all the defense and aerospace news
defense news
aerospace news

ATK To Produce Next Gen.Tank Ammo (Mar. 12)

MINNEAPOLIS --- ATK has been awarded a $27 million contract from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ., to begin low-rate initial production of the Army's next-generation 120mm armor-piercing tank ammunition round. Two additional production options could bring the total contract value to more than $133 million over the next three to four years.

The contract culminates a highly successful four-year engineering and manufacturing development program for the M829E3 kinetic-energy round, which uses an advanced composite sabot and penetrator design and high-performance propellant to substantially increase the lethality and accuracy of the U.S. Army's Abrams main battle tank at extended ranges. The improved performance comes at a low cost, comparable to that of the currently fielded tactical tank ammunition round, providing the Army an affordable way to maintain armored superiority on the 21st century battlefield.

The U.S. Army plans to procure approximately 65,000 M829E3 rounds. Additional U.S. Marine Corps requirements of more than 15,500 rounds will bring total rounds produced to over 80,000.

ATK Ammunition Systems, Arden Hills, Minn. -- one of four companies within ATK's newly formed Precision Systems Group -- developed the M829E3 round under a $47 million Army contract. The company will also manage the production program. The Army program manager is Tank and Medium-Caliber Armament Systems (TMAS) at Picatinny Arsenal.

ATK Tactical Systems, Rocket Center, W. Va., will manufacture the round's composite sabot at a state-of-the-art production facility constructed especially for the M829E3 program. ATK Ammunition and Powder, Radford, Va., will produce the round's high-performance propellant.

The M829E3 will eventually replace the M829A1 and M829A2 rounds. Co-developed by ATK and the Army in the late 1980s, the M829A1 projectile is widely regarded as the most effective tank-fired anti-armor weapon in the world. During Operation Desert Storm, it was nicknamed "the silver bullet" by Army tank gunners because of its effectiveness against Iraqi armor.

ATK is the world's largest supplier of 120mm training and tactical ammunition for main battle tanks, with nearly three million rounds produced and delivered to the U.S. and allied nations. The design, development, and high-volume production of tank ammunition is one of the company's most important core capabilities.

ATK is a $2 billion aerospace and defense company with leading positions in propulsion, composite structures, munitions, and precision capabilities. The company, which is headquartered in Edina, Minn., employs approximately 11,200 people.


ATK Awarded $27 Mn Contract To Begin Initial Production Of Next-Generation Tactical Tank Ammunition