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US Army Fires ‘Historic’ Abrams Tank Round 15 Years in the Making

The US Army test-fired the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) Abrams tank round for the first time in September, under development for 15 years. 

Developers intend to replace four 120mm tank shells: the M830A1 Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank (MPAT), the M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), the M1028 canister (CAN) round, and the M908 obstacle reducing (OR) round, with the AMP.

The MPAT and the HEAT rounds are designed to strike light armor targets. The HEAT can hit aerial targets, while the CAN targets troops beyond the maximum target range of the mounted machine gun. 

Four-in-One Tank Round

According to developers, the AMP round has the capabilities of all four rounds, along with others “such as breaching reinforced walls” resolving the “battle-carry dilemma” of which round to choose, saving time and space.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Smearman, one of the two crew members who first fired the round, explained that it is “going to make tactical planning in an operational environment a lot easier.

“The term that we use is ‘Battle-Carry,’ what round we have in the breach when we enter combat, usually that’s going to be decided by what we expect the enemy to be throwing at us if we’re expecting tanks, we’re going to battle carry SABOT, our tank defeating round. [The AMP] allows us to battle-carry that round without fear of running into a different enemy.”

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