STAFF is a 120mm tank round thatsearches out and destroys enemy armor at distances beyond the reach of conventional munitions. As a top-attack smart munition, STAFF destroys enemy armor by flying over it and firing a highly lethal explosively formed penetrator down into its lightly armored top. No enemy armor is safe from STAFF -- whether it's moving, at long range, or in defilade. Although STAFF is primarily designed as an anti-armor round, it complements the M830A1 tank round by being highly lethal against helicopters. STAFF is unique among antiarmor munitions because of its large sensor footprint and the standoff capability of its explosively formed penetrator warhead.
STAFF requires no change to the tank turret and no unique actions by the tank crew other than setting a single range zone switch. From aiming and firing to the last stages of its operation, STAFF functions much like a conventional round. During ballistic flight, STAFF establishes a vertical reference and orients itself with the ground. In the final seconds of flight, a search and track mode is initiated. The forward-scanning millimeter wave sensor establishes a large footprint for target acquisition. The round flies over the target, rolls to align the warhead, fuzes, and then fires its lethal penetrator down into the most vulnerable area of the tank.
Alliant Techsystems developed the STAFF round. Proof of principle was demonstrated in 1990.