Orbital to deliver medium and large-calibre ammunition to US and allied militaries


Orbital ATK has secured a series of contracts to supply medium and large-calibre ammunition to multiple US and allied military forces.

Awarded by the US Army Project Manager Manoeuvre Ammunition Systems, the contracts have total value of $105m, and cover the delivery of a range of 20mm, 25mm and 30mm tactical and target practice ammunition for use with air, sea and land weapons platforms.

Orders for large calibre ammunition cover the full-rate production of ATK's next-generation 120mm kinetic energy anti-tank cartridge, M829A4 that recently secured type classification and also passed its initial lot acceptance testing.

The new kinetic energy tank ammunition is expected to provide the army's Abrams main battle tank with combat overmatch against threat systems with explosive reactive armour and other types of advanced complex base armour. Full rate production is expected to start in early 2016.

The company also received orders to supply the 120mm M1002 multi-purpose anti-tank target practice cartridge, which provides tank crews with realistic training ammunition to maintain efficiency of Abrams' combat crew.

"Our contributions to the soldier are to provide a continuous supply of ammunition for training and tactical use."

Orbital ATK Defence Systems Group Armament Systems Division vice-president and general manager Dan Olson said: "Our contributions to the soldier are to provide a continuous supply of ammunition for training and tactical use, and to develop ammunition that provides a distinct combat advantage for those defending their nation's security."

Under the 20mm ammunition contracts, the company will supply the PGU-27 target and PGU-28 tactical semi-armour piercing high explosive incendiary commonly used with fighter aircraft.

Additional 20mm orders include the MK244 armour piercing discarding sabot enhanced lethality cartridge and the M940 multi-purpose tracer, self-destruct cartridge for use with the army's counter rocket, artillery and mortar system.

The rounds are slated to be produced in the new Orbital ATK-managed production facility at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri, US.

Orders for 25mm ammunition include the M792 high-explosive incendiary with tracer and self-destruct cartridge, which is fired by the M242 Bushmaster, KBA, M811 or GAU-12 cannons.

Orbital will also manufacture the 30mm MK266 high-explosive incendiary rounds, which can be used with its MK44 Bushmaster cannon or any cannon firing 30mm x 173mm ammunition.