New trends in tank ammunition also reflect the shift from full scale high intensity wars to low intensity, asymmetric conflicts. More range, higher precision and controlled lethality are the guidelines of new developments of tank munitions. Several new products shown at Eurosatory 2006 already indicated these changes.
ATK displayed the Mid-Range Munition (MRM), a precision guided KE round, combining precision guidance with the lethality of KE warhead. MRM-KE is designed for 105mm and 120mm cartridges and comprises an interchangeable sensor component using multi-mode seeker. Another version of MRM – equipped with a shaped charge warhead, is developed by Raytheon. The company performed its first successful test of the new projectile in June 2006, fired at a moving tank at a range of 8700 meters. The MRM program is considered a key component of the Army’s FCS (Future Combat Systems) vehicles and a potential spin-out to M1A2 Abrams SEP.
In France, GIAT is developing a similar program called Polynege, designed for platforms equipped with the smoothbore 120mm gun. Polynege will engage targets beyond line- of- sight or under non-line-of-sight conditions. Polynege can strike a target at range between 2500 to 8000 meters. It will be able to defeat heavy armor as well as light/unarmored and infrastructure targets. Components of the weapon and its aerodynamic profile have already been tested in wind tunnel.
IAI/MBT completed the development of a laser guided 105/120mm rocket propelled tank round (called Lahat). This weapon is considered for optional retrofit for current Merkava, Leopard and Indian Arjoon tanks.