Armor: November 7, 2001

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The Army began buying the improved 25mm M919 armor piercing discarding sabot round for the Bradley in 1995 and has a stockpile of a million rounds; it plans to increase this to 1.8 million. The Army still has six million rounds of the older M791 ammunition, also used by the Bradley. Both are 25mm and both use a discarding sabot, but the M919 is much more effective. It has a range of 2500 meters (compared to 2000 meters for the M791) and has a depleted uranium dart that is longer and thinner than the tungsten slug in the nose of the M791. The depleted uranium dart can penetrate almost twice as much armor as the M791. The M919 costs much more ($108 compared to $24) than the M791. The plan is to evaluate any future conflict involving Bradleys and see which type of ammunition to provide based on the threat. While complicated to do, the vehicle could carry both types and use the more expensive rounds only when it really needs them. The M919 is regarded as war reserve ammunition, and while gunners are briefed on what it will do, they do not get the more expensive rounds to fire in training.--Stephen V Cole

 


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