To enable effective engagement of fast aerial targets, medium caliber guns use ammunition offering high rate of fire and short time of flight. On stationary targets, slower munitions means more precise engagement by short bursts or even single shots. Rheinmetall Defense introduced two new versions for its 30mm ammunition, based on its new Fragmenting Payload (FRAP) concept, developed to defeat both “soft” and “hard” targets utilizing the same projectile and fuse. FRAP uses a frangible tungsten penetrator and additional tungsten preformed fragments. This composition result in the design FRAP penetrating the hard, outer skin of the target and then progressively breaking up inside it, releasing a cloud of fragments inside the target.
The Frangible Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot with Tracer (FAPDS-T) type is used as a general purpose ammunition, with sub-caliber “frangible” core. Due to the subcaliber design, the muzzle velocity of this projectile is much higher than a full caliber round. This kinetic energy, coupled with its improved aero-ballistic, render this type shorter flight time and higher hit probability.
Another version is the full caliber Frangible Armor Piercing (FAP) round utilizing the same frangible core and additional preformed fragments, held in molded plastic and steel body. This type is usually used in aircraft, to eliminate the risk of discarding sabot elements. When heavier armor is addressed, APFSDS-T rounds are used, utilizing tungsten made, fin-stabilized sub-caliber to reach maximum muzzle velocity and low drag characteristic with long rod penetrator.