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Artillery

FYI, the all-round big gun experts at ATK have neen chosen by the Army to make the next generation of 120mm ammo for the venerable M1A2 Abrams tank. The latest version of the tank’s main gun ammunition is designed to penetrate the explosive “reactive armor“found on modern main battle tanks as well as being effective “in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT), mountain, and nontraditional battlefields,” according to an ATK press release. The real feature here is that it can defeat reactive armor with one shot.

The round will allow for the use of fewer rounds and allow for faster enemy engagements — factors that will ultimately increase crew and platform survivability.

The company has been chosen to built the rounds under a $77 million three-year contract to “develop and qualify” the round, known as the M829E4 120mm Advanced Kinetic Energy (AKE) ammunition. Once this three-year period is up, the company is expected to win another contract for full production of the AKE ammunition.

Ok, this is wild. Libyan rebels have taken their Mad Max technical pickup trucks to a new level. The video above shows rebels firing what appears to be the turret-mounted 2A28 Grom gun of a Soviet-designed BMP-1 armored personnel carrier from the back of a pickup. Yes, the entire gun turret has been mounted on crude metal supports in the bed of the truck. Note the office swivel chair that has replaced the original gunner’s seat. Also watch the guy standing next to the truck reach inside the turret to fire the gun. Classic.

The 2A28 Grom is a 73mm, smoothbore, semi-auto gun that fires the same RPG-style ammunition used in the Soviet-built SPG-9 recoilless gun. While its rounds can pierce armor up to 11 inches thick, it’s not very accurate. It’s max effective range is about 700 meters. However, its got only a 70-percent chance of hitting a target at a range of 500 meters. That goes down to a 50-percent hit rate at 800 meters when the gun is firing from a still position with no wind. I’m not even sure what the unstabilized gun’s accuracy is when it’s fired from a moving vehicle.

Check out this wild image posted on China Defense Blog of the PLA’s idea of … naval artillery? Pretty crazy, huh?

Can anyone make out what type of missile is being launched in the upper left portion of the picture? Heck, is the image even real?

On Friday December 10th, 2010 BAE Systems tested an experimental Electromagnetic Railgun launcher developed for the Office of Naval Research and showed of the firing potential to some top Navy brass at Dahlgren Weapons Station in Virginia. The highly-publicized shot measured 33-megajoules (MJ) of muzzle energy, almost tripling the previous world record of 10.64 MJ set in January of 2008.

To offer some perspective, a one-ton vehicle moving at 100 MPH equals a single MJ of energy.

BAE, in partenership with SAIC and IAP Research, got the $21million development contract for the system back in February 2009. BAE reached out to us here at DefenseTech and Military​.com this morning with some semi-exclusive video of the test fire. (Update: Well, it was exclusive. It’s now on YouTube as well.)

– Glenn Anderson

Check out this video of Boeing’s pitch for an updated Avenger air defense system that Military.com’s video pro, Glenn Anderson, shot during the Association of the U.S. Army’s big convention in DC back in October. 

The original Humvee-mounted Avenger first entered service in the 1980s and was armed with eight Stinger surface to air missiles. As you can see, the engineers at Boeing decided to have a little fun in designing an Avenger on steroids. They put it on an Oshkosh M-ATV and equipped it with everything from a Bushmaster chain gun and various missiles to a laser.