Atk has been awarded a contract option by the US Army Contracting Command to produce lightweight (LW) 30mm M789 high-explosive dual-purpose (HEDP) ammunition.

The dual-purpose M789 round is fired by the ATK M230 chain gun, which is in use on US Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.

ATK integrated weapon systems vice-president and general manager Dan Olson said the M789 ammunition was capable of penetrating hard armour while maintaining its high-explosive capability for use against soft targets.

The highly effective combat round is currently supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Work under the $49.9m contract will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Virginia, US, with delivery to begin in September 2012.