The US Army has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems for the manufacture and delivery of 120mm M865 TPCSDS-T and M1002 TPMP-T tank cartridges.

Under the $46m contract, GD will provide the M865 target practice, cone-stabilised, discarding sabot-tracer (TPCSDS-T) cartridge used in the 120mm smooth bore M256 cannon of US Army Abrams main battle tanks.

The M865 practice cartridge is designed to simulate realistic characteristics of live ammunition at reduced maximum ranges to allow practice firings on short-range training areas.

The M1002 target practice multipurpose tracer (TPMP-T) training cartridge provides matched exterior ballistics and time-of-flight parameters to the M830A1 high-explosive anti-tank multipurpose tracer (HEAT-MP-T) tactical cartridge, when fired from the Abrams tank.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in Middletown, Iowa, US, with an expected completion date of 31 October 2012.