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In operational artillery scenarios, shoot-and-scoot efficiency means the difference between avoiding counter-battery fire or not. Shaving seconds off a fire mission is decisive. Artillery charge system improvements are welcome in this regard, and according to Elbit, there is growing interest in Elbit Systems’ (ELS) M662 Uni-Modular Artillery Charge System (UMACS). Introduced in 2019 following ELS’ 2018 merger with Israel Military Industries (IMI), the first stage of UMACS development had already been done by IMI. ELS then conducted modification and full qualification with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

According to ELS, UMACS is Joint Ballistic MoU-compliant, designed for greater efficiency, reduced logistics and intended for use with semi-automatic and fully automatic gun loading systems to improve firing rates and accuracy. This is achieved by handling only a single type of modular charge with higher velocity consistency and reduced barrel wear. UMACS’ identical modules are to prevent potential day/night human/loading errors. Range overlap improvements also mean more ranges can be achieved with fewer charge modules.

UMACS is currently optimised for Elbit’s ATMOS semi-automatic 155mm/52-cal wheeled howitzer, though it will soon be used with the fully automatic SIGMA 155mm/52-cal platform. UMACS’ propellant incorporates UMACS Reduction Wear Additive, reducing barrel wear up to 60 per cent compared with bagged charges. It adheres to several standards, including MIL-STD-810F, STANAG 4110.

Tim Guest