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Posts Tagged ammunition
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is nearing completion on a project to eliminate its dependency on foreign countries for a critical energetic component in artillery and mortar ammunition, officials said.
Because of changes in the global cotton industry, the United States no longer has a domestic source of quality raw material for manufacturing nitrocellulose for combustible cartridge cases that are used extensively by the military. A domestic source is necessary to ensure a sufficient supply of quality cartridge cases, which is vital to maintaining readiness of the armed forces, according to Army experts.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (September 18, 2013) — When preparing to face a more talented opponent, coaches tell their players that the path to victory is pulling together as a team to somehow obtain more than a sum of each player’s talents.
For Army scientists, that same concept may have been expressed in the form of an advanced algorithm that gets optimum performance from a team of inertial sensors, which could be used to guide cannon-fired munitions to a target with near precision, even without Global Positioning Satellite navigation.
In addition to high performance, a big advantage to the team of sensors is greatly reduced cost.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (August 22, 2013) — An enemy convoy transporting a supply of fuel rumbles across the desert floor, an ideal target for armor-piercing incendiary projectiles.
These projectiles are most useful for “after-armor effects,” such as an incandescent flash immediately after penetrating a hard target. The resulting plume may be useful for devastating any fuel-storage facilities by igniting the fuel vapors.
The Army uses a formulation called IM-28 that is charged into certain armor-piercing incendiary projectiles, which can be fired from such weapons as the M2, M3, and M85 machine guns.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army program managers earned Department of Defense acquisition awards recently for rapidly fielding a fire-resistant ghillie suit and an enhanced fuze rocket warhead.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Because once is never enough, we came up with a solution on what to do with old artillery shells. Click the link to find out where they all went.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — It doesn’t shoot and it doesn’t blow up, but ARDEC took on the project of making sure the armor plates that keep our Soldiers alive were up to snuff. Read more about the Armor Inspection System at the link below.
U.S. Army research and development centers are collaborating to design new ammunition packaging that could yield significant cost savings and improve battlefield capability, officials said.
Two organizations within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command — the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center — are developing a packaging system for 5.56-millimeter ammunition as an alternative to fabric bandoleers.
The new system is being developed for the Project Director Joint Services in support of the Program Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems. It could save considerable cost by using lightweight and inexpensive plastic packaging materials with a design that will allow for automated packing at the ammunition manufacturing plant, said Dan Klein, an engineer with ARDEC’s Packaging Division who serves as the program lead.
To read more:
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army officials announced the winners of its greatest inventions competition Sept. 19.
A team of combat veteran non-commissioned officers, as well as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command field-grade officers, reviewed and voted for the Army Greatest Inventions of 2011.
Dale Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, commended the scientists and engineers for their efforts to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.
“The contributions made by these teams promise to improve the well-being of Soldiers and the Army’s capability to contribute to quality of life and our national security,” Ormond said. “All of the nominated inventions demonstrate significant contributions to the warfighter.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Testing new and unique projectiles is an important task that requires some unique equipment. To those ends, the SCat Gun here takes care of business. We think even McKayla Maroney would be impressed. Maybe.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — It’s a mortar system so accurate it can score a direct hit with the first round (which is harder to do than some may think) and now it comes mounted a Stryker. It’s accurate like Rick Barry from the free throw line and that’s cool.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Like something out of a Hollywood sci-fi production, Soldiers and Marines donned motion-capture suits and underwent face scans to render computer avatars of themselves. But this was no movie set and there would be no red carpet premiere.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — As far as the design of the basic hand grenade goes, essentially it has been frozen in time.
The first pull-pin design with a lever and delayed fuze dates back to May 1915 and is often referred to as the grandfather to the current variation.
“The basic technology is almost 100 years old,” said Richard Lauch, a Picatinny Arsenal engineer, referring to the Mills Bomb No. 5.
The Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades and named after William Mills, a hand grenade designer.
Lauch, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, has been on a mission to modernize the hand grenade so that it is safer as well as easier to use and cheaper to produce.
During the last year and half of his Marine service, Lauch was primary marksmanship instructor in the Weapons Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif.
While he was assisting in training recruits on the proper use of the M67 hand grenade, Lauch became intimately familiar with what he saw as the grenade’s deficiencies.
The current grenade fuze design only allows for a right-handed user to throw it in the upright position. A lefty has to hold the grenade upside down to safely pull the pin.
Also, the current fuze consists of an explosive train that is in-line from production through usage; thus, it is always “armed.”
QUANTICO, Va. — A military utility assessment held at Fort Benning, Ga., in September 2011 has concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight of a prototype light machine gun and most would prefer it to the current squad automatic weapon used in battle.
The light machine gun (LMG) is part of the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Imagine a warhead with fragments that flare and burn when the warhead detonates.
Now imagine the potential lethality of an artillery shell made almost entirely of that stuff.
Such a theoretical weapon is one of the goals behind the research being conducted by Picatinny Arsenal engineers working at the Advanced Materials Lab.
Click here to read more.
The Program Executive Office for Ammunition has started testing a new artillery round that will provide Soldier’s with superior performance as well as lighten the military logistics burden.
The 105mm M1130E1 High Explosive Pre-Formed Fragments, Base Bleed, or HE PFF BB round with the XM350 propelling charge, is a state-of-the-art cartridge that replaces four existing high- explosive projectiles and two propelling charges with a single round.
The M1130E1 is fired from the M119 howitzer and will be used against light to medium targets, such as personnel and trucks.
It provides increased combat effectiveness for all 105mm howitzer units, but will specifically aid the mission of the light forces operating in rugged terrain, such as Afghanistan.
Picatinny engineers are working on a new paint formula that will tell Soldiers if their ammunition is safe to use just by looking at the color.
Referred to as Thermal Indicating Paints, this formula uses thermochromic polymers to detect temperature ranges that ammunition was exposed to during transport or storage.
A common example of a thermochromic object is a mood ring, which changes color in response to the body temperature of the wearer. The thermochromic element changes the wavelength of light when it is exposed to different temperatures.
The same basic concept applies to thermal indicating paints for ammunition, but Picatinny’s challenge is ensuring the color change is permanent.
“We have formulas that change color within the designated temperature ranges, but our biggest challenge is maintaining long-term stability of a coating,” said James Zunino, Project Officer / Materials Engineer, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). “We have to develop a paint that will survive in military operating conditions, including harsh temperatures and wind blasts.”
Throughout combat operations, ammunition is often exposed to extreme temperatures during transport, storage and pre-positioning. Research shows that Middle East combat operations temperatures inside munition containers can exceed 190 degrees Fahrenheit. (Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit under standard conditions at sea level.)
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Soldiers now have capabilities to engage the enemy far more effectively during nighttime operations, following the recent full materiel release of three infrared illuminating rounds.
The term full materiel release signifies that the Army has rigorously tested and evaluated the item and determined it is completely safe, operationally suitable and logistically supportable for use by Soldiers.
The M1064 105mm Infrared Illuminating Cartridge; the M1066 155mm Infrared Illuminating Projectile; and the M992 40mm Infrared Illuminant Cartridge were approved for full materiel release via the Program Executive Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammo), headquartered at Picatinny.
Illuminating cartridges, or pyrotechnic flares, have been widely used by militaries for years, but they have previously only provided light in the visible spectrum, which the enemy can utilize as well. The Army’s new infrared illuminating cartridges/projectiles produce infrared light that is invisible to the naked eye, but is clearly visible through night vision devices which U.S. Soldiers use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Following the full materiel release of these three additional munitions, the Army now has visible light and infrared capability for all calibers of mortars, artillery and 40mm.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — At his first town hall meeting as director of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Dr. Gerardo Melendez emphasized ARDEC’s enterprise processes and best practices as building blocks toward a “materiel enterprise.”
“Weapons, energetics, fire control and logistics – all those missions need to work together to create a set of capabilities for the warfighter,” he said. “For that reason, we have to work as an enterprise. We have processes and best practices in place to help us achieve that. This idea of the enterprise within ARDEC is one that I’m going to continue to push and foster, and I will use whatever tools I have available to push it even further.”
He referenced the “three-legged stool” partnership between ARDEC, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammo) and the Joint Munitions and Lethality Lifecycle Management Command – all headquartered at Picatinny and all valuable organizations to the lifecycle of the Army’s ammunition.
Because of ARDEC’s close relationships with PEO Ammo and the JM&L, Melendez strives to transform ARDEC’s ammunition capability into the “poster child” for the Army’s materiel enterprise concept.
Systems engineering was also a hot topic. ARDEC has been designated by its parent command, the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) as the executive agent for establishing and instilling systems engineering best practices and principles throughout the command.
Twenty-eight scientists and engineers with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) were named Aug. 24 as recipients of the 2009 Army Research and Development Achievement Award for eight key projects that have shown great advancements in military science and engineering. These ARDEC engineers work at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., and Benet Laboratories at Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y.
- I-20 Expedient Materiel Solution. This new vehicle armor is made with an ultra-high-strength composite material that greatly increases the survivability of many current wheeled combat vehicles by protecting key areas of the vehicles.
- Lethal Unmanned Aerial System. This unmanned aerial system is not only man-portable but capable of delivering a warhead on target with advanced fuze technologies.
- Dual Color Optical Retroscope. This tool detects optical elements like telescopes and cameras which are indicators of enemy positions.
- Advance Hardened Combined Effects Warhead for the Medium Range Munition. This new technology combines the heavy armor penetration ability of a shaped charge with a “bash-through” capability of a hardened warhead, giving the Soldier a wider range of performance against various targets.
- Reduced Sensitivity Explosives to Replace TNT and Composition B. This new, more stable explosive designed to eventually replace traditional TNT is far less likely to explode if shot or hit by roadside bomb fragments during transportation or while in storage.
- Green Detonator: The First Lead-Free STAB Initiation Mixture. This compound was designed to completely replace the hazardous heavy metal compounds, lead azide and lead styphnate, in the initiating charge of the widely-used M55 detonator.
- Explosive Bonding and Machining Technologies. This new gun bore lining and bonding process will replace the conventional chrome plating of gun barrels that involves biologically hazardous hexavalent chrome, which also enables increased muzzle velocity.
- Energy-Harvesting Electronic Round Counter. This system used advanced piezo-ceramic technology that counts the number of rounds fired by gun and mortar tubes without the use of a battery.
By Picatinny Arsenal engineers Anthony Di Stasio, Philip Samuels and Charlie Patel
- Lethality: IMX-101 has the same energy level and lethality as TNT. It’s also just as accurate, because the new round maintains the same ballistics as a TNT-loaded round.
- Fieldability: Projectiles with the new explosive are scheduled for production in the form of 1,200 155mm M795 artillery rounds. They can be deployed to Soldiers as early as next year. Picatinny engineers estimate the explosive will replace TNT entirely within the next 10 years.
- Compatibility: Because it’s compatible with existing 155mm propellants and fuzes, the warfighter doesn’t have to relearn how to load the round or fire it. It’s essentially the same process. His weapon is the same, the round is the same – the only difference is the new chemicals inside it. The new explosive is also being fitted for other projectiles in the 155mm and 105mm family.
- Safety: IMX-101 is less sensitive to “unplanned stimuli” – such as rocket propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and extreme high temperatures. Thus, if a truck carrying a full load of these rounds was hit by an IED, for example, the entire load wouldn’t detonate and destroy the whole supply and the crew members. The damage would be contained to only the rounds hit by the IED, and even then, those rounds wouldn’t fully detonate. If they were subject to liquid fuel fire, the explosive material would burn quickly and melt from the top of the round, and the shell would remain intact.
- Availability: Because it’s less sensitive, the warfighter doesn’t have to maintain nearly the distance as he would from a TNT supply. He can be much closer to his ammunition; he can even keep his weapon, ammunition and propellant in the same area, which can’t be done with TNT because of its extreme sensitivity.