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ATK Pioneering Air Bursting Ammunition Technology Selected by US Navy
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by Staff Writers
Minneapolis MN (SPX) Dec 20, 2006
Alliant Techsystems recently received a contract from the U.S. Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Indiana, to provide 30mm air bursting ammunition for the U.S. Marine's Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Under terms of the contract, ATK will provide 1200 rounds within the next six months to the U.S. Navy for qualification tests.

The contract contains three production options for deliveries of 30mm air bursting ammunition. This is the first ever production contract for air bursting ammunition and highlights ATK's role as a gun-system provider of choice.

"Air bursting technology is the future of medium-caliber ammunition and we are proud to be selected as the system provider of this important new warfighting capability," said Mark DeYoung, President, ATK Ammunition Systems Group. "Air bursting technology will extend the life of today's gun systems by significantly enhancing their effectiveness and it will play a central role in the gun systems of tomorrow such as the U.S. Army's Future Combat System."

ATK's air bursting technology is an affordable, operator-friendly design that can be scaled down and integrated into other medium-caliber gun systems such as the 25mm M242 Chain Gun. The M242 is currently deployed on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Light Armored Vehicle-25.

Key components of the system include ATK's Mk44 Chain Gun, a gun control unit with an inductive fuze setter; a fire control system and the 30mm x 173mm Air Bursting Munition. Milliseconds before the round is chambered, the sophisticated fuze is programmed to explode at the precise range selected by the gunner - who uses an advanced laser range finder to determine the distance. Once the round exits the gun, the ATK-designed fuze technology computes the projectile's revolutions and velocity to determine the exact moment of detonation.

The first platform scheduled to incorporate ATK's 30mm air bursting ammunition will be the U.S. Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, which is equipped with ATK's Mk44 Gun System. Other Mk44 platforms include the U.S. Navy's San Antonio Class LPD-17 amphibious ship, numerous NATO armored and ground combat vehicles, and potentially an up-gunned Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Work on the contract will be performed by ATK at facilities in Plymouth, Minnesota, Rocket Center, West Virginia, and Radford, Virginia.

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Alliant Techsystems
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