ARL research expertise behind Army's enhanced performance round, a "wide capability" munition fielded in theater since 2010.

May 10, 2012

In the summer of 2010, U.S. fighting forces in Afghanistan received a new, better performing small caliber munition, thanks to a PEO Ammunition led, Defense Department collaborative effort that relied on the technical expertise of Army Research Laboratory scientists and engineers who are experts in ballistics and lethality research.

For the first time since the 1980s, the U.S. Army fielded a new ball cartridge for its 5.56 mm small caliber weapon system. The Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems at Picatinny Arsenal, working with a team of Army experts from ARL, the Research Development and Engineering Command and defense contractor Alliant Techsystems, fielded the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round (EPR) as a dramatic improvement to hard target penetration while providing consistent soft target performance - addressing U.S. Soldiers issues seen during combat operations.

ARL began working on this project in 2004, providing technical leadership; producing significant results from basic research in aerodynamics, propulsion, materials science, and terminal effects along with applying advanced simulation and experiment capabilities in the areas of propulsion development, structural projectile design, aerodynamics, and terminal effects (hard and soft targets). Overall, the program fired more than one million rounds to demonstrate the new cartridge met or exceeded all expectations.


Last Update / Reviewed: May 10, 2012