General Dynamics Demonstrates Roll-Controlled Guided Mortar for Potential U.S. Army Applications
(Source: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems; issued September 18, 2009)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. --- General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems announced today that it has successfully developed and tested a new approach for low-cost guided mortars called the 120mm Roll-Controlled Guided Mortar (RCGM). Under a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army TACOM-ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., General Dynamics successfully tube-launched and guided RCGM prototypes from a M120 120mm mortar weapon system at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Grounds.

The Roll-Controlled Guided Mortar uses standard 120mm M934A1 mortar-round components, including the warhead and fuzing elements, to reduce costs and risks in response to an accelerated fielding timeline for this critical operational capability.

Several key enhancements are made to evolve the M934A1 into a precision mortar, while using existing warheads to maximize its lethality. For example, the standard fuze (M734A1) is adapted to include an integrated fuze-and-Global-Positioning-System (GPS) guidance, navigation and control (GNC) subassembly while maintaining the current fuze-setting method and function. The GNC subassembly incorporates a GPS receiver with a low-cost control system known as the Roll-Controlled Fixed Canard (RCFC) system, developed and patented by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, that allows the mortar to adjust its flight to reach the intended target.

To further reduce costs and speed deployment, the RCGM cartridge maintains the "look and feel" of the existing M934A1 cartridge, so no major changes in operating procedures are necessary. The fuze, warhead and LAP production will occur on existing, operational lines.

General Dynamics has assembled a team to qualify and produce the RCGM to meet the Army's immediate guided mortar requirements, with a vision to enhance its operational capability in the future. As the current integrator of the M934A1 120mm mortar cartridge and producer of all of the major components, General Dynamics' team is in the unique position to leverage its production history to deliver the lowest-risk, lowest-cost, next-generation precision mortar cartridge to the U.S. Army.


General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.

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