Thursday, September 16, 2021

U.S. Army planning to buy more fifth-generation tank cartridges

The U.S. Army is planning to place an order for the production of the fifth-generation Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APFSDS-T) cartridges specifically modeled for the 120mm main gun on the Abrams main battle tanks.

The Army Contracting Command intends to issue a sole source request for proposal for the production of the M829A4 APFSDS-T cartridges, according to recent notice at U.S. government’s main contracting website.

The new advanced tank cartridge is similar to previous models but has a relocated skive joint placement for better crew-member safety during handling.


The 120mm M829A4 cartridge is the follow on to the M829A3 APFSDS-T cartridge. The M829A4 is the most effective anti-armor kinetic energy cartridge round fired from the M256 120mm smoothbore cannon mounted on the Abrams Main Battle Tank.

The M829A4 is a tank cartridge that improves upon existing kinetic energy tank cartridges by utilizing a depleted uranium penetrator and other design enhancements to provide superior lethality for the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams.

The cartridge incorporates advancements in propulsion, using a temperature insensitive propellant, novel penetrator design, and an advanced composite sabot. The projectile system consists of a Depleted Uranium Penetrator mated to a drag reducing windshield and flight stabilizing multi-bladed fin, all secured for launch with a composite sabot.

In Army Contracting Command’s notice also added that this is a pre-solicitation notice and the Government anticipates that a formal solicitation will be issued on or about 15 May 2019.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.