Australia Buying $58 Million Worth of Smart Munitions From ATK

The Advanced Weapons Division of Alliant Techsystems won a $57.8 million firm-fixed-price, option-eligible, non-multi-year foreign military sales contract Friday, to supply Low Rate Initial Production runs of the XM1156 Precision Guidance kit.

The XM1156 PGK is a GPS-enabled guidance attachment that can be fitted to standard M777A2 towed artillery rounds (which have an accuracy radius estimated at 267 meters), transforming them into "smart munitions" accurate to within 50 meters. As such, they're a half-measure somewhere between the accuracy of standard howitzer rounds and the super-precise Raytheon Excalibur munition -- for which the Pentagon placed a follow-on order of its own earlier this week.

As of April, the Pentagon had ordered ATK to supply 2,400 XM1156 PGKs to the U.S. Army, and 700 more PGKs to the USMC.

Although Friday's ATK contract was awarded through the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, and delivery of the kits will be to the Alliant-operated Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W.Va., the official buyer in this "foreign military sale" is actually Australia.

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