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Canister Launched Anti-Armour Loiter Ammunition (CALM) System

  • Published
    13th Apr, 2022

The Army recently issued a Request for Information for the Cannister Launched Anti-Armour Loiter Ammunition (CALM) System.


Cannister Launched Anti-Armour Loiter Ammunition (CALM) System:

  • The CALM System is a pre-loaded canister with loiter ammunition or a drone which once fired can remain aloft for a period of time over the area of operation, and when a target is sighted it can be guided down to destroy the target with the explosive payload that it carries.
  • Usually, loiter ammunitions carry a camera which is nose-mounted and which can be used by the operator to see the area of operation and choose targets.
  • These munitions also have variants which can be recovered and reused in case they are not used for any strike.

Loiter munitions

  • Loiter munitions are a mix of a surface-to-surface missile and a drone.
  • While a missile, once fired heads straight to its target after a flight of usually a few minutes, loiter munitions, which also carry warheads and onboard surveillance equipment, are launched in a manner similar to a drone and they stay aloft for a longer time, surveying a designated area and seeking targets.
  • Once a target is identified and locked on, they act as a missile to destroy it.
  • If a mission is aborted or there are no suitable targets, loiter munitions can be recovered.
  • Loiter munitions, however, are smaller, cheaper and less complex systems than combat or armed drones.

Use of the equipment as specified in the RFI:

  • According to a request for information (RFI) floated by the Army, CALM is envisioned to be deployed in the plains and deserts along the western borders, as well as in high altitude areas up to 16,500 feet along the northern frontier.
  • In the plains and deserts, the system should be able to operate between the temperatures of zero degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius while in high altitude it should be able to operate between minus 15 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.
  • It will be employed by the Mechanised Infantry units of the Army for surveillance of beyond line of sight targets by day and night in real time and beyond visual range engagement of enemy armoured fighting vehicles and other ground based weapon platforms over extended ranges.

Has this system been used in combat?

  • The CALM System was first deployed in the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict in 2021, when the Azerbaijan forces made extensive use of Israeli weapons to cause havoc on Armenian tanks, radar systems, and communication.
  • The loiter ammunition's top-down assault ability gives it a huge advantage over targets such as tanks that are vulnerable to any attack on the top of the hill where the armour protection is poor.
  • According to news reports, the Russian military is also using their ZALA KYB loiter rifles, while others claim that the United States has also supplied Ukraine with its Switchblade looter guns that could reach Russian armour ten kilometers away.
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