US 155mm cargo proj. filled with 5.56x45 rounds

I once saw images (no, I do not have them) of a cutaway of a US made 155mm projectile filled with 5.56x45 cartridges.
There were intended to supply troops surrounded by the enemy or in remote places (as long as in 155mm howitzer range).
The project was worked on during Vietnam days and remained experimental if I got it right.

Is there anybody with documentation on this project or images of the projectile?

Alex, this project is still in consideration for a 120 mm mortar shell. The 155 mm prototypes are more than 20 years old, but I don’t remember if there was a similiar development during the Vietnam War era. I’ll check and post more details and images.



I do not see how a rifle round (correct bullet seating in the case neck) could survive the launch from a howitzer tube intact.
As a former artilleryman, considering that everything happens within howitzer range, my choice would be to shell the surrounding enemies with HE. A 155 mm HE shell is much more deadly than the very limited number of 5.56 mm rounds a shell could carry.

Edit: The same, particularly the effectiveness comparison, also applies to 120 mm mortar rounds. Are the surrounded troops under enemy fire really expected to run for impacted shells like German paratroopers on Crete running for their weapons containers? Well, we know how the outcome in terms of casualties on Crete was.

Fede, sounds good! I am looking forward to what you may have.

Sure the 155mm is older than 20 years once it was a brain child of the Vietnam days.

I wonder how the effect on the SAA was when upon firing high g forces set in and then again upon impact.
120mm will generate less g forces and might be more suitable but here range is a factor I would say.
Maybe they are also considering air dropped containers like with guided CBUs which will deploy a brake chute right before impact. Missiles with a cargo payload also could be considered.

Jochem, the 2nd option could be to re-supply recon troops (maybe even in the back of the enemy) which are not eventually surrounded but are in need of ammo to be able to keep on the mission or simply make it back.

Here is a picture of the Savage prototype from 1996, that was also developed in a variant for medical purposes.

A look on the inside (flexible stripper clips were developed to fit the cylindrical canister):

Flight characteristics:

Patent: US5684267.pdf (651.8 KB)


Fede, great info as usual! Do actual reports on these exist?
Just that I was not aware of this late development!
Now I can see how some people are cranking tehir brains as for “felixible stripper clips”.
Anybody to chime in on these maybe?

Full report on the medical application (with additional information about this one):

1996 - Savage Medical Resupply Projectile.pdf (3.2 MB)

Fede, thanks again!

With you lead on Savage I have done a web search (including DTIC) and found the medical variant but it seems there is little info available on the ammo carrier version.

And and extra thank you for the Patent above!