Northrop Grumman’s M1147 Advanced Multi Purpose (AMP) 120mm cartridge is the next generation high explosive multipurpose round for the ABRAMS M1A2 main battle tank (MBT). 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. The round, when fielded, will replace four rounds currently in inventory (M830, M830A1, M908 and M1028). The company has established a specialised factory at American Ordnance in Iowa.
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.
Current 120 mm ammunition has effects on some structures but does not facilitate efficient entry. Breaching an enemy-occupied building requires placing infantry Soldiers at risk of entering structures through fixed points or putting engineers in close proximity to the target to emplace breaching assets, such as explosive charges or battering rams. AMP will provide the ability to create a breach in a fortified structure that would allow Soldiers to enter, and deliver devastating effects to make their entry safer.
The U.S. Army began AMP live fire, lethality testing in August 2020, which included: (1) ammunition sensitivity testing to determine any crew vulnerability to an onboard AMP energetic reaction, (2) hard target (bunkers and walls) esting to gather data to evaluate performance against these targets, and (3) armor characterization testing to collect data to support future modeling and simulation (M&S) of AMP performance against anti-armor targets. The U.S. Army plans to conduct an IOT&E of the AMP round in October 2021 due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions.