Apache helicopter

Atk has been awarded a series of contracts for the development and supply of medium and large-calibre ammunition for the US military’s aviation platforms.

Awarded by the US Army project manager manoeuvre ammunition systems (PM MAS), the contracts have a combined value of more than $112m, and will provide ammunition to the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and the AC-130 gunship.

In addition, the deal covers the supply of training ammunition for crews who are maintaining their gunnery expertise on the Apache and Abrams main battle tanks (MBT).

Specific ammunition types to be delivered include the 30mm PGU-13 high-explosive incendiary cartridge, LW30mm M788 target practice, M789 high-explosive dual-purpose tactical ammunition, 40mm L/60 high-explosive incendiary cartridge, as well as 120mm M1002 multi-purpose anti-tank cartridges and target practice with tracer.

ATK Defense Group president Mike Kahn said: "ATK strives to always provide our US military customers with the quality and accuracy they demand, no matter the product."

Both the LW30mm M788 target practice and M789 high-explosive dual-purpose tactical ammunition are designed to be fired from the US Army’s Apache attack helicopter’s ATK M230 chain-gun automatic cannon.

"ATK strives to always provide our US military customers with the quality and accuracy they demand, no matter the product."

Designed to destroy light-material targets, the 30mm PGU-13 high-explosive incendiary cartridge supports tactical use of the US Air Force’s A-10 GAU-8/A Gatling gun, while the 40mm L/60 high-explosive incendiary cartridge is fired from the 40mm, M2A1 cannon for air-to-surface engagements by the service’s AC-130 gunship.

Developed for use with the M1A1/A2 Abrams MBT, the 120mm M1002 multi-purpose anti-tank cartridge closely replicates the M830A1 high-explosive anti-tank tracer tactical ammunition in appearance and ballistic performance.

ATK currently provides programme management for medium and large-calibre ammunition from its defence facility in Minnesota, US, while ammunition production occurs at ATK-managed facilities located within the Allegany ballistics laboratory in West Virginia, Lake City army ammunition plant in Missouri, and the New River Energetics in Virginia, US.

Image: A US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter at the Forward Operating Base Speicher, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of the US Army, photo by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.

Defence Technology