Northrop Grumman Corporation has officially completed its M829A4 production contract, ceasing depleted uranium ammunition as it gears up for munitions to redefine armoured warfare.

Northrop Grumman, a player in the defence sector, has officially finished producing the M829A4 120mm cartridge, signalling the end of depleted uranium-capable tank ammunition. This move is part of the company’s strategic realignment towards advanced ammunition technologies and pursuing solutions for modern battlefield challenges.

The M829A4, a linchpin in the Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement programme, was designed to counter third-generation explosive reactive armour on threat vehicles. However, the company has clarified that it will no longer produce ammunition with depleted uranium warheads.

Commenting on the closure of the current production contract, Jarrod Krull, Media Relations Manager at Northrop Grumman, stated, “Our cessation of depleted uranium ammunition production aligns with our forward-looking approach. We are adapting to the changing landscape of warfare, concentrating on advanced munitions that enhance precision and counter emerging threats.”

While the M829A4’s role in tank warfare is significant, Northrop Grumman emphasises its dedication to developing next-generation technologies.

Dave Fine, vice president and general manager of Armament Systems at Northrop Grumman, expressed the company’s commitment: “The successful completion of M829A4 marks a milestone, but our focus extends beyond. We are actively working on the M1147 120mm Advanced Multi-Purpose cartridge, a ‘smart round’ set to replace multiple existing rounds.”

In response to inquiries about the specifics of the depleted uranium penetrator, Krull clarified, “Currently, we are not producing ammunition that contains depleted uranium warheads. The M829A4’s depleted uranium penetrator was provided through L3 Harris / Aerojet under contract from the US Army.”

As the defence industry adapts to emerging threats, Northrop Grumman concentrates on creating ammunition that includes air-bursting, proximity, and guided munitions.