Ground Warfare

French Procurement Agency Supports Development of KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition

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French Procurement Agency Supports Development of KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition

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French Procurement Agency Supports Development of KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition
French Procurement Agency Supports Development of KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition

The French procurement agency (Direction Générale de l’ Armement, DGA) has awarded a contract to support the development of the KATANA® guided ammunition, which was initiated by KNDS France. KATANA® meets the pressant need for high-precision artillery ammunition in both low and high intensity warfare: its performance limits collateral damage in urban areas and enables dealing more effectively with high value targets such as artillery systems, radars or command posts. The modular design of KATANA® means that it can evolve to integrate new technologies as soon as they are available on the market (particularly for use in GNSS denied environments). Its modularity also means that local components can be integrated as part of a production transfer, making it easy to export. The KATANA® guided ammunition has unrivalled in Europe accuracy and target neutralization capacities. KNDS France is thus expanding its product range and becoming one of the few manufacturers to master all existing types of artillery ammunition.

The KATANA 155mm guided artillery ammunition is a priority program of the Nexter Group that meets the needs of modern artillery and is compatible with all types of 155mm guns of the JBMoU (Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding) standard. With a maximum range between 30 km for the first generation and 60 km for the next, KATANA will strike targets with pinpoint precision. The projectile’s guidance is ensured by a hybridisation between a GNSS signal receiver and an inertial measurement unit. The KATANA shells will offer the best performance in range, accuracy and terminal effect for existing 155 mm munitions, while retaining the traditional artillery qualities: continuous fire, all-weather capability, high cost/efficiency ratio.

KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition.
KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition. (Photo by KDNS)

During recent firing campaigns, KATANA® demonstrated accuracy of just a few metres, thanks in particular to a global navigation satellite system coupled with an inertial unit. With the support of the French defence procurement agency (DGA), evaluation of the ammunition’s ability to withstand various forms of jamming began in 2024. The ammunition is armed by a multi-mode fuse that modulates the terminal effects according to the target and its level of protection. These capabilities mean that the ammunition has to incorporate high-performance electronics designed to withstand extreme acceleration and shock. KATANA® can now be fired at full charge, enabling it to achieve the maximum range of a 155mm 52-calibre gun like the CAESAR. Plus, KATANA® is note a sub-calibre ammunition, making it the best solution on the market to ensure a significant terminal effect due to its powerful warhead. The KATANA® ammunition is currently at the demonstrator level (TRL6). It will be offered for sale within the next two years.

KNDS, formerly KMW+Nexter Defense Systems, through its Munitions directorate (Nexter Munitions, Mecar and Simmel Difesa), is one of Europe’s leaders in the field of munitions. Through an ambitious R&D policy, lasting several years, the group now offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of highly technological munitions.The Thanks to its specific architecture, KATANA can be used for close support and will treat all types of targets thanks to its multi-mode rocket, which is programmable to operate by proximity, impact, or with delay: allowing the penetration of the military payload. The KNDS is a European defence industry holding company, which is result for merger between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Systems. In June 2018 Germany and France signed a letter of intent for KNDS to develop Common Indirect Fire System, a common 155mm self-propelled artillery gun.

KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition. (Photo by KDNS)
KATANA 155mm High Precision Ammunition. (Photo by KDNS)

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