Soldiers with two tank crews from the 3rd Armored Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, recently tested the Army’s newest 120mm tactical round.
The “Ivy Division” tank crews weathered 112 degrees Fahrenheit at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, with “full ready rack combat loads” of the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose round in the M1A2 Abrams tank.
The two tank crews shot 90 rounds at anti-tank guided missile teams, massed infantry fighting vehicles and bunker targets, while also running both real and simulated threats in the test, according to an Army statement.
The round is a replacement for four legacy service rounds.
Soldiers with 4th Infantry Division test the XM-1147 AMP round. (Capt. Tobias Cukale color-modified by Maj. Michael Brabner/Army)
The XM-1147 is a “line-of-sight” tank round that is intended to replace the M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multipurpose with Tracer, the M830A1, the M1028 Canister rounds and the M908 Obstacle Reducing with Tracer round, according to a Defense Department testing and evaluation report.
The AMP puts all four previous round capabilities into one package.
The round is intended to breach with “greater standoff and fewer rounds,” the DoD testing and evaluation report reads. The AMP round has three defeat modes — point detonate, point detonate delay and airburst.
Live fire testing against armored targets is planned for mid-2022, according to the report.
Three XM-1147 AMP rounds fired will create a breach large enough to step through, even in a reinforced concrete wall. (Army)
Gunner Sgt. Spencer Vanderbilt, of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, said the round shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“Being able to see and then destroy anti-tank guided missile targets beyond 2,000 meters and then transition immediately to breaching walls or obstacles is an incredibly powerful feeling,” Vanderbilt said.
Vanderbilt was on Tank Crew 1, commanded by 2nd Lt. Jake Hall, along with loader Pvt. Dalton Diserio and driver Pvt. Justin Jones.
“We now know what it feels like to roll out in a fully combat loaded tank on operationally realistic combat missions and recognize how important the AMP round will be to U.S. Army ABCT fighting forces in the fights yet to be fought,” Hall said.
Sgt. Juan Segura, gunner for Tank Crew 2, assists teammates with loading an XM1147 AMP round. (Maj. Michael P. Brabner/Army)
The XM-1147 brings a new airburst mode and the ability to breach reinforced concrete walls, according to the release.
Tank Crew 2 was commanded by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Smearman, with gunner Sgt. Juan Segura, loader Spc. Blake Phillips, and driver Pvt. Adam Allwine.
Master Sgt. Joel Ramirez, of the Fort Hood, Texas-based Operational Test Command said the performance data and soldier feedback from these tests will inform the procurement decisions for the AMP round.
In airburst mode, the XM-1147 AMP round sprays the ground below with lethal shrapnel — note dust thrown up from impacts. (Army)
“We do this by having the tank crews employ the tactical service round in a manner and in an environment that closely mimics combat conditions,” Ramirez said.
The two tank crews shot over eight complex modified tank gunnery combat scenarios during the four-day record test.
“Despite extreme desert heat, dust storms and rain squalls, the Crazy Horse crews really impressed me with their level of motivation and drive to test the AMP round,” said Kent Evans, the Maneuver Requirements Division Soldier and Capability representative from Fort Benning, Georgia.
An Abrams tank with an almost complete combat load of 120mm XM-1147 AMP tactical service rounds is pictured before tests. (Maj. Michael P. Brabner/Army)