M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer (HEAT-MP-T)
The 120mm M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer (HEAT-MP-T) is a chemical energy, multi-purpose projectile with an anti-personnel capability. It is largely a technology transfer from the ballistically identical German model DM12A1 except for the M764 fuze, double safety, and propellant containment bag. The round consists of a fin stabilized steel body which is loaded with Composition A3 Type II explosive. The fins are canted and impart spin to the projectile. A copper shaped charge liner and wave shaper are contained within the warhead. The projectile has a steel spike with a nose cap switch and a shoulder switch for full frontal area functioning. An electrically initiated base detonated fuze is located in the rear of the body. The propellant system employs single perforated stick propellant. The approximate cartridge weight is 53.4 pounds. The major components of the M830 Cartridge are:
- M830 Projectile
- Combustible Cartridge Case w/Case Base & Seal Assembly
- M123A1 Primer
- Propellant (DIGL-RP)
- M764 Fuze
The M830 was replaced by the M830A1 and is no longer in production.
The M830A1 HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round, recently fielded for the M1A1 and M1A2 Main Battle Tank, is a major advancement over its predecessor, the M830, which has been in the US inventory since the early '80s. HEAT rounds have multi-purpose warheads which are used to defeat armored vehicles, helicopters and soft targets such as bunkers. The M830A1 adds higher velocity launch, increased armor penetration capability and selectable fuzing which allows for the engagement of a variety of targets. The M830A1 is unique in that it features a three-piece discarding aluminum sabot, a feature normally associated with kinetic energy projectiles. The sabot allows a lighter flight projectile which can be flown to greater ranges than could the M830. The M830A1 also mounts a proximity switch on the flight projectile nose. Manually set upon gun loading, this allows the M1A1/M1A2 tank to self-defend against attacking helicopters with the 120mm main gun, a capability never before possessed by a Main Battle Tank. The multi-purpose cartridge is also extremely effective against buildings, bunkers, and light armored vehicles. The M830A1 was fielded in 1994 and is currently still in production.
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