( Dusseldorf, Germany, July 20, 2006 ) - The British armed forces have awarded Rheinmetall a EUR24 million contract for 244,000 rounds of FAP 27mm x 145 aircraft ammunition. Earmarked for the Royal Air Force's Tornado fighter aircraft the ammunition will be used for training and combat operations alike. It will be delivered in series during the period 2008-2010.
Completed as a proprietary development and containing no explosives, Rheinmetall's 27mm FAP (frangible armour piercing) round is a highly effective new multipurpose round for modern military aircraft. The UK order represents a breakthrough in the international market, and is certain to attract the notice of other Tornado, Eurofighter and Gripen user nations.
The 27mm x145 FAP round is specially designed for use in the Rheinmetall BK 27 aircraft cannon.
The lethal element of the 27mm x145 FAP is a penetrator consisting of individual frangible tungsten steel pellets as well as spherical sub-projectiles, also made of tungsten steel. A guide sleeve made of synthetic material holds the penetrator in position inside the projectile, fixed in place by a moulding process. The FAP projectile consists of an aluminium ballistic cap and a steel projectile jacket. The driving band is made of sintered iron.
Penetrating the surface of a target, the tungsten alloy pellets disintegrate into several pieces. Penetrating deeper into the target structure, the number of fragments increases in accordance with the cascade principle. The expanding cone of destruction resulting from these high-energy shell fragments causes massive damage to the target interior.
By contrast, the sub-projectiles do not disintegrate when entering the target, instead forming predefined fragments with high penetrating power.
Suitable for air-to-ground and air-to-air operations, FAP rounds enable effective engagement of modern armoured air and ground targets.
Containing no explosives, the FAP is an insensitive ammunition type. This makes it much easier to transport and store as well as enabling it to be used in training operations. Owing to their special design - and unlike conventional aircraft ammunition - FAP rounds never graze off or ricochet since the projectile core disintegrates upon impact.
Thanks to its subsidiary Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, Rheinmetall is an internationally leading manufacturer of medium-calibre weapons and ammunition.