United Defense has announced that it was awarded a contract for delivery and
testing of a cannon fired 155mm precision projectile, known as Bonus, by the US
Army. The Bonus is the result of close cooperation between Swedish Bofors
Defence AB, a United Defense subsidiary, and French GIAT Industries.
spin-stabilized Bonus has been developed to enhance existing and planned 155mm
howitzers providing precision kill capability against armored targets such as
tanks and armored vehicles. Bonus carries two sensor fuzed submunitions that are
dispensed in the target area, the infrared sensor determines the target position
and directs the submunition to it detonating on its roof where the armor is
United Defense will deliver Bonus precision ammunition in both test and tactical
configurations in 2005. The ammunition will be used by the US Army to evaluate
and qualify Bonus on existing US 155mm field cannon artillery platforms. The
ammunition entered service in 2002 with the Armies of France and Sweden, which
are the only customers for the weapon to date.
The dual-mode sensor Bonus Mk II that will be provided to the US Army has been
developed to counter a new generation of armored vehicles with minimized
infrared signature. For that reason, Bonus Mk II adds a new Laser Radar (LADAR)
sensor to the Bonus' sensor package, which already relied on an infrared sensor.
Bonus Mk II is a new variant of Bonus and is expected to be ready for service in
The firing and testing, as well as captive flight testing, of such a weapon will
be conducted at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground near Yuma, Arizona. The
contract associated work awarded to United Defense are scheduled for completion
before the end of this year.
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