New Ammunition Products Developed by Nammo

Norwegian Embassy, in collaboration with the Nammo company, organized a Polish-Norwegian seminar, during which new and existing developments within the scope of the ammunition, proposed by the Norwegian manufacturer, were presented. During the event, new variants of the M72 grenade launcher, featuring new propulsion system and programmable ammunition, were also showcased.

Currently the Nammo company offers a wide range of ammunition products, ranging from the 4.6x30 mm rounds for the HK MP7 PDW, to 155 mm artillery rounds. During the seminar, the current offer was presented, along with the plans related to the future development works.

When one thinks of the Nammo company, then the M72 LAW disposable anti tank weapon is the first product that comes to mind. More than 800 thousand examples of this launcher have been manufactured until now. During the seminar, several new derivatives of this weapon were presented, including one with a modified propulsion system and programmable projectiles.

In case of the M72A8 and A10 variants of the weapon, new projectile propulsion has been applied. A small explosive charge compresses a special liquid which propels the projectile. The propellant is then ejected in an opposite direction. Such solution, even though it is more expensive than the standard one, is beneficial, since the shot sound intensity is reduced by more than 30%, recoil is also significantly diminished. Flash, following the shot, has been almost completely eliminated.

The newly developed M72A9 variant, designed to act against fortified positions, features an aluminium anti-structure warhead with muzzle velocity of 130 meters per second and weight of 0.63 kg, with reduced flash. The system itself is lightweight – 4.3 kilograms. It may be applied at minimum range of 15 meters (maximum range is defined as 600 meters) and within the temperature range from -450 to +700 C.

M72 FFE anti-tank and A9 anti-structure launchers may also be used in enclosed rooms. Up to five shots may be taken from such location.

M72E11 Mk 1 PD variant has a large effective radius for the ABM type warhead, and its maximum range is 800 meters. M72E12 version of the weapon features a new piezzo-fuse, with a double safety system.

The grenade launchers manufactured by Nammo undergo numerous tests, confirming their reliability, as well as the safety of use. The weapon was applied, for the first time ever, during the Vietnam War. Throughout the years it was being refined and modernized, so that it met the new requirements defined by the nations using the launcher at the time, as well as the requirements of the potential future users. The launcher is lightweight, simple to use, and numerous variants of the system exist, making it possible to use the weapon in a variety of applications. Along with the launcher, Nammo also offers a training simulator, replicating the LAW72 shooting conditions. The company also created a 21 mm training launcher.

C171 PPHE-RF or MK285 PPHE 40 mm ammunition for the grenade launchers has a muzzle velocity of 240 meters per second, and creates ca. 1450 fragments distributed across a lethal area of 13 square meters. Application of a programmable fuse within the 40x53 mm rounds for the automatic grenade launchers, where programming is being realized with a radio signal, is a universal solution which may be tailored to other systems which – at the moment – do not have such functionality.

The Nammo ammunition programming system is dedicated for a variety of calibres, it may be easily adopted for a variety of weapons systems. The company also works on a Dim Trace Concept ammunition, with invisible tracer and reduced muzzle flash and minimized light emission. The round may be used with the NVG systems.

Nammo also presented a 120 mm Insensitive Munition round, featuring a High Explosive projectile with an embedded tracer (IM HE-T). This is a universal round. At the design stage, firepower and accuracy were the main priorities assumed by the engineers. According to the Norwegian company, this type of ammunition should be effective in use against unarmoured or moderately armoured targets, troops, hidden targets or hovering helicopters. The round weighs 26.7 kg (projectile itself weighs 15.9 kg). Muzzle velocity is 1030 meters per second.

120 mm MP multi-purpose round is detonated on impact (with possibility of delaying this process), it penetrates the walls of buildings or fortified positions. It is able to eliminate hidden single-point targets, without causing further destruction of the target surroundings.

120 mm IM Canister round features a projectile filled with ca. 1100 tungsten balls which, at the distances of up to 500 meters, are highly effective against human targets, light armoured targets or terrain. 

155 mm IM HE-ER or Illum-ER/IR ammunition is designed to act against a variety of threats at distances of up to 40 kilometres, or highlighting the areas for up to 90 seconds.

In case of the 30x173 mm ammunition, Nammo offers the following rounds: i HEI/HEI-T, HEI/SD i HEI-T/SD, SAPHEI/SD, MP-T/SD, TP-T or APFSDS-T MK258 Mod 1 „Swimmer” (muzzle velocity of 1430 m/s, penetration of more than 100 mm of RHA, at the distance of 100 meters).

Nammo also manufactures rocket propulsion systems for the following missiles: AMRAAM, IRIS-T/IRIS-T SL, ESSM, IDAS, EXOCET MM40 Block 3, NSM, LMM. The Norwegian company also acts as the supplier of the propulsion systems for the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. The company is currently focused on research pertaining to the new solutions that could be implemented in the field of dual-stage rocket engines, along with new propulsion systems.

The Norwegian manufacturer is also open to collaborate or offer ready solutions related to the problems connected to disposal of the ammunition or weaponry. During the seminar, Karsten Klepsvik, Norwegian Ambassador to Poland, along with the representatives of the Nammo company, emphasized the successful collaboration with the Polish industry, also with the defence sector. Long term collaboration with several Polish companies (e.g. MESKO S.A., within the field of the 30x173 round for the Rosomak IFV cannon), transfer of the equipment and know-how have all contributed to further steps, the goal of which is to provide the Polish Army with modern solutions regarding the equipment and armament required to implement the short- and long-term modernization plans.

Representatives of the Nammo company stressed the fact that they are not focusing solely on the Polish army within that scope. In this context, order for development and qualification of a new fuse for the 25 mm APEX ammo received by DEZAMET S.A. was thoroughly discussed. This round is used e.g. in case of the GAU-22/A cannon, mounted onboard the F-35 multi-role fighters. This is a proof of high level of trust and positive assessment of the capacities offered by the Polish industrial partners.

At the moment, the Nammo company employs almost 2200 ammunition experts and specialists, working on, besides the ammunition of a variety of calibres, grenades, rocket propulsion systems or grenade launchers. The company has 22 facilities established in 11 countries at its disposal. 37% of production output is received by the US market, 33% of products are sold in Europe, while the remaining 8% of production is distributed among the remaining countries. 22% of the manufactured products are procured by the Scandinavian states – Finland, Sweden and Norway. The company obtained a revenue of 3.8 billion Norwegian crowns in 2015 (20% of all of the manufactured products were sold within the civil market).

Marek Dąbrowski