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IMI Systems has developed and is currently manufacturing a new round that combines the advantages of 5.56mm & 7.62mm rounds. This ammunition is already being evaluated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The new round has been developed by the company’s Small Caliber Ammunition Division based on IDF combat experience and the operational requirements received from the company’s international clients.
“There is no better place than the IDF to assess the new operational requirements. The IDF has been fighting in all possible combat scenarios, including some that are unique to the asymmetric fighting that the world is experiencing” an Israeli expert stated. In the modern battlefield where new armor are used by soldiers, the existing 5.56mm with different types such as M193, M855 are not sufficient anymore, and the new IMI 5.56APM is an answer for the future battlefield.
The standard 5.56mm round is used in many types of assault rifles while the 7.62mm round is usually used in machine guns. Army units have had to carry both calibers because of their relative advantages in dealing with different combat situations.
the company claims that its new 5.56mm Armor Piercing Match (APM) round has better accuracy & penetration than standard 5.56mm adding that tests have proven the new round provides better accuracy than 7.62mm at ranges of up to 550 meters and better penetration at a range of 800 meters.
This level of performance makes the new 5.56mm APM round a replacement for 7.62mm thereby enhancing the combat unit’s uniformity in the field as they will need to carry one type of ammunition only.
The new 5.56mm APM round is of the FMJ-BT Hard Core APHC type with a projectile weight of 73 grains and cartridge weight of 12.9 grams.
Penetration is also higher. When fired on a NATO 3.4mm steel plate the new round achieved 100% penetration up to 800 meters.
The company says that the development was achieved by a new bullet design, the type of powder used & the way the bullet is inserted into its shell casing. A company source said that the new 5.56mm APM round actually provides the combat soldier with the fire power of a platoon.
The new round can be used in assault rifles, including M16, M4 and wide types of 5.56mm rifles and machine guns.
The new round comes to the market when the U.S Marine Corps is exploring new rounds to replace the corps’ standard 5.56mm M855 round.