105mm carbon fiber projectile


While looking up all the DTIC hosted presentations and docs I came across this carbon fiber projectile in 105mm by Aerojet for applications where low collateral damage has a high priority.
Interesting to see this design utilizing modern materials as similar projs. were tested in Germany during WWII (certainly not in relation to low collateral damage then).



I wonder if it was any sort of consideration for railgun use? Those guns get extremely hot with lots of friction, and carbon fiber might have been worth testing.


I do not think so as rail gun projectiles have square shaped sabots and as a matter of course - if I am not totally mistaken - have to be metal as the rail guns do work with induction.

The one here is meant for the AC-130 gunship (or other gunships of course).


Is this remarkable development really of such little interest?


Very interesting technology, but “low collateral damage” seems to be a somewhat contradictory goal. It seems lik they are trying to degrade the lethality of the 105mm projectile to match the blast effect of an old Mark III concussion hand grenade. Maybe there is a need for something like this on one out of a million missions, but it seems that the opposite goals would be more desirable for most missions- to make the blast and fragmentation effects from a 105mm projectile more like those of a 155mm projectile.

But in this age of “green” environmentally friendly warfare where people are still killed it seems we are wasting a lot of money on a not very useful project.


John, yes, colatheral damage seems to be a feared thing in nowadays media and advocacy world. Also it seems that most western militaries try to avoid to spark more aggression in a country by causing colatheral damage - cases in the past have shown this very well. Means the value in such a projectile might be political too and after all it may save lifes of ground troops which will be more welcome when not killing unrelated people (civilians).

To my understanding the projectile in question is for very special applications like destroying a single clay hut in an Afghan village (using an AC-130 gunship) without endangering people nearby.

This much about the pro and con of this development but my initial thought was on the technological implementation and development of such a projectile. To my view a very interesting subject.


Given the AC130-specific development, it makes sense. To the best of my knowledge the gunship is dedicated almost entirely to SOF missions, and I can see how getting the 105 into the mix, even if just for utility of the piece and overall rate of fire, would be of benefit. In a way it makes the 105 more ‘precise’?

The Spectre has also been tasked with a lot of precision-fire overwatch/support for combat rescue crews, so a low/no-frag shell would benefit the downed pilots/trapped soldiers as well as indigenous folks.


A laser marked house in a tightly clustered village is a typical AC-130U target. This projectile makes great good sense in that application. It could be dropped through the roof and few if any causalities in the neighboring houses.

My understanding is that the rules of engagement in Afghanistan are such that we have ruled out air support in similar situations in the past, even when our troops were hard pressed. This round must have come as a rude surprise to bad guys trying to replicate the tactical advantage created by our rules of engagement.



Lew, thanks a lot for chiming in with the view of a related professional!


Thank you for this post, Alex! Beyond fascinating subject.

Lew, grateful to your insight and explanation. Also, as always, beyond thankful for your Service!



There’s an experimental artillery shell (155mm IIRC) in the Shrivenham collection which is made from something like GRP so that it can be made very long and hold several times as much HE. As a result, it needed fin stabilisation. I have notes somewhere…found them!

Calibre 155mm, overall length 1,640mm


Tony, great info. Thank you for sharing!
This one with the PGK of ATK would give it a considerable value for the same type of scenario discussed above (and others of course), just ground based and with more blast effect.

For a better Understanding here the PGK:


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM1156_Pre … idance_Kit


defensemedianetwork.com/stor … ghanistan/

globalsecurity.org/military/ … 012pgk.pdf

google.de/search?q=pgk+155m … 20&bih=933