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M371El 90-mm High Explosive, Antitank

The high explosive, antitank recoilless rifle round utilizes a special fin-stabilized projectile which employs the shaped-charge principle to defeat armor. It does not depend upon velocity at the moment of impact for its effect. It relies upon a concentration of the effect of the explosive filler through its shape. The conical shape of the filler concentrates the force of the explosion into a hot jet that blows its way through the armor. The shape of the filler is maintained by a metal cone which forms a slug when the filler is exploded. This slug or metal may or may not follow the explosive jet through the armor. The complete cartridge weighs approximately 9 pounds. The projectile weighs approximately 6 pounds, and has a muzzle velocity of approximately 700 feet per second.

For maximum effect, the shaped filler must be at exactly the right distance from the face of the armor when it detonates. This distance is called "stand-off." Stand-off is provided by the ogive, or nose spike on the nose of the projectile. The HEAT round is used primarily against armor. It can be used against secondary targets such as gun emplacements and pillboxes with excellent results. The warhead is capable of penetrating the armor of tanks built prior to 1980.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:52:00 ZULU