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M829 120mm APFSDS-T round

US Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilised, Discarding Sabot round. Fired from the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks, the M829 is the largest DU round in the US arsenal

  • Designed for the 120mm Abrams Tank cannon
  • First brought into service in 1984
  • Manufactured by Alliant Techsystems & General Dynamics

 

 

 

 

 

 

M829 Schematic picture

Several versions of this round exist - M829, M829A2, M829A3, and in May 2009 the US military was soliciting bids for the development and production of the M829E4. The round came about when the US army developed the M1A1 Abrams tank, and selected the 120 mm Rheinmetal L/44 gun, rather than the 105 mm M68 on the M1 Abrams. As the US army was already using 105 mm DU rounds in the M1, a decision was taken to develop a new DU round for the M1A1.

The original development was undertaken by Honeywell, whose defence interests are now part of Alliant Techsystems (ATK), and was first produced in 1984. Production of the original M829 was also undertaken by Chamberlain Manufacturing, now part of General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems). Both ATK and General Dynamics have produced different versions of the round, and they are expected to both produce the M829E4.

Other companies involved in the early development of the M829E4 have been Armtec Defense, who made the combustible cartridge case and Aerojet GenCorp, who manufactured the actual penetrator. ATK were involved in the overall design, production of the sabot and loading/packing the round.

Information on all versions of the round is limited, but it is known that earlier versions of the M829 had a range of over 3,000 metres, and that at the time of the 1991 Gulf War, the standard combat load of an Abrams tank was 37 M829 rounds, and 3 High Explosive Anti-Tank rounds.