Vehicles, structure walls and other obstacles don't stand a chance -- and neither do the targets behind them. After recent achievements, the M1028 120mm Canister will soon be available where it's needed most -- on the frontlines.
The modern 120mm M1028 is designed not for artillery, but for the Abrams tank in close battle (Courtesy photo)

By Frank Altamura and Jack Crowley
Armaments Research, Development and Engineering Center
June 24, 2005 brought another milestone to the M1028 Integrated Product Team when it achieved type classification standard of the 120mm canister round. 

The achievement follows closely their urgent release action, with rounds from early lots already headed to where they will do the most good. 
The earlier significant accomplishment happened in 2004, when the IPT successfully reached its milestone C, Type Classification for Low Rate Production Review, and the recommendation for urgent release to deployed forces by the Materiel Release Acceptance Board.

The 120mm M1028 Canister, formerly the XM1028, product and core team were honored recently as being one of the top ten Army inventions of 2004.
By December 7, 2004, the M1028 documentation and performance had been reviewed by the staff of the Program Executive Officer for Ammunition. Then, the program's executive officer, Brig. Gen. Paul S. Izzo, was briefed by Frank Altamura, the Office of the Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition System's item manager, and key staff. Izzo then signed the milestone decision authority documentation, which granted authority for the program to move forward into low-rate initial production.

Shortly after milestone C was approved, two urgent fielding requests were received by OPM-MAS in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One request came from the Marine Corps. The second request came from Coalition Forces Land Component Command. The Coalition Forces UFR, approved by the G-3, was processed to respond to a request from the 1st Cavalry Division that was deployed to Iraq. The entire low-rate initial production lot is going to Iraq to support the current conflict.

Altamura said that in order to meet the urgent fielding requirement, “We were fortunate to have several existing components tested and available from other 120mm family of cartridges. The primer train, combustible cartridge case and reclaimed propellant all went 'into the mix.'"

“We are also extremely pleased that the M1028 is the first 120mm tank round to be fully insensitive-munitions compliant as certified by the Army Insensitive Munitions Board,” he added.
The M1028 has also demonstrated effectiveness against other targets. The cartridge has been successfully tested against vehicles, structure walls and for obstacle reduction capabilities. Lethality has even been demonstrated on targets behind these structures.

The M1028 adds a really powerful tool for our tank crews and the troops they support. We will soon be able to more than ‘honor' these types of threats; we'll be able to effectively address them,” said Lt. Col. Ken Tarcza, OPM MAS' product manager.

The Marine Corps had the opportunity to fire a handful of the M1028 rounds during their gunnery training exercise in February at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in preparation for re-deployment to Iraq. Feedback was that the rounds impressed the tankers as well as a battalion commander from the 2nd Marine Division and the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division beyond their expectations.
While our industry partners are generating the first lots of low-rate production, our partners at Fort Knox, Ky. and the ranges are speeding to develop the training, tactics and procedures needed to quickly field the M1028 to where it's needed,” said Col. Mark Rider, PM MAS.

As our ammunition support teams have gone into the area of responsibility to investigate what our Soldiers need most. Our Soldiers and their leaders are very excited about being able to add canister to their inventories -- the quicker the better.” Rider added.

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By Frank Altamura and Jack Crowley