XM1069 Advanced Multipurpose Munition
Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round
The advanced multi-purpose (AMP) round is a line-of-sight munition with three modes of operation: point detonate, delay and airburst. This essential capability required in urban environments allows the tank crew to defeat AT guided-missile teams at ranges of 50 to 2,000 meters with a precision lethal airburst. The point-detonate and delay modes allow for obstacle reduction (OR), bunker defeat and a wallbreach capability for dismounted infantry. The AMP round also reduces the logistics burden by replacing four existing rounds (M830 high-explosive (HE) AT, M803A1 multipurpose HEAT, M1028 canister and M908 HE-OR).
By 2013 the Advanced Multi-Purpose, or AMP, was ready to enter into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase after a prototype successfully demonstrated Technology Readiness Level 6 through a science and technology program at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., in 2006.
The new round will replace a rapidly aging inventory of tank munitions. The new AMP round is long overdue. Tankers have struggled for years with a growing number of main gun rounds capable of defeating single types of threats; this resulted in a mix of ammunition types carried on board the tank that was always a problem.
This is not just an issue of logistics. It created both operational and survival issues. No one wants to get into a tank engagement and not have the right ammunition to defeat the range of threats on the future battlefield. The AMP round is a game changer that greatly increases tank effectiveness. It is a very modest and affordable investment, spread over 30 years, to field a highly versatile and reliable round with the capabilities needed for the future fight.
The AMP round replaced four tank rounds now in use. The first two are the M830, High Explosive Anti Tank, or HEAT, round and the M830A1, Multi-Purpose Anti Tank, or MPAT, round. The latter round was introduced in 1993 to engage and defeat enemy helicopters, specifically the Russian Hind helicopter. The MPAT round has a two-position fuze, ground and air, that must be manually set.
The M1028 Canister round is the third tank round being replaced. The Canister round was first introduced in 2005 by the Army to engage and defeat dismounted Infantry, specifically to defeat close-in human-wave assaults.
The M908, Obstacle Reduction round, is the fourth that the AMP round will replace; it was designed to assist in destroying large obstacles positioned on roads by the enemy to block advancing mounted forces.
AMP also provides two additional capabilities: defeat of enemy dismounts, especially enemy anti-tank guided missile, or ATMG, teams at a distance, and breaching walls in support of dismounted Infantry operations.
The AMP round is a significant advance in tank ammunition capability. It uses an ammunition data link and a multi-mode, programmable fuze to achieve multiple effects that currently can only be achieved by selecting, loading and firing one of four different 120mm tank rounds the AMP round will replace. Together with the two additional capabilities provided by the AMP round, a single AMP round can now achieve desired effects against ATGM teams, reinforced walls, bunkers, light armor, dismounts, and obstacles.
The Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ demonstrated the AMP capability using two key technologies that are actually quite mature, an ammunition data link and a multi-mode programmable fuze. Using these technologies, commands to select the desired effect are transmitted via data link to the fuze on the round. The fuze setting determines whether the round will function with a point-detonate, point-detonate delay, or airburst effect.
Battle Carry is a term used by tank crews during combat when they are preparing to engage the enemy; they load the round they believe is the most likely needed to defeat the most likely threat target. If AMP were available to Army tankers, they'd be able to Battle Carry one round capable of achieving the desired effect across a wide range of targets.
“Battlecarry” is an approach in which tankers determine what type of round to chamber in anticipation of the next engagement. U.S. tank doctrine dictates that the commander will deter- mine the type of round battle carried based on his mission and assessment of the threat. The tank commander deter- mines the most likely target in a given tactical situation and loads the appro- priate round, thereby enabling the gunner to engage anticipated targets in the shortest period.
When the next target presenting itself is not the one anticipated, this creates a battlecarry dilemma. For example, if the crew is battle carrying a canister round (anti-personnel) and a non-personnel threat appears, such as a lightly armored vehicle, the commander must decide whether to de-chamber the round or fire it to chamber the appropriate round.
The additional time required to either fire or extract the chambered round, followed by reloading the main gun and engaging the target, puts the crew at a much higher risk of being first engaged by the enemy.
Based on the AMP round's performance during development, many tankers and Army capabilities developers believe the AMP will also provide warfighters an improved Battle Carry capability.
AMP provides the armored brigade combat team commander increased tactical flexibility to defeat threats the ABCT was previously incapable of, effectively engaging and supporting infantry breaching operations by opening entry points to support urban-clearing operations.
Most importantly, the new AMP round improves Abrams tank and crew survivability by dramatically reducing, if not eliminating, the existing “battlecarry dilemma.” By giving the Abrams versatility to operate across the range of military operations where mobile protected firepower is required, the ABCT will be a more lethal and more powerful formation than ever.
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