MK285 40mm High Velocity Ammunition
The Nammo PP-HE round is especially designed to take out targets in defilade. It is fired by the M320 Automatic Lightweight Grenade Launcher (ALGL), which is also called the STRIKER. MK285 Mod0 PPHE/SD Programmable Prefragmented High Explosive ammunition features an electronic programmable Time Fuze with point detonating and self-destruct Mechanical Safe & Arm. The electronic time fuze is initially power supplied through galvanic contact by the fire control when the round is chambered. A capacitor is charged and will supply the fuze until the battery is activated by the accelleration. The programming takes place when the trigger is pushed and the signal is transferred during hammer fall time.
Air-burst ammunition is viewed as an area that represents an important growth potential for future medium caliber ammunition. Together with General Dynamics subsidiary Saco Defense [maker of the MK19 40mm Machine Gun] and Computing Devices Canada Ltd., Nammo Raufoss is jointly developing a new 40 mm Grenade Launcher system that can fire Air-burst ammunition with Nammo Raufoss being responsible for the ammunition part of the program. The 40 mm Air-burst round is based on the already qualified Diehl DM11 round with a pre-fragmented shell body for optimised fragment distribution which is coupled with the propulsion system from NICO for improved accuracy. The electronic fuse is based on the Bofors 3P programmable fuse, minus the proximity part. The programming takes place before firing inside the barrel which is all based on a Bofors patent. Therefore, this Air-burst round is already based on proven technology which integrates already proven products.
Studies have shown that an increase in lethal area of more than 10 times can be expected compared to standard ammunition. Additionally, a significant reduction in the number of rounds fired to accomplish the mission can be expected.
To improve ammunition, either the kill probability (given a hit) or the hit probability can be improved to increase the overall kill probability of the ammunition. However, within medium caliber the volume available that can carry the payload in a projectile is limited. Furthermore, the mass of the projectile is also limited. Therefore, it is difficult to see any major improvements regarding the terminal effect (direct hit) from the projectile in the near future.
Hit probability, however, is different. For a number of years different companies within the ammunition industry have been working with a new concept called Air-burst ammunition. In short, Air-burst ammunition integrates an electronic fuse in the projectile that can be used to ignite the projectile without impacting something first. The idea is to improve the hit probability against targets that are vulnerable to the fragments produced by the shell body. Bursting the projectile near the target coupled with the distribution of fragments to the side of the line of fire will significantly increase the hit probability. In many situations this will be the only way a hit can be obtained. This concept is popularly known as "the ammunition that can achieve hits around corners". The electronic fuse can function using different principles, such as time.
In December 2005 the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division announced that it intended to enter into a Firm-Fixed-Price, supply type, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract with NAMMO AS, Raufoss, Norway in accordance with the statutory authority 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) as implemented by FAR 6.302-1, only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The proposed ID/IQ contract had a five (5) year ordering period for the MK285 MOD 0 40mm high velocity ammunition cartridges capable of being fired from the 40mm MK47 MOD 0 Weapon System (specifically the MK47 MOD 0 40mm machine gun). The ammunition must be capable of airburst function in accordance with "programming signals" provided by the AN/PWG-1 Grenade Launcher Sight when the round is in the chamber of the MK47 MOD 0 machine gun during the firing cycle.
The ammunition must: be manufactured in accordance with NAMMO Product Specification for 40mmx53 PP-HE-T/SD Cartridge (NAMMO proprietary specification series 2 774 XXX); be compliant with the System Requirement Specification for the MK47 MOD 0 Weapon System (General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products document control #402385); be suitable for U.S. Special Operations Command applications with the MK47 MOD 0 Weapon System; and meet safety requirements needed for U.S. Navy Weapon Systems Explosive Safety Review Board (WSESRB) certification. This contract action is for a minimum (basic) quantity of 2,500/ea rounds and an estimated maximum quantity of 40,000/ea rounds. The contract will also require data. The government will require delivery of the minimum contract quantity as follows: 2,500/ea rounds within 180 days after order (DAO). Delivery of additional quantities will commence 120 DAO or 30 days after last scheduled delivery whichever is later. The maximum delivery rate is 2,500/ea per month. Inspection and acceptance will be at origin.
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