How does armor-piercing ammunition work?

Rheinmetall's medium caliber ammunition family

Rheinmetall offers its customers an extensive portfolio of medium-caliber ammunition, both for its own weapon systems and for weapon systems from other manufacturers. The portfolio covers a wide range of mission profiles and minimizes the number of types of ammunition required.

Rheinmetall's medium-caliber ammunition is characterized by its high penetration rate, versatility, reliability, low dispersion and safe handling. Appropriate training and drill ammunition complete the offer.

APFSDS-T ammunition

The APFSDS-T ammunition, part of the new generation of armor-piercing sub-caliber ammunition, is used by armored personnel carriers for self-defense against ground targets and attacks from the air. The penetrator of the ammunition, penetrates homogeneous armor steel and high-strength armor even with a very small angle of impact and a long operating distance. Since the heavy metal arrow leaves the barrel with full twist, the sabot flies away when it leaves the muzzle and the accuracy increases. This makes the insensitive APFSDS-T ammunition an indispensable weapon for armored personnel carriers.

The APFSDS-T is available in calibers 25 mm x 137, 30 mm x 173 and as ballistic training ammunition.

FAP ammunition

FAP is a new, high-performance and explosive-free all-purpose ammunition for combat and fighter aircraft. A penetrator made of individual frangible heavy metal pellets and sub-projectiles made of heavy metal serve as the active elements in this projectile. When penetrating the target surface, the heavy metal pellets break down into several parts. With deeper penetration into the target structure, the number of fragments increases according to the cascade principle. Modern, armored airborne and ground targets can thus be effectively combated in air / ground and air / air missions. Due to its special design, the FAP cartridge, unlike conventional aircraft ammunition, does not cause any ricochets, as the projectile (the core) disintegrates on impact.

The FAP general purpose ammunition is available in calibers 20 mm x 102, 25 mm x 137 and
27mm x 145.

FAPDS ammunition

The concept of the "frangible" sub-caliber projectile was developed to combat both hard and semi-hard targets without resorting to a detonator and explosive. The short flight time, the high hit probability and the destructive effect of the fragile heavy metal core made of tungsten make the insensitive FAPDS projectile an extremely effective means of defense for armored personnel carriers and naval units.

FAPDS ammunition is available in calibers 25 mm x 137, 27 mm x 145 and
30mm x 173.

Ahead ammunition

With the 35 mm ahead system, consisting of measuring and programming bases, control electronics and ahead ammunition, automated guns can successfully fight small and fast flight targets. Each programmable projectile of the ahead ammunition contains 152 tungsten sub-projectiles, which are ejected shortly before the approaching target. The speed of each floor is determined by the measuring base. From this, the control electronics calculate the time until the ejection and transmits this via the programming base to the time fuse in the projectile. In this way, small targets can be fought with a high probability of being hit.

Air burst ammunition

Air burst ammunition is the ideal solution for modern vehicle armament, ground-based air defense and marine applications. Based on NATO-qualified Ahead technology, each ABM projectile contains a large number of sub-projectiles and a programmable detonator, which is supplied with data from the fire control computer via an electric detonator programming coil when it leaves the barrel. After measuring the current V0 value, the detonator setting time is calculated and each bullet at the muzzle is inductively programmed. With the possibility of changing the ejection distance, a wide range of modern battlefield threats can be combated with the insensitive air burst ammunition.

Rheinmetall’s Air Burst ammunition is available in caliber 30 mm x 173 and
35mm x 228.

PELE ammunition

PELE - penetrator with increased lateral effect - is a new type of gun ammunition technology without detonators and explosives. The combination of two materials with different densities enables the projectile to be broken down in the target without the use of explosives or detonators. The penetration power, sensitivity and fragmentation power achieved in this way are higher than with conventional ammunition. PELE is a cost-effective ammunition technology with a very high safety potential and can also be used as training ammunition.

PELE is available in calibers 20 mm x 102, 25 mm x 137, 27 mm x 145 and
30mm x 173.