30mm Cannon Ammunition
The 30mm x 173 GAU-8/A ammunition was among the most effective ammunition used in Operation Desert Storm with proven performance against all targets, including tanks, armored and light vehicles. The 30mm lightweight family of ammunition was developed to optimize the air-to-ground mission of the U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter. This ammunition family is also compatible with all 30mm x 113 gun systems.
30mm x 113
- M788 (TP) Target Practice
- M789 (HEDP) High Explosive Dual Purpose
- M799 (HEI) High Explosive Incendiary
- M848 DUMMY
30mm x 173
- MK258 APFSDS-T Hydroballistic Anti-Mine
- PGU-13/B HEI High Explosive Incendiary
- PGU-14/B API Armor Piercing Incendiary [DU]
- PGU-15/B TP Target Practice
In December 2006 Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) received a contract from the U.S. Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana, to provide 30mm air bursting ammunition for the U.S. Marine's Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Under terms of the contract, ATK will provide 1200 rounds within the next six months to the U.S. Navy for qualification tests. The contract contains three production options for deliveries of 30mm air bursting ammunition. This is the first ever production contract for air bursting ammunition and highlights ATK's role as a gun-system provider of choice.
"Air bursting technology is the future of medium-caliber ammunition and we are proud to be selected as the system provider of this important new warfighting capability," said Mark DeYoung, President, ATK Ammunition Systems Group. "Air bursting technology will extend the life of today's gun systems by significantly enhancing their effectiveness and it will play a central role in the gun systems of tomorrow such as the U.S. Army's Future Combat System."
ATK's air bursting technology is an affordable, operator-friendly design that can be scaled down and integrated into other medium-caliber gun systems such as the 25mm M242 Chain Gun. The M242 is currently deployed on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Light Armored Vehicle-25.
Key components of the system include ATK's Mk44 Chain Gun, a gun control unit with an inductive fuze setter; a fire control system and the 30mm x 173mm Air Bursting Munition. Milliseconds before the round is chambered, the sophisticated fuze is programmed to explode at the precise range selected by the gunner -- who uses an advanced laser range finder to determine the distance. Once the round exits the gun, the ATK-designed fuze technology computes the projectile's revolutions and velocity to determine the exact moment of detonation.
The first platform scheduled to incorporate ATK's 30mm air bursting ammunition will be the U.S. Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, which is equipped with ATK's Mk44 Gun System. Other Mk44 platforms include the U.S. Navy's San Antonio Class LPD-17 amphibious ship, numerous NATO armored and ground combat vehicles, and potentially an up-gunned Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Work on the contract will be performed by ATK at facilities in Plymouth, Minnesota, Rocket Center, West Virginia, and Radford, Virginia.
Northrop Grumman Corporation received a contract award 09 July 2020 from the U.S. Army’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS) to develop the next generation airburst cartridge for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun. The 30mm x 173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuze design with three operational fuze modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation and Point Detonation with Delay. The initial contract will fund the completion of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and final qualification by the U.S. Army. The gun and ammunition function as a system and will provide greater capability for the U.S. Army’s up-gunned Stryker Brigade Combat Team fleets. “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,” said Dan Olson, vice president, armament systems, Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman would also begin deliveries in 2020 of the first airburst type cartridge to support the U.S. Army’s Germany-based, 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) fleet that were recently ‘up-gunned’ with the company’s 30mm Bushmaster Chain Gun. The newly fielded gun system nearly doubles the range of the platform’s current .50-caliber machine gun. The addition of an airburst cartridge provides a complete family of ammunition that arms the crew to meet the challenges posed by peer and near-peer adversarial threat systems. The new airburst cartridge in development also will support additional U.S. Army platforms to include, but not limited to, the future Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.
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