Show/Hide Toolbars

Ordnance, Explosives, and Related Items

Navigation: Ordnance > Projectiles > United States

US Projectile, 155mm Heat Guided, Cannon-Launched, M712

Scroll Prev Top Next More




Cannon Launched Guided Projectile, M712, Copperhead, is a 155mm, separate loading, laser-guided, high-explosive, projectile. It is intended to be used against tanks, armored vehicles, and other moving or stationary hardened targets. The M712 projectile is designed for use with M109A1/A2/A3, M198, and M114A2 howitzers.

The M712 projectile consists of three main sections: a forward section (guidance section), a center section (warhead or payload section), and an aft section (control section).

The guidance section consists of two major assemblies: the seeker head assembly and the electronics assembly. The laser detector, decoding circuits, gyro, and all of the electronic circuits that stabilize and control the flight of the projectile to the target are contained in this section. Also, there are several components of the fuzing system physically located in the guidance section. These include a dual section direct impact sensor (DIS) located in the forward end of the seeker head assembly and six shock wave sensors (SWS) located strategically throughout the guidance section. Also, there are five screwdriver-set switches located in the forward bourrelet. These switches, identified as code and time switches, are set by the howitzer crew just prior to loading and firing the projectile.

The warhead section is classified as high explosive antitank warhead. The housing is a cylindrical steel shell with a cone-shaped liner located at the forward end and a fuze compartment located at the aft end. The explosive filler, consisting of 14.75 pounds of Composition B, is cast into the space between the liner and the fuze compartment. A cylindrical shaped fuze assembly (module) fits into the fuze compartment. The fuze module consists of a dual channel safety and arming (S&A) device, two detonators, two explosive actuators, two explosive leads, and a single booster charge, Except for the booster, the fuze is a dual-channel redundant system where both channels are totally independent of one another and where initiation of either channel will cause normal functioning of the warhead explosive charge.

The control section contains a battery that provides electrical power, a high-pressure gas bottle that provides pneumatic power, four fins, four wings, and the mechanism to extend and actuate these control surfaces during flight. The housing for the control section is a cylindrical steel shell. The forward end is designed to mate with the warhead section by means of an internal-fitting splice ring. The aft end is designed to receive a screw-on aft closure (base) with a rotating plastic obturator. The obturator is retained between the aft closure and the control section housing. It is designed to not only seal off propelling charge gases but the rotating feature of the obturator reduces the spin of the projectile to approximately 10 revolutions per second. This spin rate is sufficient to deploy the fins, but slow enough to allow the control surfaces to stabilize the projectile through the entire flight. The base of the M712 projectile is designed to receive an extractor device used to unload the projectile from the gun tube.

Hazardous Components

No information about hazardous components.

See Also

Nothing else to see.


TM 43-0001-28, Artillery Ammunition (chg 11, 2003)