Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has joined hands with Munitions India Limited, a Defence Public Sector Enterprise, to embark on a groundbreaking initiative — the development of India’s first indigenously-designed 155 Smart Ammunition. This collaborative effort seeks to achieve a crucial milestone in indigenizing a key sector within the defense industry.
The primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the accuracy of the 155 mm shell significantly, aiming for a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of just 10 meters. Presently, domestically developed ammunitions carry a CEP of 500 meters. Additionally, the project aims to increase the lethality at the terminal impact point, thereby advancing the capabilities of the nation’s defense capabilities.
Munitions India Limited, operating under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, stands as the country’s largest manufacturer and market leader in the production, testing, research and development, and marketing of a comprehensive range of ammunition and explosives for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Paramilitary Forces.
The development of the smart ammunition will be led by Prof. G. Rajesh and his team of researchers from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras. The project is set to span over a duration of two years.
Ravi Kant, IOFS, Chairman and Managing Director of Munitions India Limited, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “This will be a giant leap forward for the country in achieving its goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India).” He further highlighted the confidence in the synergy between MIL’s expertise in conventional ammunition manufacturing and IIT Madras’s proficiency in developing a guidance system.
Prof. G. Rajesh elaborated on the key aspects of the project, detailing that the Special Purpose Shell would incorporate the guidance, navigation, and control system, along with roll isolation strategies, canard actuation system, fuze, shell body, and warhead. Noteworthy is the utilization of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) for guidance, ensuring independence from foreign satellite systems.
The 155mm Indian Smart Ammunition is anticipated to feature several key characteristics, including compatibility with 39 and 45 calibre – 155 mm Artillery Guns without any modifications. It will be a fin-stabilized, canard-controlled, guided shell with a maximum range of 38 km and a minimum range of 8 km. The smart projectile will operate with a 3-mode fuse — Point Detonation, Height of Burst, and Delayed Detonation — with IRNSS guidance and GPS backup, making it completely independent of foreign agency involvement.
The collaborative effort between IIT Madras and Munitions India Limited represents a significant stride towards enhancing India’s defense capabilities through cutting-edge indigenous technology.