The US Army has successfully test fired of the first fifth-generation tank cartridge M829E4 from an Abrams main battle tank (MBT) at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, US.
The firing was conducted as part of a series of critical trials undertaken prior to the entry of the cartridge into the army’s inventory.
Large calibre ammunition assistant product manager major Juan Santiago said: "The M829E4 is the premier fifth generation armour-piercing, fin-stabilised, discarding sabot with tracer cartridge."
The M829E4, along with the advanced multi-purpose cartridge, is expected to maintain the Abrams’s lethality in future armed conflicts, Santiago added.
Maneuver Center of Excellence mounted requirements division director colonel Robert Kmiecik said: "This round, along with the advanced multi-purpose and 3GEN I-FLIR, will continue to ensure our soldiers maintain lethality overmatch for years to come."
Under development for four years, the M829E4 leverages an updated blend of propellant to maintain consistent muzzle velocities across operational temperatures ranging from -25°F to 145°F.
In addition, it features a new advanced combustible case with a relocated skive joint placement to boost tank crew safety while handling the unpackaged cartridge.
Approximately 84 cartridges are anticipated to be fired from the Abrams M1A2 SEPv2 tanks as part of an ammunition accuracy test that will characterise its fight profile, which is necessary for fire control systems to accurately aim and deliver on target.
The testing will be followed by user excursion, during which soldiers from the 1st Battalion 30th Infantry Regiment will fire live cartridges in combat-like scenarios from 19 to 23 May at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Specifically, this will demonstrate that it will perform as originally intended.
Product manager lieutenant colonel Brian Gruchacz said: "I emphasised the importance of this event and the crew’s role in making sure this capability is ready to proceed to procurement."
Image: US Army officials along with an Abrams tank at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, US. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.