The acquisition of Israel Military Industries (IMI) by Elbit Systems has accelerated the marketing of the new advanced rifle round developed by the state-owned company that was recently acquired by Elbit Systems.
Elbit Systems has a very strong marketing arms in several parts of the world and that according to sources will “push the new round to more potential markets”.
IMI has developed and is manufacturing a new round that combines the advantages of the 5.56 and 7.62 rounds. This breakthrough ammunition is already being evaluated by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).
The new round has been developed by the small caliber ammunition division of IMI, based on the combat experience of the IDF and operational requirements from international clients.
The IDF is considered by experts as a leading laboratory for many weapon systems, including round used by the combat soldier in his basic weapon, the assault rifle.
The standard 5.56 round is used in many types of assault rifles, while the 7.62 round is used by many types of light machine guns.
Army units have to carry both types of rounds because of their different advantages in various combat scenarios.
The new IMI armor piercing match (APM) round has according to the company better accuracy and penetration than the standard 5.56 .At the same time , the company says , that tests have proven the new round has also better accuracy than the 7.62 in ranges of up to 550 meters, and better penetration in ranges of 800 meters.
These facts according to IMI sources, make the new APM round an excellent replacement for the 7.62.
This results is commonality in the field, as combat units have to carry only one type of ammunition
The new 5.56 APM round is of the FMJ-BT hard core APHAC type. Its weight is 73 grains, and the cartridge weight is 12.9 grams. Velocity at 24 meters is 850 m/s.
According to the company, the small caliber ammunition division, long tests have proved that the new round is 30 per cent more accurate than 7.62 M80 at a range of 550 meters.
Penetration is also dramatically higher. When fired on a NATO 3.4 plate the new round achieved 100 per cent penetration from ranges of 550 and 800 meters.
According to IMI the new round was developed to answer operational requirements of armies that are looking for ammunition commonality while keeping the benefits of the existing two calibers used today.
IMI says that the breakthrough development, was achieved by a new design of the bullet, the type of powder and the way the cartridge is attached to the bullet. A new type of primer was also used to achieve the overall excellent performance.
A company source said that the new APM round actually gives the combat soldier the fire power of a platoon.
The new round can be used in assault rifles like the M-16 and light machine guns.
The new round comes to the market when the U.S marine corps is exploring new rounds to replace the corps’ 5.56 M855 round. The operational demand for a new improved 5.56 round is international and some NATO members are also in the search process.
By Arie Egozi
With more than 25 years of experience in defence publishing, Global Business Press and its industry leading titles Asian Defence Technology, Asian Airlines & Aerospace and Daily News are the leading defence publications in the region, present at more international shows and exhibitions than any other competing publication in the region.