The agreement on large calibre conventional and guided ammunition for Navies and Armies was signed during Eurosatory 2012.
The firings took place at Alkantpan Proving Ground, South Africa, in May 2014, using a PzH2000 howitzer.
The fired rounds were in their production configuration and achieved the expected results both in the guided (GPS&SAL) and unguided version.
The firings at different ranges proved the good performances of GPS and SAL guidance.
The maximum range was limited to slightly over 50 km for firing range safety limitation.
It is the first time that a PzH2000 fires unguided ballistic rounds at such extended ranges whereas the guided round, if fired at the same elevation, would have achieved ranges of over 80 km with undiminished precision.
As part of this firing campaign with PzH2000, tests were conducted with IR (InfraRed) guidance, demonstrating the capability of target discrimination and tracking. However, IR terminal guidance will only apply to the Vulcano 127mm naval version.
The “Plug and Play” of different sensors for terminal guidance was demonstrated with the same basic IMU/GPS mid course guidance. They are identical for both 155 mm and 127 mm Vulcano ammunition.
The firing tests were followed by Italian and German MOD representatives that expressed their great satisfaction for the trial results, achieved.The Vulcano program is proceeding fast towards completion allowing low rate initial production in the near future.