Next Generation Ammunition Capability for the US Army

Northrop Grumman delivering 30mm airburst ammunition that will provide soldiers the ability to defeat difficult targets on today’s battlefield.

July 9, 2020 Photo(s): By Northrop Grumman
A series of 30mm airburst cartridges fired from the 30mm Bushmaster® Chain Gun® during a recent test showcases the system’s ability to defeat targets in defilade positions

Northrop Grumman Corporation received a contract award from the U.S. Army’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS) to develop the next generation airburst cartridge for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster® Chain Gun®. The gun and ammunition function as a system and will provide greater capability for the Army’s up-gunned Stryker Brigade Combat Team fleets.

“Northrop Grumman is leading the way in developing new ammunition types that provide existing gun systems with increased capabilities to defeat difficult targets ranging from threat drones to targets in defilade positions,” said Dan Olson, Vice President, armament systems, Northrop Grumman. “Our air bursting technology is proven and the addition of this new round will provide the Army with an even more capable gun system for our soldiers.”

The 30mm x 173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuse design with three operational fuse modes: Programmable Airburst, Point Detonation and Point Detonation with Delay. The initial contract will fund the completion of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and final qualification by the Army.

Northrop Grumman will also begin deliveries this year of the first airburst type cartridge to support the U.S. Army’s Germany-based, 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) fleet that were recently ‘up-gunned’ with the company’s 30mm Bushmaster® Chain Gun®. The new airburst cartridge in development also will support additional U.S. Army platforms to include, but not limited to, the future Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

The newly fielded gun system nearly doubles the range of the platform’s current .50-caliber machine gun. The addition of an airburst cartridge provides a complete family of ammunition that arms the crew to meet the challenges posed by peer and near-peer adversarial threat systems.