Conventional Munitions

Conventional weapons technology supports the needs of the Army in both tactical and strategic mission areas. It encompasses non-nuclear munitions, their components and launching systems, guns, rockets and guided missiles, projectiles, special warfare munitions, mortars, mine, countermine systems and their associated combat control. The focus of conventional munitions is to project lethal or less than lethal force against an enemy causing minimal friendly causalities or little collateral damage.

Soldier Loading Munition Conventional weapons technology addresses the need for affordable all-weather, day-night precision strike against mobile or fixed targets; all-weather defense against aircraft, very low observable cruise missiles and ballistic missiles; effective mine detection and neutralization capability to permit movement of forces on land; more lethal, lighter-weight, gun and missile systems to support current and advanced air and land combat vehicles; vehicle self-defense systems; and lightweight, high-performance gun systems for artillery applications.

Picatinny is the home of conventional ammunition. Through the years, Picatinny has been the designer/developer of indirect fire lethality for the U.S. Army. We have provided engineering support of these munitions from cradle to grave, assuming responsibility for design, development, type classification, material release, initial production full-scale productions and field support.

Examples of Conventional Munitions Being Developed and/or Fielded by Picatinny

At the end of World War II, Picatinny Arsenal provided U.S. forces light, medium, and heavy ammunition such as the M105, M106, and M107, 105mm, 8-inch, and 155mm respectively. The highly reliable, inexpensive M105 and M107 are still produced today and make up a large percentage of the U.S. Army's conventional ammunition inventory. Picatinny also recently engineered a design change to the M105. The improved projectile is currently deployed as a key munition for the Air Force C130 gun ship.

The M483A1 Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) has evolved from the Improved Conventional Munitions (ICMs) developed by Picatinny in the late 1950s through early 1960s. The M483A1 is a projectile that delivers a cargo of dual-purpose antipersonnel, antiarmor submunitions or bomblets. Also included in this "family" of projectiles are the 155mm M692 Area Denial Artillery Munition (ADAM), the 155mm M718 Remote Anti-Armor Mine System (RAAMS) and the M825A1 Smoke round.

As U.S. artillery ammunition evolved, the push to achieve greater range from conventional artillery grew. Early 155mm ammunition had a swaged (crimped) gilding metal rotating band that encircled the shell casing near its base; this gilding metal provided the spin the projectile needed to achieve stable flight and range to the target. New, more powerful guns and propelling charges accelerate the ammunition to velocities and spin rates beyond the capability of the swaged band. To solve this problem, Picatinny developed processes to weld gilding metal bands on projectiles, Welded Rotating Bands. This made them fully compatible with maximum charge explosion systems and 50 plus caliber gun tubes. The technology is still in use on today's extended range artillery like the M549A1 and the M864 DPICM.

In an effort to improve/extend range, Picatinny found that providing post launch propulsion to the projectile was another option. The 155mm M549A1 High Explosive Rocket Assist Projectile is an example of the Picatinny design. The M549A1 projectile has two distinctive preassembled components, a highly explosive warhead and a rocket motor. The M589A1 remains a key item in the Army's field artillery arsenal and is the longest range projectile in the U.S. inventory. This technology is also employed in the Picatinny developed 105mm M927 and M913 High Explosive Rocket Assist Projectiles with high fragmentation steel.

The 155mm M864 is the longest-range cargo artillery round in the U.S. stockpile. It came about as a result of Picatinny's continuous quest for extended range, which is achieved by the base propellant gases filling the vacuum behind the projectile. The base propellant is ignited when the weapon is fired; burning is sustained for about 30 seconds of flight time, reducing base drag and extending the range of the round.