Military Review

Projectile with Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman Mk 310 PABM-T Programmable Fuse (USA)

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The actual combat effectiveness of an automatic armored combat vehicle cannon in a number of situations can be enhanced through the use of the so-called. projectiles with a programmable fuse capable of providing air blasting at a given point in time. Due to this, the target will hit the maximum possible number of fragments while simultaneously maximizing the impact of the shock wave. A typical representative of modern air-exploded shells is the American product Mk 310 PABM-T from Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman. It has already entered service in several countries, and also became the basis for new ammunition with similar capabilities.


According to well-known data, the American company Orbital ATK (now joined the organization Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) took up the theme of programmable fuses almost in the late nineties, and soon presented the first projects of this kind. Since the end of the last decade, the most active work has been carried out on the subject of air-assisted artillery ammunition. The result of this work was the emergence and subsequent adoption by the US and other countries of the Mk 310 projectile. Then, based on it, several other products of similar purpose were developed.

Projectile with Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman Mk 310 PABM-T Programmable Fuse (USA)
Artillery shot Mk 310 PABM-T. Photo by Northrop Grumman / northropgrumman.com


The Mk 310 PABM-T projectile (Programmable Airburst Munition with Tracer - “Programmable Air Explosive Ammunition with Tracer”) is designed for existing automatic guns of the Mk 44 Bushmaster II and XM813 of caliber 30 mm, created in Orbital ATK. Also does not exclude the possibility of using this projectile in the creation of promising tools. A unitary shot with a Mk 310 projectile is no different from existing shots such as 30x173 mm, but the gun needs some new devices to use it.

The shot of the Mk 310 PABM-T has a total length of 290 mm, of which 173 mm falls on an aluminum sleeve. The shell is slightly shorter than the liner. The mass of the shot as a whole - 713 g, projectile - 424 g. The propellant charge is made in the form of 140 g powder. The projectile has a traditional form for such ammunition, but it is distinguished by the presence of a tail tube-tracer body. Bottle-type liner with non-protruding rim is used. In the bottom of the sleeve is located primer type M36A2, triggered by a blow.


Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman ammunition family unified by fuse (top left). Photo Btvt.info


The projectile itself, with a programmable fuse, is a traditional-look 30-mm product, but it has an unusual design. The pointed and rounded head of the projectile is formed by a ballistic cap. Behind it is the main body with an explosive charge, which occupies about half the total length of the projectile. Inside the case there are notches that facilitate its separation into striking elements during exploding. The mass of explosive in the projectile was not specified.

The rear of the Mk 310 projectile is reserved for the placement of special systems that give it special capabilities. Inside the cylindrical housing with transverse grooves, the electronics unit and the battery are successively placed. Under the cylindrical side wall of the electronics unit, engineers positioned a receiving induction coil for receiving data from the fire control system. On the shells on display, the body section under which the coil is located was indicated by a red stripe.

At the bottom of the battery case there is a tube with a tracer charge, which is ignited when fired. The developer indicates that the minimum time of the tracer is 2 seconds. In practice, however, the charge burned to 5-6 seconds, as a result of which, in later documents, the minimum burning time was increased. Anyway, the tracer provides firing in the entire range of working range of the projectile and compatible guns.


Programmer to work with fuses, mounted on a gun. Photo Btvt.info


When used with the Bushmaster II Mk 44 cannon, the Mk 310 PABM-T type projectile shows characteristics at the level of other ammunition. The propellant charge creates pressure at the level of 423 MPa in the barrel channel and accelerates the projectile to 970 m / s. The effective range of fire - not less than 3 km. In terms of accuracy and accuracy, a projectile with a programmable detonation does not differ from other ammunition such as 30x173 mm.

***

The main feature of the Mk 310 PABM-T product is its fuse based on electronic components. Specialists Orbital ATK had previously developed a universal programmable fuse suitable for use in various artillery munitions. Products of a number of basic classes are offered, from grenades for 25-mm grenade launchers to unitary shots of caliber 50 mm. In all cases the same fuse is used.

Depending on the type of ammunition, the fuse can be placed in the head, center or bottom of the projectile. Its cylindrical body with a diameter of 25 mm may be part of the body of the projectile or be inside the latter. In the case of 30-mm ammunition, a universal fuse is placed inside the main body, behind the warhead.


Experienced XM1296 armored personnel carrier with a combat module compatible with Mk 310 shots. Photo Globalsecurity.org


The principle of operation of the universal fuse from Orbital ATK is quite simple; the same ideas apply to other prospective ammunition projects. During the preparation for the shot, just before the projectile is fed into the barrel, a special programmer through the receiving coil enters data into the fuse electronics, namely, the range at which the main charge should be exploded. Under the action of rifling barrels, the projectile rotates around its longitudinal axis when fired and in flight. Its electronics counts the number of revolutions, and after a specified number of them carries out undermining.

However, the manufacturer does not exclude the possibility of another use of projectiles with programmable fuses. A universal fuse can also be triggered by contact with a target or with a specified delay after colliding with it. Thus, the Mk 310 projectile or standardized ammunition can solve different firing tasks, replacing traditional systems without new capabilities.

***

In terms of dimensions and internal ballistics, the Mk 310 PABM-T perspective shot is no different from other 30x173 mm shots. At the same time, for its full use of the automatic gun needs some modifications. For the full-fledged use of programmable fuses, a whole range of electronic tools are offered for installation on combat armored vehicles with compatible guns.


Shot from cannon Mk 44. Photo by Northrop Grumman


A new unit is integrated into the standard fire control system that is responsible for generating data for the fuse. He must receive all the necessary data from other components of the SLA and determine the number of revolutions of the projectile corresponding to a given range. For direct data transfer to the fuse, a special electromagnetic programmer is offered. This device is mounted directly on the gun, in the path of supply of ammunition. After installing these devices, the armored vehicle can take full advantage of projectiles with air explosions.

According to known data, the complex in the form of an 30-mm automatic cannon, an SLA and a Mk 310 projectile is capable of solving a whole range of combat tasks with the choice of the optimum mode of operation. So, undermining the projectile in contact with the target allows you to attack various objects, including buildings and equipment. The detonation of a projectile with retardation is intended to combat protected combat vehicles or fortified structures. Air blasting allows you to destroy manpower and other targets behind cover.


Shot, view from a different angle. The tracer case is clearly visible. Photo by Northrop Grumman


Of particular interest is another mode built on the basis of an air blast. It provides for firing a burst with different settings of fuses, due to which several shells, while at a certain distance from each other, explode simultaneously. This mode of operation of the SLA is intended for firing at enemy positions from the flank, for attacking convoys along their direction of movement, etc.

***

Testing and development of the promising projectile Mk 310 of the first Mod 0 modification was carried out from the end of the XNUMXs and ended at the beginning of the current decade. Then came a few curious News. The PABM-T product completely suited the American military, and therefore was adopted. A modernization program for existing armored combat vehicles with 30 mm automatic guns was also launched. Within its framework, it was planned to equip the armored vehicles of the army with new devices that ensure the use of programmable fuses.


Shooting at the site. Photo by Northrop Grumman


Later, in the middle of 2014, the first export contract for the supply of Mk 310 shells and auxiliary equipment became known. The first foreign customer of these Orbital ATK products was the Belgian army. She planned to upgrade her MOWAG Piranha IIIC infantry wheeled combat vehicles: this technique carries a twin turret with an 30-mm Mk 44 cannon. The emergence of new instruments and shells should have a positive impact on the combat capabilities of the BMP.

In the future, there were new reports on, at a minimum, negotiations on the future supply of projectiles and the necessary equipment. The Mk 310 PABM-T shots are of interest to the overseas military and are now quite popular in the international market. Several factors contribute to this success. Not the last role is played by the distribution of Bushmaster II cannons, as well as the absence of the need for their cardinal alteration for the use of new projectiles. In fact, the customer can get new combat capabilities with limited spending.

Wanting to maintain its position in the market, Northrop Grumman offers customers a new XM813 cannon, created on the basis of the Mk 44 and also capable of using the Mk 310 projectiles.


Shelling of conditional manpower in a trench. The rupture of the projectile is visible, behind it is the smoke from previous explosions. Photo by Northrop Grumman


Within the Bushmaster family, new 40 caliber guns are being developed, some of which have maximum unification with 30-mm specimens. Moreover, a quick reorganization of the 30 mm caliber cannon into an 40-mm gun and vice versa is provided by replacing just a few units. In view of these ways of developing artillery, Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman developed a new shot, known as Super 40 PABM.

The Super 40 product (40х180 mm) is a unitary shot with a larger caliber projectile equipped with a universal programmable fuse. The increase in caliber should affect all the main characteristics and give advantages over 30-mm ammunition. The Super 40 project has already reached the testing stage. In addition, the company-developer has already demonstrated new shells and guns in action.


The shelling of the trenches: the moment of the explosion of the projectile. Photo by Northrop Grumman


At the beginning of 2017, a scientific and practical conference was held on the development of the Bushmaster cannon family. The event was attended by a Stryker armored personnel carrier with a Kongsberg MCT-30 combat module, equipped with a Mk 44 cannon. After a demonstration firing 30-mm shells with a display of all the possibilities, the gun was rebuilt to the caliber 40 mm, which took about an hour. The armored personnel carrier then fired 40-mm projectiles, including Super 40.

As far as we know, the new projectile of increased caliber has not yet coped with all the necessary tests and is not yet ready for commissioning. However, the tests are coming to an end, and in the near future, the command may decide on setting the projectile into service.

***

One of the main ways for the development of small-caliber artillery is currently the creation of new projectiles with programmable fuses, providing the possibility of undermining at a given point of the trajectory. Such shells are being developed in different countries, and some samples of this kind have already been put into service. Typical representatives of this class are Mk 310 and Super 40 products of American design.



In terms of basic features, operating principles and capabilities, the products from Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman are little different from other projectiles with programmable fuses. In this case, the American project has an important feature, which, with the right approach, can be an advantage. The Mk 310 and Super 40 products, as well as a number of other ammunition, use a unified, programmable fuse that is compatible with a universal programmer. All this allows us to simplify the mass production of ammunition of various types, and at the same time reduce the cost of mass-produced items.

The Mk 310 PABM-T projectile can be considered very successful, in favor of which contracts for the supply of ammunition and updated guns to a number of armies say. However, the development of projectiles with programmable fuses continues, and new samples appear on the market. In this regard, in the near future the development of the company Orbital ATK / Northrop Grumman will have to face serious competition. Whether she will be able to maintain her position in the market and cope with her competitors will become clear later.

On the materials of the sites:
http://northropgrumman.com/
https://janes.com/
http://btvt.info/
https://alternatewars.com/
https://armyrecognition.com/
https://globalsecurity.org/
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  1. Simargl
    Simargl 10 January 2019 05: 57
    +1
    The development of a remote fuse, which appeared a little less than 100 years ago ...
    1. Corn
      Corn 10 January 2019 08: 31
      +3
      Like any modern throwing weapon, this is the development of a spear that appeared tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago wassat
      1. Simargl
        Simargl 10 January 2019 12: 37
        +2
        Quote: Corn
        this is a spear development
        A stone. The spear is already later.
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 10 January 2019 12: 51
      +3
      This is not a "development" this is a pure remote fuse. 8)))))))

      In general, the term "programmable" in relation to the fuse is a very unfortunate term. For, for example, in artillery they are programmable absolutely everything. Even ancient percussion - by shifting the tap to "o" and twisting the cap, the installer thereby programs it for fragmentation.
      1. Simargl
        Simargl 10 January 2019 13: 34
        +2
        Quote: Spade
        This is not a "development" this is a pure remote detonator.
        Well, from wick to electronics, not bad have evolvedwhile remaining the same fuse with a programmable response time, in fact.
  2. tlauicol
    tlauicol 10 January 2019 06: 27
    +2
    shooting in the trenches - just some kind of horror, brr!
  3. aristok
    aristok 10 January 2019 08: 55
    +1
    30 mm is too small for a programmable fuse.
    Too little explosive and fragmentation material remains for effective impact and too high a price for ammunition with such a massive consumption.
    The programmable fuse is ideal for 57 mm.
    Which predetermines the revival of this caliber.
    1. sivuch
      sivuch 10 January 2019 09: 54
      +2
      This was true for the 90s, when they created the Kerner and the Trident. Now, without 3P, it’s only to lose contests, as mentioned in another topic - about Biho. (Of course, there were other reasons, obviously non-technical in nature, but it also played)
      1. aristok
        aristok 10 January 2019 10: 37
        +1
        Quote: sivuch
        Now without 3P

        what's this ?
  4. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 10 January 2019 09: 11
    0
    And yet "rumors": "Isn't the 30 mm caliber outdated ...?" have not disappeared anywhere ... the "theme" that was once touched upon (both in Russia and "over the hill" ...) and now, from time to time, pops up ... especially against the "background" of the development of art systems with a caliber more than 30 mm. Our military will probably have to resolve the issue: 1. to remain faithful to 45 mm or ... 2. to "love" 40 mm or even 50 mm ... "in parallel" extending the life of artillery systems of 30 mm caliber ... Is it a 30mm krendet? Or will it still serve? A programmable fuse for 30-mm artillery shells is very good (!), But some "tovarischi" wondered: is it possible to mount the targeting system in a 30-mm caliber? Other "tovarischi" (who were not the first to be "tovarischi" at all) began to explain that it is possible, in principle, to make a 30-mm adjustable artillery projectile ... but not at all! "benefit" is useless ...). And from a different angle to look ...: 1.and the method of kinetic defeat "hit-to-kill" is now becoming fashionable ... 2.and armor-piercing subcaliber 30-mm shells continue to produce ... And if "virtually hypothetically" take a 30-mm case with a sub-caliber core ... or a "hollow" 30-mm "blank" of tungsten alloy ("ultra-high-strength" modern steel); and fill the "internal free" space with "control" electronics and a block of impulse rocket micromotors ...? And use the "projectile" idea of ​​"lead-slave", where the "lead" projectile in the fired burst may not even have an armor-piercing core, but is equipped with a more "advanced" correction system, and serves as a "beacon" for the "led" projectiles equipped with simple (elementary) receivers for the "lead" signals. The task becomes easier when switching to a larger caliber (40-50 mm): the "lead" projectile has a "good" correction (guidance) system, a "beacon" and has no explosives. . "guided" shells have the simplest correction system and explosive charge, fragmentation body ...
  5. anzar
    anzar 10 January 2019 11: 42
    -3
    30mm caliber is too small for this effect (57mm is better). But while there are many such guns in the Russian Federation, all the same it is necessary to make such shells. But their main application is not at all shooting in trenches, but to shoot down (cheap) tactical unmanned aerial vehicles with shrapnel. They are too small to be easily hit directly. The described modernization of 30mm cannons by replacing "some parts" (larger caliber barrel and ...) is interesting, but the cost is unknown.
    ... enters data into the fuse electronics, namely range (?), which should undermine the main charge. Under the influence of rifling of the barrel, the projectile rotates around a longitudinal axis when fired and in flight. His electronics is counting number of revolutions (?!), and after a given number of them, it undermines.

    Author! What kind of fiction? Do they do this in Russia? (razpill))) That a tooth can be removed and we know through one place, but still no one canceled school-level physics)) To write this, we must skip these lessons))
    In the fuse of such a projectile there is only a timer (so it’s cheap), in which the TIME of detonation, calculated by the aiming system based on range goals and other ballistic data. So, therefore, the obligatory accessory of the sight is a laser range finder. He eats even on hand-held 25mm grenade launchers.
    And the written invention, with all the desire, will not fit in 30mm. After all, in order to "count revolutions" (discretely and accurately, and not mechanically as in fuses), you must have a (laser) gyroscope! And even if we assume that such a person eats, then the result of these calculations will be ... again the time during which the projectile made the prescribed number of revolutions! Why is all this?
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 10 January 2019 12: 55
      +1
      Quote: anzar
      In the fuse of such a projectile is only a timer (so it’s cheap), in which introduced TIME underminingcalculated by the aiming system based on the range of the target and other ballistic data.

      You yourself guessed why the corner counter is more profitable and more accurate 8)))
      1. anzar
        anzar 10 January 2019 15: 35
        -1
        You yourself guessed why the corner indicator is more profitable here ...

        Alas, I didn’t guess. Moreover, I didn’t guess maybe it’s generally 30mm. And as for the benefits, it’s already beyond the horizon of my ideas.
        1.Don't you describe HOW such a counter works WITHOUT some kind of gyroscope? I will be immensely grateful, it will expand my knowledge (by magic)))
        2. Suppose he somehow calculated the speed. But, in order to ask the fuse the required number of them, the aiming system needs to make a ballist. calculations (from the RANGE to the target, the beginning of the projectile speed, air temperature, wind, etc., etc. ....) for which flying TIME the projectile will be where required. Then calculate how many revolutions he will make in this time. Why do the last ??? That it was difficult and expensive? (see Vol. 1) The usual timer (the chip, well, not cheap in hours, but high-precision and withstanding acceleration. when fired) makes this unlike simpler, cheaper and it easier.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov 10 January 2019 16: 36
          +3
          Quote: anzar
          1.Don't you describe HOW such a counter works WITHOUT some kind of gyroscope? I will be immensely grateful, it will expand my knowledge (by magic)))

          I have no idea, but this fuse in disassembled form looks like this:




          Quote: anzar
          2. Suppose he somehow calculated the speed. But, in order to ask the fuse the required number of them, the aiming system needs to make a ballist. calculations (from the RANGE to the target, the beginning of the projectile speed, air temperature, wind, etc., etc. ....) for which flying TIME the projectile will be where required. Then calculate how many revolutions he will make in this time.

          Exactly. As a result, the calculated time is converted into revolutions.

          Quote: anzar
          Why do the last ??? That it was difficult and expensive? (see t.1)

          On the contrary, cheap. There is no need to fence a complicated scheme with a projectile velocity meter in the barrel and with data input into the fuse when the projectile leaves the gun.

          Quote: anzar
          The usual timer (the chip, well, not cheap in hours, but high-precision and withstanding speed. When fired) makes this unlike simpler, cheaper and easier.

          And much less accurate. Moreover, the cheaper and "lighter" the more dispersion in the time of detonation, and hence in the range
          1. anzar
            anzar 10 January 2019 22: 28
            -1
            No need to fence a complicated circuit with a projectile velocity meter in the bore ...

            Her, is an element of precision shooting out of touch with the type of projectile. If you do not want this, do not put on the gun, then the sight uses tabular data, incl. charge temperature and "forecast" changes in the beginning. speed taking into account the number of shots fired in the life of the barrel. True, for those with "programmable blasting", greater accuracy is required in this, without the value of HOW you determine the TIME of blasting (by a timer or by revolutions).
            And much less accurate.

            About etom - see below
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov 10 January 2019 22: 34
              0
              Quote: anzar
              If you do not want this, do not put on the gun, then the sight uses tabular data, incl. charge temperature and "forecast" changes in the beginning. speed taking into account the number of shots fired in the life of the barrel.

              And the system of detonation of shells on the trajectory becomes almost useless due to the giant dispersion.
              1. anzar
                anzar 10 January 2019 23: 46
                -1
                ... because of the giant dispersion.

                And where does the "giant dispersion" come from? Cannons like that)) fired without ... Or they wanted to say "a big mistake in range triggering? I don’t know, it depends on the manufacturer / quality (guns, shells...)
                But which side to the fuse? A "rev counter" will require such a sensor to the same extent as a "timer".
                And you probably still have the same trenches (or windows) in front of your eyes. Well, they eat low-speed grenades, this is not relevant for old 30mm cannons (a weak projectile). But for anti-aircraft fire, "scattering" will be quite acceptable - there the projectile explodes at some (not too accurate) distance BEFORE the target (more precisely, the place where it will be when the fragments fly)
                1. Lopatov
                  Lopatov 11 January 2019 07: 42
                  0
                  Quote: anzar
                  And where does the "giant dispersion" come from?

                  Due to errors associated with the unevenness of the initial speeds and errors associated with the uneven determination of time intervals.
  6. bone1
    bone1 10 January 2019 19: 31
    0
    Remote fuse appeared 150 years ago, also discovered America through the window. laughing A 30mm shell, in general, is a fuse really necessary? laughing
  7. DDZ57
    DDZ57 10 January 2019 19: 45
    +1
    MSTU series of articles on this type of shells:
    http://btvt.info/3attackdefensemobility/air3.htm
    http://www.btvt.narod.ru/4/rarn_airburst.htm.
    In Russia in the next 5 years, these will not be.
  8. DDZ57
    DDZ57 10 January 2019 20: 04
    +3
    The programmer through the receiving coil enters the digit (number of revolutions) into the fuse electronics, when the projectile goes beyond the muzzle of the gun, the countdown begins (in the inductive module located in the fuse’s electronic unit during rotation in the Earth’s magnetic field the emf is induced with a period equal to the period of rotation of the projectile). A change in the angular velocity of rotation of the projectile is noticeably more predictable than a change in linear velocity, resulting in a more accurate response distance.
    1. anzar
      anzar 10 January 2019 22: 07
      0
      ... EMF induced by rotation in the Earth's magnetic field

      Yes, it is possible (thanks for the explanation), although there are also difficulties here (non-magnetic part of the shell). But what will be more accurate, I doubt it. Here:
      A change in the angular velocity of rotation of the projectile is noticeably more predictable than a change in linear speedas a result of which it turns out more accurately distance triggering.

      You write yourself, it’s essentially important distance... HOW do you convert the "more predictable" change in angular velocity (or RPM) into distance? Those. WHERE will the projectile end up after N revolutions? Only using ballista. calculations of the sight, taking into account, among other things, those "poorly predictable")) changes in its linear speed. And what happens, without ballistics, no way, and then, whatever you want with your own money ...)) And what about induction. the coil is more accurate than the timer, I will not believe it. If it can take into account, say, a quarter of a turnover, how many meters will it be?
      1. Saxahorse
        Saxahorse 10 January 2019 23: 11
        +1
        Quote: anzar
        And what about induction. coil timer more precisely, I won’t believe it.

        The idea with an induction coil is just super! A high-precision timer that can count hundredths and thousandths is a very expensive thing, for this you need at least a high-quality resonator made of very pure material and a very clean, low-noise circuit. And knowing the number of turns in the trunk and the initial speed, calculate the number of revolutions once you spit. And the inductive sensor is the simplest and cheapest that there is from electronics. I really liked this idea!
      2. The seventh
        The seventh 27 March 2019 23: 48
        0
        "If it can take into account, say, a quarter of a turnover, how many meters will it be?"
        ..... somewhere around 8-12 centimeters ..
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. Saxahorse
    Saxahorse 10 January 2019 23: 17
    0
    I really liked the article, thanks!

    Only now I understood how time is counted in such programmable shells. The idea with inductive sensors counting the speed is just great!
  11. kvs45
    kvs45 13 January 2019 21: 09
    0
    I wonder what current source is used for blasting? The fuse for a 30 mm projectile is small, you can't put the "Crown" there))))))
    1. DDZ57
      DDZ57 14 January 2019 16: 01
      +1
      Quote: kvs45
      I wonder what current source is used for blasting? The fuse for a 30 mm projectile is small, you can't put the "Crown" there))))))

      The so-called small-sized magneto-impulse type shock generators are used as a power source, since inexpensive strong magnets and good capacitors have appeared. MIG is triggered by overload when fired, the electronic unit enters the mode still in the gun barrel. The power supply is safe to handle, has an almost unlimited shelf life, and does not depend on temperature. In the picture, it is at the top (power source)
      1. kvs45
        kvs45 18 January 2019 13: 05
        0
        thanks for the answer. I know that similar devices were used in some grenade launchers, but there the coil is solid and the mileage of the core is decent, and then there is a tiny one! Is there really enough energy for the CD glow bridge? Or here, in CD, not a glowing spiral, but something else? Do not advise what to read on this subject?
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. The comment was deleted.
  14. DDZ57
    DDZ57 18 January 2019 20: 24
    0
    You can read in the conference proceedings: 59th Annual Fuze Conference 2016 May 3 - 5, 2016.
  15. mvg
    mvg 24 February 2019 23: 15
    0
    It is interesting when the author himself will start reading what he has drawn. Will the number of repeated phrases be less than 4? Like a fairy tale about "White Bull", you read the work of this author ... well, when will it end?