SeaFuture 2023 – Nexter Arrowtech unveils FOX, a multi-option artillery fuse

Paolo Valpolini

At SeaFuture 2023 Simmel Difesa, part of Nexter Arrowtech, the brand that gathers all ammunition branches of the French group, unveiled FOX, the acronym for Fuze with multi-Option of neXter arrowtech, aimed at 105 and 155 mm artillery rounds

To cope with most current artillery scenarios Nexter Arrowtech developed a new fuze dubbed FOX, which provides artillerymen with four mode options in order to optimise the terminal effect when using high explosive (HE) projectiles. The new fuze was designed and is being produced in the Italian facility at Colleferro, south of Rome.

The main novelty comes in the proximity mode; the FOX does not use the typical CW sensor that is able only to detonate the round under a certain height, but a Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) sensor, in fact a miniaturised radar, that is able to measure the distance increasing flexibility and allowing low, medium and high detonation, respectively 6, 12 and 18 metres depending on the type of target and the area that must be covered; these height can be tailored to customers’ needs,. In addition the FMCW assures an higher resistance to counter-measures than the standard CW.

The second mode is Point Detonation Super Quick (SQ) that allows detonating the round nearly instantly after impact. To allow the shell to explode inside the target a Delay mode, up to 60 ms with 1 ms increments, is available; the fuze body as well as all the electronics inside were designed to survive the shock of the impact with the target. Finally a time mode, with setting between 1 and 199 seconds with 0.1 second increments is available for using the shell in typical air burst mode.

The FOX has a mass of 930 grams, 22 of which are made of the Insensitive Munition explosive of the booster charge. The qualified explosive is also produced in Colleferro, the Nexter Arrowtech Italian facility being active in the explosive field as it also produces missile warheads for third parties. A further safety is provided by a venting system that would allow controlled diffusion of pressure and gas should self-ignition take place. The FOX is fully compatible with all NATO standard 105 mm and 155 mm rounds, as its dimensions follow STANAG 2916. Programming is done by induction, the new fuze respecting AOP-22 NATO standards.

The Nexter Arrowtech FOX is fully developed and successfully tested by environmental tests according to NATO standards and fired by several artillery gun systems. Industrial qualification i s expected to be completed by year end.

Photo by P. Valpolini