target, acquire and track a moving tank
and guide the munition to intercept at the required range.
In a test firing conducted March 1st, 2007
the MRM-CE fired from an M1A2 Abrams tank demonstrated dual-mode
seeker demonstrated its most flexible mode that exploits sensor
fusion. During the flight the projectile successfully acquired laser
designation and transitioned the tracking function to the imaging
infrared sensor against a T-72 tank target. The sensor guided the
munition to a direct hit at a distance of 5.2 kilometers (3.5 miles).
During this test the target was designated through an "off-set
designation" procedure, minimizing exposure and warning to
the enemy tank. The laser spot was first used to mark a location
near the intended target, and then using sensor fusion, the imaging
infrared seeker autonomously founds the qualified target closest
to the laser spot. "The round hit within inches of the aim
point, demonstrating complete mission success," said Rick Williams,
Raytheon Mid-Range Munition program manager. "Mid-Range Munition,
Chemical-Energy has demonstrated all required operational modes."
The Raytheon Mid-Range Munition, Chemical-Energy
projectile is designed to provide the U.S. Army with lethal, one-shot
capability as the service continues its transformation to lighter,
more deployable combat forces. The Mid-Range Munition, Chemical-Energy,
which will autonomously attack battlefield targets at beyond-line-of-sight
ranges, with or without external laser target designation, is a
key component of the Army's Future Combat Systems vehicles.