Northrop Grumman has been contracted for the development of a next-generation ammunition capability for the US Army.

Awarded by the US Army’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS), the contract will see the company deliver a new airburst cartridge.

The latest ammunition capability is for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun.

Northrop Grumman armament systems vice-president Dan Olson said: “Northrop Grumman is leading the way in developing new ammunition types that provide existing gun systems with increased capabilities to defeat difficult targets ranging from threat drones to targets in defilade positions.

“Our air bursting technology is proven and the addition of this new round will provide the army with an even more capable gun system for our soldiers.”

The initial contract will cover engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and the system’s final qualification by the US Army.

The contact set fuse design of the 30mm × 173mm airburst cartridge has three modes. They are Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation and Point Detonation with Delay.

The new gun system is designed to increase the platform’s current .50-caliber machine gun’s range by almost two folds.

With the new airburst cartridge, the system will allow the crew to counter peer and near-peer enemy threat systems.

During missions, 30mm airburst ammunition will assist soldiers in defeating difficult targets on the battlefield.

Additionally, Northrop Grumman will commence the delivery of the first airburst type cartridge for the US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) fleet.

Recently, the Germany-based IVC fleet was installed with the 30mm Bushmaster Chain Gun.

The new cartridge will also support other US Army units, including the future Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.