Company announced yesterday at the AUSA convention it is studying adding enhanced, precision-engagement capability for its shoulder-fired weapons. The Massive Overmatch Assault Round ( ) study is part the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ( ’s) Broad Agency initiative seeking ‘Innovative Systems for Military Missions.’
’s project explores new ways to increase the combat power of small vehicle mounted or dismounted units introducing a compact, multi-function precision engagement weapon that would evolve into a new category combining the lightweight and versatility of current shoulder fired weapons with the efficiency of larger, heavier and more expensive precision guided weapons. Such weapon would use rounds capable of defeating a wide range of threats – from dismounted personnel, hardened structures, moving vehicles, armor, to unmanned aerial systems – with traditional and non-traditional defeat mechanisms.
The US military Army currently use a range of unguided infantry support weapons – from the 66mm diameter M72 LAW that produed by Nammo, that has both anti-tank and anti-structure versions, the 84mm M136 () rom that currently delivers only anti-tank effect and the new XM-29 from , that shoots 25mm airburst munitions. SOCOM also operates the 84mm M3 from ’s while the Marine Corps use the 83mm Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon SMAW, also produced by Nammo.
Elsewhere, shoulder fired weapons are enhanced with capabilities such as intelligent sights, airburst and precision effects. Examples for new multi-purpose weapons are the Israeli, the from and from . The lightest and smallest weapon of its type, is designed to fit standard 40mm grenade launchers.
is likely to be the first to offer such capabilities with available weapon systems. Under DARPA’s contract Saab’s Dynamics will analyze possible concepts and propose solutions, and highlight areas where future research is needed. Saab will conduct studies on its own Carl-Gustaf and shoulder-fired weapons, both of which are current U.S. Army Programs of Record in service with the U.S. Army.
“Saab is investigating a possible solution: a precision-guided munition for shoulder-fired weapons that provides a long-range, high-precision, multi-target capability,” said Görgen Johansson, Head of Saab’s Dynamics business area. “Analyzing already-established platforms allows the research to remain focused on the munition itself,” he added. “Rather than developing a completely new solution, we are seeking to apply improved capabilities to existing systems – and that would translate to lower costs and faster availability.”
“This research is crucial to improving the power of small military units. Today’s short-range weapons lack active guidance, while long-range weapons are extremely expensive, physically burdensome, and often require teams of operators that smaller units do not have.”
Since the 2014 launch of Saab’s Carl-Gustaf M4 version, the company has already been investing its R&D money into new “smart” munitions to leverage the new system’s advanced capabilities.