The U.S. Army is testing a new 7.62-mm armor-piercing cartridge, according to Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) 2019 annual report
During the past year, the Army made progress in its XM1158 program to create a new 7.62-mm cartridge to defeat targets with improved lethality compared to the current M80A1 and M993 cartridges.
The Army authorized urgent materiel release in October 2019 to accelerate XM1158 fielding and plans full materiel release in Fiscal Year 2020.
It is expected that forces equipped with weapons that fire the XM1158 will engage enemy combatants during tactical operations in accordance with applicable tactics, techniques, and procedures to accomplish assigned missions with greater lethality.
The XM1158 is an Advanced Armor Penetrating (ADVAP) that will replace the current M993 7.62-mm armor-piercing cartridge in the M993-linked configuration to provide improved lethality compared to the current M80A1 and M993 cartridges. It is compatible with the M240 series of machine guns; the Mk 48 machine gun; and the M110 series, Mk 17, Mk 14, and M14 series rifles.
According to open source, the new armor-piercing cartridge utilizes a core and penetrator encapsulated in a reverse-drawn copper jacket.
The Army completed initial live-fire testing of the XM1158 in March 2019 to support urgent materiel release. Testing was conducted in accordance with the Director of operational test and evaluation approved live-fire strategy, according to a report released.
It also added that the Army used barrier-protected gelatin targets to enable credible computer modeling of XM1158 performance with the Operational Requirements-based Casualty Assessment/ Static Dynamic Framework model (ORCA/SDF). To support full materiel release, the Army plans additional testing against other light material barriers and targets to determine the projectile’s ability to perforate operationally relevant targets.
The Army approved fielding of the XM1158 as an urgent materiel release in October 2019. The Army plans full materiel release in FY20.