Precision Mortar Rounds for Singapore

Orbital ATK XM395

Singapore’s Armed Forces (SAF) ground units could soon have a revolutionary new capability in their arsenal in the form of the Orbital ATK XM395; an exceptionally accurate projectile for the 120mm heavy mortar.  

The SAF request to acquire 2000 of the XM395 ammunition through a foreign military sale approved by the United States Department of State earlier in March. The XM395 was developed in 2011 by Orbital ATK, and was then acquired by the US Army to fill urgent operational requirements during the US-led interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to Orbital ATK data the round employs Global Positioning System satellite guidance and provides ten-metre (32.8 feet) accuracy at its maximum range. It can be fired from any smoothbore 120mm mortar including the ST Kinetics Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System which has a range of up to ten kilometres (6.2 miles) at maximum charge and is used by the Singapore Army.

The force will be the first military besides the United States to field the XM395. Tactically, the round provides the commander with the ability to responsively engage and destroy targets behind buildings and hills with exceptional accuracy while expending fewer rounds, compared to the use of conventional mortar ammunition. Singapore’s request will need to be approved by the US Congress prior to being fulfilled. While Congressional sources demurred from providing actual dates, they did tell asianmilitaryreview.com that this would be expected to occur by the end of the second quarter of this year.

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Stephen W. Miller
A former US Marine ground combat and aviation officer instrumental in the adoption of wheeled armoured vehicles and manoeuvre warfare. He has extensive hands-on experience in development, acquisition, fielding, support and employment leading land, naval, and air programmes in the US and twenty-four other countries. [email protected]