Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) and Allied Defense Group, Inc.
(AMEX:ADG are teaming to modernize tank ammunition introducing
Insensitive Munition (IM) based propellants and explosives.
The team will initially focus on propellant replacement for
aging tank rounds, produced in the 1980s, as they reach their
20 year shelf life limit. The introduction of IM has been mandatory
in Europe, and will improve safety of ammunition in storage
and during transportation, improve the mobility of supplies,
both on land and at sea, and improve safety and survivability
of armored vehicles carrying the ammunition. (More...)
According to ADG, the technology being introduced has the added
benefits of reducing gun barrel wear and reducing overall stress
to the platform, while providing higher energy for added range,
accuracy and lethality. In addition to propellant replacement,
the team also plans to introduce IM improved explosives to replace
standard explosives currently used in the warheads of current
ADG is the owner of Mecar SA - the Belgian gun and ammunition
maker and its US based sister company Mecar USA. The company
plans to leverage the technology developed and demonstrated
in the U.S. and Europe on similar ammunition types, to accelerate
the introduction of the new process. According to ADG, by reducing
maintenance cost to the platform and utilizing proven low cost
production techniques, the overall cost of the ammunition is
comparable to that of the current ammunition.
According to Major General (Ret) John J. Marcello, ADG's Chief
Executive Officer and President, the new collaboration should
open new channels and new markets for both companies. "This
alliance will help ADG offset our reliance on our traditional
customers and contributes to our efforts to smooth out the cyclical
nature of our ammunition business.
ATK, a US$4 billion weapons and space company, is a major ammunition
supplier for all US forces. In September 2007 ADG reported its
order backlog exceeded $140 million, primarily from international
customers. Mecar produces various types of ammunition, including
105mm howitzer rounds, 76mm gun cartridges, 81mm and 120mm mortar
bombs, 25mm ammunition and proprietary Mk8 cartridges for the
90mm cannon, developed by the company and used by a number of
armies worldwide. Mecar is also developing new ammunition for
the Russian 115mm tank gun, a 120mm Multi-Function Urban Combat
tank round, which will be available shortly.
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