The US Army wants a 155mm artillery shell that can home in on an armored vehicle even in a GPS-denied environment. It will need to strike well beyond the range of current 155mm rounds.
“It will support both current and future weapon systems and defeat infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, and main battle tanks,” the service said in a notice.
The Army has wanted the capability since 2018 as an upgrade on the operational Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), better known as cluster munitions.
The new Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM) Armor munition seeks to provide precision-targeting in GPS-denied environments using onboard sensors to detect, identify, and home in on the target.
Army Technology quoted US Army Deputy Project Manager Peter Burke as saying: “These projectiles will be fired through the Army’s command and control system, where an observer has identified the target type and location. After the projectile has been fired, the sensors on the projectile will be used to search the area around its reported position, and if found, attack the target.”
The AI shell has become more important after the Russian air defense units managed to jam and intercept HIMARS precision rockets and JDAM “smart” munitions during the Ukraine war.
On the plus side, the shell should leave behind fewer unexploded dud bomblets or submunitions than the DPICM.
The munition will be compatible with 32-caliber cannons such as the M109A6/7 Paladin and M777 as well as with the next-generation 58-caliber XM1299 Extended Range Cannon Artillery. It will have a 43-mile range which is twice that of the Paladin.
According to New Scientist, the shell should be able to hit moving targets, something current shells are not capable of, according to New Scientist.
They will have a method for slowing down, such as a parachute or small wings, which they will use while scanning and classifying objects below.”
Low-rate production is expected by the second quarter of 2026.