Smiths Group has been selected by General Dynamics Land Systems Division to design & develop a high voltage main generator system for the Crusader artillery programme. The contract will lead to sales valued at $160m over the life of the programme, including in-service spares and support, with design and manufacture to be carried out by Smiths Aerospace at its facility in Dayton, Ohio.
Crusader is the US Armys latest artillery program, with a stated requirement for more than 700 vehicle systems entering service between 2006-2012. The Crusader system consists of two vehicles, a self-propelled howitzer and an armoured re-supply vehicle. The howitzer has fully automated ammunition handling that will deliver 10 to 12 rounds per minute, at ranges in excess of 40 kilometres, using rocket assisted projectiles. A battery of six Crusaders can deliver 15 tons of ordnance in less than 5 minutes.
The Smiths generator system will provide total electrical power for the vehicles, and is a development of the technology used in thousands of the companys variable speed constant frequency generator systems in modern US military aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet and F-117A.
The Crusader is the second major military contract awarded to Smiths this month, following last week's announcement of a 40 million ($57m) contract, from the Ministry of Defence, to design and install its GenHUMS advanced electronic monitoring system in the Royal Navy's fleet of Sea King helicopters.