US Army Ivy Division Crazy Horse Crews Test Newest 120mm Abrams Main Battle Tank Round
US Army Ivy Division Crazy Horse Crews Test Newest 120mm Abrams Main Battle Tank Round

US Army Ivy Division Crazy Horse Crews Test Newest 120mm Abrams Main Battle Tank Round

Deep in the desert here, two Ivy Division tank crews of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team recently tested the Army’s newest 120mm tactical service round. Under 112 degree-plus heat, they simulated combat missions with full ready rack combat loads of the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round for their M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks against a host of actual and simulated threat targets. Tank Crew 1 commanded by 2nd Lt. Jake Hall, with Gunner Sgt. Spencer Vanderbilt, Loader Pvt. Dalton Diserio, and Driver Pvt. Justin Jones, not only knows what it feels like to roll out in a fully combat loaded tank on an operationally-realistic simulated mission, but they have witnessed the firepower the AMP round brings to the fight. Developed by engineers from Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, the Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round is a replacement for 4 legacy service rounds.

A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with an almost complete combat load of 120mm XM1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) tactical service rounds before an operational test combat mission.
A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with an almost complete combat load of 120mm XM1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) tactical service rounds before an operational test combat mission. (Photo by Maj. Michael P. Brabner, Test Officer, Maneuver Test Directorate, U.S. Operational Test Command)

“This round is not something to be taken lightly. Being able to see and then destroy anti-tank guided missile targets beyond 2,000 meters and then transition immediately to breaching walls or obstacles is an incredibly powerful feeling. We now know what it feels like to roll out in a fully combat loaded tank on operationally realistic combat missions and recognize how important the AMP round will be to U.S. Army ABCT fighting forces in the fights yet to be fought,” said Vanderbuilt, of Charlie Company “Crazy Horse,” 1st Battalion “Fighting Eagles” of the 8th Infantry Regiment.

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US Army Ivy Division Crazy Horse Crews Test Newest 120mm Abrams Main Battle Tank Round
An XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round test shot showing effectiveness against a reinforced concrete wall. (Photo by U.S. Army)

Currently, the U.S. Army utilizes five 120mm service rounds, each with a unique purpose and intended target. The M830 HEAT and M830A1 MPAT rounds are primarily designed for light armor targets and, in the case of the MPAT, aerial targets. The M1028 CAN round is intended to engage troop targets over the max effective range of the mounted machine guns, and the OR is designed for obstacle reduction. The AMP encompasses all four of these rounds, with additional capabilities such as breaching reinforced walls. For tank crews, this versatility serves a vital purpose in addressing the ‘Battle-Carry Dilemma’ and giving two invaluable resources: time and space. While the AMP remains in development, the Iron Brigade has steadily upgraded its M1A2 Abrams fleet, with tank crews spending many long nights and early mornings sending their platforms to receive the material and software upgrades required to utilize it. For the crews of Crazy Horse, that day can’t come soon enough.

In airburst mode, the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round sprays the ground below with lethal shrapnel — note dust thrown up from impacts.
In airburst mode, the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round sprays the ground below with lethal shrapnel — note dust thrown up from impacts. (Photo by U.S. Army)

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. Current 120 mm ammunition has effects on some structures but does not facilitate efficient entry. 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.

Sgt. Juan Segura, gunner for Crazy Horse Tank Crew 2, Charlie Company “Crazy Horse,” 1st Battalion “Fighting Eagles” of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, assists his crew with loading a 120mm XM1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) tactical service round
Sgt. Juan Segura, gunner for Crazy Horse Tank Crew 2, Charlie Company “Crazy Horse,” 1st Battalion “Fighting Eagles” assists his crew with loading a 120mm XM1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) tactical service round. (Photo by Maj. Michael P. Brabner, Test Officer, Maneuver Test Directorate, U.S. Operational Test Command)

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