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The new precision-guided mortar munition [PGMM].

The Defense Science Board of 1996 said, "It is estimated by the year 2010, 75 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas. Urban areas are expected to be the future battlefield, and combat in urban areas cannot be avoided." The board's prophecy is proving to be accurate as our armed forces execute full-spectrum urban operations in Iraq, often with restrictive rules of engagement (ROE) that limit the amount of collateral damage. The need for responsive precision munitions that reduce collateral damage has yielded programs such as the XM395 precision-guided mortar munition (PGMM).

What is the XM395 PGMM? It is a multipurpose laser-guided 120-mm mortar cartridge capable of engaging high-payoff targets (HPTs) out to a maximum range of 7,200 meters. Its accuracy reduces collateral damage and decreases the logistics burden.

It is fired much like any standard mortar cartridge after programming the fuze with time-of-flight, target type and laser code of the day. It can be fired from all current and future smooth-bore 120-mm mortar weapons and flies ballistically to its search area. The laser sensor can acquire targets with an increased angle-T and requires minimum lasing times.

The PGMM's target set is enemy personnel protected by brick over block walls, lightly armored vehicles or earth and timber bunkers. The current PGMM (Increment 1) engages stationary targets, but future increments will include moving targets and a longer range (12 to 15 kilometers). The PGMM is the battalion or task force commander's hip-pocket precision munition.

Capabilities Demonstration. Although constructive simulation studies have shown the PGMM is a force multiplier, it was time to see how it would perform in realistic military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) with live Soldiers and equipment. Equipment included a mortar fire control system (MFCS), forward observer system (FOS), modified portable inductive artillery fuze setter (PIAFS) that mortars eventually will field as the mortar mission setter (MMS), M1064s (120-mm mortar carriers) and a variety of multiple-integrated laser engagement system (MILES) equipment, to include a surrogate laser designator.

The XM395 120-mm PGMM Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) Demonstration was conducted 6 through 16 February at the McKenna MOUT site at Fort Benning, Georgia. This was a coordinated effort with the Infantry Center's Director of Combat Developments (DCD), the Soldier Battle Lab (SBL) and the Office of the Product Manager for Mortar Systems (OPM Mortars). Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry (2-29 IN) from Fort Benning and 4-10 Cav out of Fort Polk, Louisiana, participated as well as a forward observer (FO) from 1-158 IN, Arizona Army National Guard. The maneuver element came from 3-124 IN, Florida Army National Guard.

Activities on the ground were as realistic as possible with a combination of friendly forces, opposing forces (OPFOR), inert PGMM rounds for loading and lights/pyrotechnics to simulate indirect fire effects. The PGMM was fired in simulation linked in real time to the live exercise on the ground. All buildings at the MOUT site were replicated in the simulation, to include the effects of building masking.

The TTP demonstration looked at the operational impact of the PGMMs in an urban setting and at how a maneuver element supported by PGMM could conduct a deliberate attack in a village with an ROE restricted to precision munitions. We chose three enemy positions placed where PGMM would have to clear an intervening crest with respect to the mortar's gun-target line. The simulation showed the PGMM hit all three targets, each with one round.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

FOs (13F Fire Supporters) had no problems learning how to use this new capability. The 13Fs were able to defeat protected targets using a few PGMM rounds versus firing many rounds to bracket targets.

PGMM currently is in system design and development overseen by OPM Mortars, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. OPM Mortars has assembled a government-industry team to develop the munition and ensure that it will fit within today's fire support system. The PGMM will begin government developmental testing in late 2007 and production in late 2008.

Peter J. Burke, Chief

Precision Effects Branch

Travis R. Kundel, Contractor

PGMM Platform Integration, Logistics and Training Team

OPM Mortars

Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
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Author:Burke, Peter J.
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:686
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