US Army Tank Cartridges (105mm & 120mm) Budget Justification

I came across this document while looking for info on the M829E4 APFSDS-T DU penetrator. It is a budget justification for the US Army’s current tank ammunition (105mm & 120mm), including practice ammo. I thought some of the collectors of modern tank ammo might find this interesting. The document is dated Feb 2016.

The document contains budgets for the following rounds:

  • M724A1E1, 105mm Target Practice Discarding Sabot with Tracer (TPDS-T)

  • M1002, 120mm Target Practice Multi Purpose-Tracer (TPMP-T)

  • M865, 120mm Target Practice Cone-Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer (TPCSDS-T)

  • M830A1, 120mm High Explosive Anti-Tank, Multi-Purpose w/Tracer,(HEAT-MP-T)

  • M829E4, 120mm Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APFSDS-T)

I found two things surprising about this document (assuming I am interpreting it correctly - I am an engineer, not an accountant). The cost per round is much higher than I anticipated (>$13,000 for one M829) and the number of rounds purchased annually seems low with only 3410 rounds of M829 planned for purchase in 2017. Perhaps the low number of rounds is due to existing stockpiles, but still seems curious to me.

-Larry

I don’t imagine the shoot any DU rounds during training, so the # bought is just for warehouse replacements of expired ammo?

I think that makes sense and maybe the low # is due to no tank war going on at this time. But the practice rounds are also procured in small numbers (around 1500 to less than 5000 per year). Just curious how many practice rounds a tank crew shoots per year (and how many tank crews there are currently), but it seems lower than I would have thought based on these numbers. Interesting anyway.

-Larry