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Nexter has introduced the SHARD 120 advanced Armour-Piercing, Fin Stabilised, Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) kinetic ammunition (KE) for 120 mm smoothbore MBT guns. The ammunition complies with STANAG 4385 and can be used in MBTs with the corresponding gun widely used in NATO.

The APFSDS features an extended penetrator made of a new tungsten alloy from Plansee Tungsten Alloys, which is driven by an optimised sabot. The projectile is propelled from a combustible cartridge case by a new high-performance, low-erosion propellant from Eurenco. According to Nexter, this achieves a very high level of terminal ballistic performance.

The new SHARD ammunition is the result of R&T work on innovative materials and external ballistics, based on historical work for the French DGA and the implementation of an agile development process, Nexter said.

Firing campaigns – most recently under extreme temperature conditions and at long ranges – have confirmed the performance expected in the simulation in terms of penetration and accuracy.

Nexter expects to complete the architectural optimisations this year and then move into the industrial qualification phase in 2022. The validation and qualification of innovative technology building blocks in the SHARD programme is also one of the milestones in the development of very high performance ammunition for future land combat systems, in particular the Main Ground Combat System.

Gerhard Heiming