German company Gesellschaft fur Intelligente Wirksysteme (GIWS) has completed the Phase 1 contract to resume production of the sensor-fuzed SMArt 155mm (German Army designation DM702/DM702A1) artillery projectile. A Phase 2 contract was expected in 2021 but this has now slipped and is now expected before the summer recess of the German parliament. The completed Phase 1 contract aimed to source the elements that are required to restart production as the existing stored SMArt 155 projectiles will eventually run out of shelf life. GIWS (a JV between German armaments companies Rheinmetall and Diehl BGT Defence) started full-rate production for the German Army in 1998, SMArt was first deployed by the Bundeswehr in 2000, and has been sold to the armies of Switzerland, Greece and Australia.
SMArt 155 (Suchzünder Munition für die Artillerie 155, sensor-fuse munition for 155mm artillery) is a German 155 mm artillery round, designed for a long range, indirect fire top attack role against armoured vehicles. The SMArt carrier shell contains two submunitions with infrared sensor and millimeter wave radar, which descend over the battlefield on ballutes and attack hardened targets with explosively formed penetrator warheads. SMArt 155 is very similar to BAE Systems AB’s Bofors 155 Bonus system; BONUS descends on a system of winglets rather than a parachute. Built with multiple redundant self-destruct mechanisms, these submunitions were specifically designed to fall outside the category of submunition weapons prohibited by the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
SMArt 155 designed to be fired from the Panzerhaubitze 2000 and the M109 howitzers. It consists of a 47-kilogram (104 lb) heavy artillery projectile containing two autonomous, sensor-fused, fire-and-forget submunitions. The submunitions each contain a high-penetration EFP warhead for use against even heavy armoured fighting vehicles such as main battle tanks. The EFP warhead uses a heavy metal liner. After the submunition is released it opens a parachute. While slowly descending, the submunition rotates, scanning the area below with an infra-red sensor and a millimeter wave radar. The sensor system relying on several types of sensors give SMArt 155 the ability to be used in every type of terrain independent of the weather conditions.
GIWS is responsible for the production of 9,000 SMArt 155 projectiles ordered by the German Army. ATK has partnered with GIWS to make the SMArt 155 available in the United States. As of January 2005, the 155mm weapon had been sold to Switzerland and Greece in addition to Germany. Early in 2005, ATK and GIWS completed a series of field demonstrations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) involving the Smart 155 ammunition and UAE’s G6 self-propelled howitzer, scoring 67 percent firing rate success against simulated armored vehicle targets. Smart 155 performed as expected in extreme hot conditions such as those of desert climate. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) and GIWS have teamed to provide the US Army and the Marine Corps with a 155mm Sensor Fuzed Munition (SFM) artillery round.