Orbital ATK has received a contract with options for the first phase of development of the 120mm advanced multi-purpose (AMP), XM1147 high explosive multi-purpose with tracer cartridge.
The new tank ammunition produced under the $16m contract is expected to provide Abrams main battle tank crews with a multi-purpose round that replaces four existing rounds, offering greater mission flexibility and main-gun capability through a single munition for multiple engagement scenarios.
Orbital ATK Defense Systems Group Armament Systems division vice-president and general manager Dan Olson said: "Our ammunition innovations like advanced kinetic energy penetrators and airbursting munitions are providing combat overmatch for our warfighters - which is our company's mission.
"Our ability to innovate comes from a long history of creating new capabilities for existing systems through our expertise in fusing, warheads and platform integration."
Primarily designed to provide bunker and light-armour defeat, obstacle reduction and dismount engagement, AMP also offers an added capability to tank crews to breach reinforced walls, and engage anti-tank crews and dismounts at ranges up to 2,000m.
The company and the US Army completed qualification for the M829E4 earlier this year, creating the service's fifth-generation, 120mm kinetic energy round that features a penetrator that can defeat all modern armour protection suites, as well as future armour protection concepts.
Orbital claims to have successfully type-classified 11 of the 13 existing 120mm tactical and training rounds for the Abrams tank during more than 30 years of its partnership with the army.
Since 1980, the company is said to have delivered more than four million rounds of 120mm tactical and training tank ammunition to the US Army, Marine Corps, and allied militaries.
Image: Orbital ATK qualified the current multi-purpose round for the Abrams main battle tank. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.