Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/27/2005 5:08:28 PM EDT
September 2005

Army Developing Advanced Ammo for Abrams Tank


By Joe Pappalardo

To be more useful in urban battlefields, the Army’s main battle tank needs to be armed with advanced multipurpose rounds that can be adapted for use against different types of targets, officials said.

“Overall, that is where we need to be going,” said Army Col. Mark Rider, project manager for maneuver ammunition systems.

“Kinetic-energy rounds are being sent to the rear,” Rider noted. “From a logistics and operational standpoint, our tankers have to have the ability to … make them multipurpose. There will be fewer specialty rounds.”

As the war in Iraq shifted from limited armor engagements to counter-insurgency, tank units rediscovered their roles in urban combat. Current ammunition, however, is better suited to defeat hordes of Cold War-era Soviet tanks, rather than insurgent guerillas dug into houses and bunkers. A multipurpose round would offer tankers flexibility to target not only armored vehicles but also foot soldiers or light trucks, even if they are shielded by a rock wall or within a fortified concrete shelter.

The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is developing line-of-sight multipurpose (LOS-MP) munitions that would replace four rounds currently used in Army and Marine Corps tanks.

The new round uses a fragmenting warhead and programmable fuses that can be set for either point-detonation against hard targets or for airburst, to strike soft targets. The fuse settings are controlled via datalink and operated by the tank crew with a mouse click.

“One size fits all—that’s the best way to put it,” said Ernie Logsdon, division chief of the Munitions Systems & Technology Directorate at Picatinny.

The LOS-MP program started in 2004. “I think the urban tank experience in Iraq emphasizes the need for this round, especially for the Abrams tank, although the request did not start this way,” Logsdon said, explaining that the program was designated originally for the Future Combat System’s mounted combat vehicle, which is not scheduled to enter service until at least 2014. The Army decided to accelerate the development of LOS-MP, so it can be fired from Abrams tanks.

If funded to completion, the LOS-MP would replace the M830, M830A1 and M908, as well as the just-released M1028 canister round.

The M830A1 is a high explosive shot with a limited antipersonnel component, and tank crews must flick a switch manually for the round to be used against enemy helicopters. All the other current Abrams rounds are what the Army calls “dumb bullets.”

The M908 was initially developed in 1996 to destroy obstacles, such as bunkers. The round penetrates concrete before detonating.

The M1028 canister round has only recently been available to Army and Marine tank crews in Iraq. The round, fired from the main cannon, contains tungsten balls that fan out into a 500-meter lethal shotgun blast.

In January, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems was awarded a $5.8 million contract for low-rate production of 3,600 M1028 rounds. The company will assemble the projectiles at its facility in Red Lion, Pa.

Although new, this canister would be replaced, along with its three brethren, by a single multipurpose round. The Maneuver Armament Systems and ARDEC together are designing two different versions; the full-bore XM1069 and the sabot XM1068.

The full bore is more lethal at close ranges, while the sabot has a smaller diameter, fewer explosives and better reach.

“If the user requirements come in and they want a longer range, we’ll go with the 1068,” said Logsdon. He said both versions of the multipurpose round offered as good or better lethality as the rounds they would replace.

LOS-MP would not be the preferred munition for direct tank-on-tank battles. Kinetic energy rounds would be loaded for such an engagement, according to Pete Cardell, deputy product manager for maneuver ammunition.

There are no tungsten balls or other projectiles in LOS-MP. Instead, the warhead is designed to come apart into whirling chunks of shrapnel when it is set to the airburst mode. Unlike the current canister, it would be lethal and accurate at long range.

One eager customer for new types of ammunition is the Marine Corps, which has operated the 70-ton Abrams since the early 1990s. Marines have been involved in the development of both the canister round and LOS-MP, Lodson said.

Having a multipurpose round in the arsenal has many benefits, boosters at ARDEC said. The logistical footprint of a multipurpose muniton is smaller and easier to track in the transportation cycle. A successful LOS-MP would “wipe the logistics burden away. We’d be going from five rounds to two,” Logsdon said.

Other advantages come in the procurement process. By consolidating the rounds, the military would increase the size of the munitions orders. In theory, that would lower the price per round.

Since the tanks only hold 40 rounds, having more flexibility is vital, Logsdon added. “You have to figure out the percentage before the fight,” he said. “With LOS-MP you have more options from one round … And you have greater lethality than with the current set.”

If funded for the 2008 fiscal year, the munition could be fielded as early as 2010 or 2011, he said. The program is vying against other projects for funds, Cardell said. “There’s a lot of competition.”

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:31:46 PM EDT
Buckshot
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:32:45 PM EDT
Looks like the projectile from a AT-4.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:48:04 PM EDT
Just like the old days Buck & Ball..
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:54:15 PM EDT
Just fill the shells with rusty nails and rocks like we used to.

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 5:59:26 PM EDT
Finally they're starting to get smart and develop/use rounds that aren't meant just for killing tanks.

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:07:00 PM EDT
We need the PFAT round to be developed.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:27:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Just fill the shells with rusty nails and rocks like we used to.




Nah, pigs feet and ham hocks.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 6:50:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fxntime:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Just fill the shells with rusty nails and rocks like we used to.




Nah, pigs feet and ham hocks.




PFAT: Pork Filled Anti-Towel.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 7:54:53 PM EDT
The question that comes to mind with me is: Why replace the cannister round with a no-doubtedly more expensive and more difficult to use variable fuzed HE round?

This sounds a lot like a solution looking for a problem.

Why not give the troops options in the load-out, and let them decide what they want to take into battle based on their experience?
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:12:13 PM EDT
Can they have a round that is "everything to everybody?" In my past experience with other things in life, it is world of compromises.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:14:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:

Originally Posted By fxntime:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Just fill the shells with rusty nails and rocks like we used to.




Nah, pigs feet and ham hocks.




PFAT: Pork Filled Anti-Towel.



Rock salt and bacon rind!
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:17:16 PM EDT
I doubt the canister round is going anywhere.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:41:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 10:42:29 PM EDT by KlubMarcus]
Bad guys inside buildings or dugouts? Let's have a cookout! The mid-East is full of oil anyway.

Flamethrower tanks baby!
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:45:10 PM EDT
Who's the Texan here with the avatar of the "Come and Take it Flag" ?

I think he would vote +1 for the nails, chains, and scrap metal load.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:47:57 PM EDT
Why no plain ol' HE round for the M1-series tanks? The British still use the heck out of their HESH rounds, while we develop uber-super rounds that will get too expensive to use someday...
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:52:13 PM EDT
That's a great start

When I was transitioning from the old '60 series (L/7 105mm gun) to the M1A1 (120mm) the loss of APERS ("Beehive"), HEP (A big load of High Explosive Plastic) and W.P. were noticed and commented about (ALOT) by some of the last of the senior NCO's who'd been kids during the Vietnam war in M-48's.

Link Posted: 8/27/2005 11:22:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 12:21:54 AM EDT by NH_AR_Shooter]
If funded for the 2008 fiscal year, the munition could be fielded as early as 2010 or 2011

Why not a good old fashioned HE round right now?.....Which would be better than a high tech wonder round we won't have for six or more years.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 11:33:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 11:33:48 PM EDT by HKS]
Its sad that we didnt already have this capability.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 7:13:45 PM EDT
end of weekend bumpage....
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 7:18:03 PM EDT

If funded to completion, the LOS-MP would replace the M830, M830A1 and M908, as well as the just-released M1028 canister round.



No BAD idea to replace the M1028.

This should work for replacing the M830 and M908 but there is no way that its going to work well as a cannister round.

Sombody needs to go flog those accountants again.
Top Top