The present invention is a monolithic ballasted penetrator capable of delivering a working payload to a hardened target, such as reinforced concrete. The invention includes a ballast made from a dense heavy material insert and a monolithic case extending along an axis and consisting of a high-strength steel alloy. The case includes a nose end containing a hollow portion in which the ballast is nearly completely surrounded so that no movement of the ballast relative to the case is possible during impact with a hard target. The case is cast around the ballast, joining the two parts together. The ballast may contain concentric grooves or protrusions that improve joint strength between the case and ballast. The case further includes a second hollow portion; between the ballast and base, which has a payload fastened within this portion. The penetrator can be used to carry instrumentation to measure the geologic character of the earth, or properties of arctic ice, as they pass through it.