Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2024 Andreas Parsch

Alliant Techsystems XM395 PGMM / APMI

Between 2004 and 2008, Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) developed the XM395 PGMM (Precision Guided Mortar Munition) for the U.S. Army. It consisted of a 120 mm fin-stabilized mortar shell with a laser seeker in the head, and manoeuvering thrusters in the mid-body. The projetile was fitted with a blast-fragmentation warhead against unarmored fortifications and stationary light vehicles. Effective firing range was around 0.5-7.2 km (0.3-4.7 miles). The test firings were successful, but development was ended in 2008 because of changed priorities.

Photo: U.S. Army
XM395 (PGMM)

During the war in Afghansitan, the U.S. Army identified the need for a high-precision mortar munition for use against Taliban positions hidden from direct fire. In 2009, the Army therefore started the APMI (Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative) program for rapid development and fielding of a GPS-guided mortar round with an accuracy of at least 5 m (16 ft) CEP at 7 km (4.3 miles) range. GPS guidance was chosen over laser homing, because of the difficulties of consistently laser-designating targets, which can often hide quickly behind terrain features. Somewhat confusingly, the XM395 nomenclature from PGMM was retained for the APMI projectile.

After a design competition between ATK, Raytheon Missile Systems and General Dynamics Ordnance, including test firings in winter 2009/10, ATK was awarded a production contract in April 2010. ATK's design is based on the high-explosive M934 120 mm projectile. To the nose, a unit with a GPS receiver, guidance computer and control fins is attached. Folding fins in the tail provide additional stability.

Photo: U.S. Army
XM395 (APMI)

The first XM395 APMI munitions reached units in Afghansitan in March 2011. In total, almost 5500 APMI guidance kits were procured. Production stopped in 2013, because the Army wanted to develop a further improved guided 120 mm mortar ammunition under the XM1160 High Explosive Guided Mortar (HEGM) program. Design objectives were a dual-mode GPS/Laser guidance system, increased range and lethality, and a precision of 1 m (3 ft) CEP. However, HEGM was cancelled in 2018.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for XM395 (APMI):

Length71 cm (28 in) (M934 only, without guidance unit and folding fins)
Diameter120 mm (4.72 in)
Range7 km (4.3 miles)

Main Sources

[1] Wikipedia: XM395 Precision Guided Mortar Munition
[2] Defense Update: M395 Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM)
[3] Gregory Malejko et. al.: Jet Interaction Effect on the Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM)
[4] U.S. Army: Picatinny fields first precision-guided mortars to troops in Afghanistan

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 28 January 2024