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IDEX: Northrop Grumman Details XM1147 AMP

Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) for ABRAMS M1A2


Northrop Grumman‘s XM1147 Advanced Multi Purpose (AMP) 120mm cartridge is the next generation high explosive multipurpose round for the ABRAMS M1A2 main battle tank (MBT). The round, when fielded, will replace four rounds currently in inventory (M830, M830A1, M908 and M1028).

Still as Orbital ATK (Orbital ATK became Northrop Grumman’s fourth business sector, named Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, mid last year), the company was awarded a U$16 million contract with options for the first phase of development for the 120mm AMP, XM1147 High Explosive Multi-Purpose with Tracer cartridge. This new tank ammunition will provide ABRAMS crews a multi-purpose round that gives greater mission flexibility and main-gun capability through a single munition for multiple engagement scenarios.

AMP is designed to retain performance of these rounds against primary target sets which include light armor, bunkers, personnel and obstacle reduction/rubbling. The round also adds new capabilities which include antipersonnel airburst out to 2km as well as the ability to breach reinforced concrete walls up to 8in thick with direct and oblique impacts on the wall target.

AMP is compliant to HERO (Hazard of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) and has the first fully HERO compliant primer. The round also is E3 compliant and has been tested to withstand Electromagnetic Environments, Electromagnetic Pulse and Personnel Electrostatic Discharge.

The AMP warhead also has several advancements in soldier safety. These include an insensitive munition ring that separates the fuze from the warhead at elevate temperatures to prevent warhead detonation in the event of fire. AMP is compliant with STANAG4385 and 4493 requirements. It is interoperable with 120mm smoothbore cannons.

Performance data shows a muzzle velocity of 1,150 metres/second with a range beyond 2,000 metres.

Northrop Grumman expects to begin production in early 2020 as the development is on track with developmental test and evaluation and subsequently, Milestone C approvals to occur at end of year 2019. The company has established a specialised factory at American Ordnance in Iowa that will support production quantities for foreign military or direct commercial sales as early as 2021; and has done initial design work for a scalable (105mm) AMP cartridge.

For a demonstration, please see video below.

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