M1A1 Abrams tank

The US Army is producing a new 120mm advanced multi-purpose (AMP) tank round to help replace its ageing weapons on the vehicles.

Having successfully demonstrated Technology Readiness Level 6 during a science and technology programme at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey in 2006, the round is now ready to enter into the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.

Fort Benning Armor School Maneuver Center of Excellence 47th chief of armour and commandant colonel Paul Laughlin said the new round was much-needed.

"The AMP round is a game-changer that greatly increases our effectiveness," Laughlin said.

Combining six different capabilities into a single round, the new weapon is scheduled to replace M830 high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), M830A1 multi-purpose anti-tank (MPAT), M1028 canister and M908 obstacle reduction round.

"The AMP round is a game-changer that greatly increases our effectiveness."

The AMP round will also enable artillerymen to defeat enemies on the ground, primarily enemy anti-tank guided missile (ATMG) from a safer distance, and breeching walls in support of dismounted infantry missions.

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Picatinny Arsenal large calibre munitions product manager lieutenant colonel Brian Gruchaz said the AMP round uses ammunition data link and a multi-mode, programmable fuse to achieve multiple effects that are achievable through selection, loading and firing of one of four different rounds.

"Together with the two additional capabilities provided by the AMP round, a single AMP round can now achieve desired effects against ATGM teams, reinforced walls, bunkers, light armour, dismounts and obstacles," Gruchaz said.

The weapon is also designed to provide soldiers with an improved battle carry capability against a broad spectrum of enemy targets in the battlefield.

Image: A US Army’s M1A1 Abrams tank conducting live firing at Fort Irwin in California, US. Photo: courtesy of Spc Nathanial Muth, 11th ACR.

Defence Technology