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The US Army Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS) has contracted Northrop Grumman 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 Teams.

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,” explained Dan Olson, VP, Armament Systems. “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 30x173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuze design with three operational modes: programmable airburst; point detonation; and point detonation with delay. The initial contract will fund 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 Army’s Germany-based, 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s STRYKER Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) fleet that was recently ‘up-gunned’ with the BUSHMASTER. The new airburst cartridge in development will also support additional platforms including, 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-cal 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.

A series of 30mm airburst cartridges fired from the BUSHMASTER during a recent test showcases the system’s ability to defeat targets in defilade positions. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

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