Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the US Army to develop the next generation airburst cartridge for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster chain gun.
CAPTION: A 30mm airburst cartridge fired from a 30mm Bushmaster chain gun during a test, showcases the system’s ability to defeat man-type targets in defilade positions. Photo supplied by Northrop Grumman.
The gun and ammunition will function as a system and will provide greater capability for the Army’s up-gunned Stryker Brigade Combat Team fleets.
Vice president armament systems at Northrop Grumman Dan Olson said the company was 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.
“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,” Mr Olson said.
“The 30mm x 173mm airburst cartridge will feature a contact set fuze design with three operational fuze modes – programmable airburst, point detonation and point detonation with delay.”
This recent contract will fund the completion of the engineering and manufacturing development phase and final qualification of the ammunition by the Army.
Northrop Grumman will also begin deliveries this year of the first airburst-type cartridge to support the US Army’s Germany-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Stryker infantry carrier vehicle fleet that were recently ‘up-gunned’ with the company’s 30mm Bushmaster chain gun.
The new airburst cartridge in development will also support additional US 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 Stryker’s current .50-caliber machine gun.
Northrop Grumman said the addition of an airburst cartridge provided a complete family of ammunition that would arm the crew to meet the challenges posed by peer and near-peer adversarial threat systems.