The US Army's main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, is about to receive a new multipurpose super tank round that can breach concrete walls, pulverize obstacles, and destroy bunkers, according to Forbes.
The Advanced Multi-Purpose, or AMP, is specially designed for the M1 Abrams to replace the rapidly aging inventory of tank munitions.
The new round is long overdue as tank crews on the modern battlefields in the Middle East have been confronted by new evolving threats.
Unlike the M829 depleted uranium round, which can punch through almost anything - it tends to have difficulties blowing up vehicles or houses, as it just zips right through those types of targets. The new AMP can destroy everything the M829 cannot.
"The AMP adds an important new capability. The existing canister round is only for short-range use with a maximum reach of about 500 meters. This makes it useless for dealing with one of the biggest threats to tanks, infantry equipped with anti-tank guided missiles like the Russian-made AT-14 Kornet, used in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. When used in airburst mode, the AMP can target groups of personnel at ranges of up to 2,000 meters: even if it does not disable a missile team, the round is likely to distract them enough so that they are not able to keep a missile on course."
Another important new capability is breaching walls. Currently, making a breach an infantry assault requires engineers to get next to the wall and emplace explosives. Three rounds of AMP will create a thirty-by-fifty-inch hole clean through a double-thickness reinforced concrete wall, big enough for troops to advance through. This includes cutting through the steel reinforcement bars, and breaching can be carried out from several hundred meters away," said Forbes.
Forbes described the new round has "three different fusing options" for blowing up different targets.
"With Point Detonation, the round explodes on contact with the target — this mode will make it effective against targets like light armored vehicles. Set to Point Detonation-Delay, the round does not explode immediately on contact – this is the mode used against obstacles and bunkers, as it gives enough time to penetrate deeply into concrete or other material before exploding. In the Airburst mode, the round explodes at a pre-set height above the ground, spraying the area below with tungsten shrapnel – this is the antipersonnel mode," said Forbes.
Watch the new AMP round in action.
To sum up, the AMP round is a significant advancement in tank ammunition technology as it provides additional capabilities to defeat opponents on the modern battlefield.