RAMAT HASHARON, Israel --- IMI Systems Ltd. has developed, and is currently manufacturing, a new round that combines the advantages of 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds. This breakthrough ammunition is already being evaluated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The new round has been developed by the IMI Systems’ Small Caliber Ammunition Division based on IDF combat experience and the operational requirements received from IMI’s international clients. The IDF is widely recognized as a leading laboratory for the testing of infantry assault rifle weapon systems and ammunition.
“There is no better place to assess the new operational requirements. There IDF has been fighting in all possible combat scenarios, including some that the world is experiencing” an Israel expert stated. In the modern battlefield where new armor are used by soldiers, the existing 5.56mm with different types such as the M193 and the M855 is sufficient anymore, and the new IMI 5.56APM is an excellent answer for the future battlefield.
The standard 5.56mm round is used in many types of assault rifles while the 7.62mm round is usually used in machine guns. Army units have had to carry both calibers because of their relative advantages in dealing with different combat situations.
IMI claims that its new 5.56mm Armor Piercing Match (APM) round has better accuracy and penetration capabilities than the standard 5.56mm adding that tests have proven the new round provides better accuracy than 7.62mm at ranges of up to 550 meters and better penetration at a range of 800 meters.
This level of performance makes the new 5.56mm APM round an ideal replacement for 7.62 mm thereby enhancing the combat unit’s uniformity in the field as they will need to carry one type of ammunition only.
The new 5.56mm APM round is of the FMJ-BT Hard Core APHC type with a projectile weight of 73 grains and cartridge weight of 12.9 grams. Extensive ballistic testing by the IMI Small Caliber Ammunition Division shows clearly that the new round is up to 30% better accurate than 7.62mm M80 at a range of 550 meters.
A company source said that the new 5.56mm APM round actually provides the combat soldiers with the fire power of a platoon. The new round can be used in assault rifles, including the M16 and wide types of 5.56mm rifles and machine guns.
The new round comes to the market when the U.S Marine Corps is exploring new rounds to replace the corps’ standard 5.56mm and M855 rounds.
The operational demand for improved caliber 5.56mm rounds is now international. NATO armies after using the round for the last 30 years are looking for ammunition improvement which IMI has now provided.
The small caliber ammunition division of IMI has a long tradition of developing and manufacturing many types of ammunition.
The ammunition manufactured by the IMI division is of premium standard and used by elite fighting force units all over the world.
Penetration is also dramatically higher. When fired on a NATO 3.4mm steel plate the new round achieved 100% penetration up to 800 meters. According to IMI the new round was developed to meet operational requirements of armies that are looking for ammunition commonality while keeping the benefits of the existing two calibers used today.
IMI says that the breakthrough development was achieved by a new bullet design, the type of powder used & the way the bullet is inserted into its shell casing. A new type of primer was also used in order to achieve overall excellent performance.