The US Army has confirmed the purchase of additional advanced BONUS munitions manufactured by BAE Systems and Nexter of France to support the Army’s fleet of M109 self-propelled howitzers and M777 ultra-lightweight towed howitzers.
The Army is purchasing BONUS through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), which provides effective and cost efficient multinational solutions to the NATO, its nations and partners.
The BONUS round contains two sensor-fused warheads with advanced target-seeking sensors. Once deployed they independently seek, track and strike targets within an area of 32,000 square metres.
Lena Gillström, managing director for BAE Systems weapon systems Sweden, said, "This additional order shows the Army’s confidence in the BONUS system. This advanced technology facilitates striking two targets with one munition to increase combat efficiency and lethality on the battlefield."
BONUS gives 155mm cannon artillery long-range capability to destroy enemy combat vehicles, ranging from armoured personnel carriers and self-propelled guns, to infantry fighting vehicles and main battle tanks.
BONUS is an artillery-launched, fire-and-forget munition capable of successfully combating any armoured vehicle. Compatible with the majority of existing artillery guns, BONUS is handled just like a conventional shell.
When launched from any 155mm artillery system, the BONUS carrier shell separates to deploy two sensor-fused munitions that then search for targets within a given footprint, up to 32,000 square metres.
The munition also features a base-bleed design, which increases its range to a maximum of 35 kilometres when fired from a NATO L52 gun.
Each of the two expelled munitions independently seeks and neutralises its own target. By carrying two smart munitions within the BONUS shell, its mission success per round is far greater than with traditional ammunition.
The BONUS munition has been developed and produced jointly by BAE Systems and France-based Nexter Munitions.
Work under this contract begins immediately, with deliveries expected to start in 2021. Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and the US are among the countries with BONUS in their arsenal.