Copperhead is a 155mm artillery round
used by the U.S. Army
. It has a laser seeker
and steerable fins for terminal guidance
, and is intended for use against armored vehicle
s. The forward forces would laser designate
the target vehicles and call for a Copperhead fire mission
; the shell or shells would then home on the laser designated targets, steering themselves to impact
The Copperhead is not in general use. It was designed to improve the ability of NATO forces in Central Europe to respond to a massive Soviet tank incursion, by giving forward observers and other light forces the ability to kill armored vehicles. However, the round ended up being quite expensive as well as fairly fragile due to the early electronics used in its construction.
Today, the mission of the Copperhead has been taken over by more advanced weapons that don't require the constant presence of friendly forces, such as the JDAM and JSOW.