Firing First XM-1147 AMP Round
by U.S. Army Capt. Tobias Cukale
November 10, 2021
Two crews from Crazy Horse Company, 1st
Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,
4th Infantry Division made armor history in September 2021 at Yuma
Proving Grounds, Arizona, a testing and training complex first
developed by Gen. George Patton.
The crews, led by 2nd Lt. Jake Hall and
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Smearman, was the first to fire the XM-1147
Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round, an experimental round that has
been in development for over a decade.
Soldiers assigned to Crazy Horse Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division test the XM-1147 Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona
in September 2021.
(U.S. Army photo illustration courtesy of Maj. Michael Brabner)
The intent is to replace four 120mm rounds
currently in use: the M830A1 Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank (MPAT), the
M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), the M1028 canister (CAN)
round, and the M908 obstacle reducing (OR) round.
During testing, the crews fired 86 service
rounds, testing the AMP’s capabilities under multiple scenarios and
against various intended targets.
"Being able to see the effects that this
round was able to have downrange, engaging a multitude of targets,
bunkers, walls, troop targets, armored vehicles, it's a very
functional round; instead of having five different rounds, it brings
it down to two," Hall said.
The AMP round had spent over
fifteen years in development before the testing began, and the crews
were well aware of the historical impact the tests would have for
the Army and the Armor branch as a whole.
incredible.” Smearman said, “To be out there doing what we’re doing,
to be able to set forward the future of (M1) Abrams development, and
the fact we were the first ones out there, probably be the only ones
who have hands-on this round for a long time, to be able to set that
historically, we felt honored to be out there.”
the U.S. Army utilizes five 120mm service rounds, each with a unique
purpose and intended target. The M830 HEAT and M830A1 MPAT rounds
are primarily designed for light armor targets and, in the case of
the MPAT, aerial targets. The M1028 CAN round is intended to engage
troop targets over the max effective range of the mounted machine
guns, and the OR is designed for obstacle reduction.
The AMP encompasses all four of these
rounds, with additional capabilities such as breaching reinforced
walls. For tank crews, this versatility serves a vital purpose in
addressing the ‘Battle Carry Dilemma’ and giving two invaluable
resources: time and space.
“What this round has done is it’s
going to make tactical planning in an operational environment a lot
easier. The term that we use is ‘Battle-Carry,’ what round we have
in the breach when we enter combat, usually that’s going to be
decided by what we expect the enemy to be throwing at us if we’re
expecting tanks, we’re going to battle carry SABOT, our tank
defeating round,” Smearman explained. “[The AMP] allows us to
battle-carry that round without fear of running into a different
While the AMP remains in development, the Iron
Brigade has steadily upgraded its M1A2 Abrams fleet, with tank crews
spending many long nights and early mornings sending their platforms
to receive the material and software upgrades required to utilize
it. For the crews of Crazy Horse, that day can’t come soon enough.
“One of the questions they asked us during the focus group
was ‘would we feel confident taking this round into an operational
environment?” And it was a resounding ‘yes’ from all of us,”
Smearman said. “I’d take it to hell and back
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