Nexter Munitions is introducing the SHARD as an improved Armor-Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) tank ammunition for the NATO standard 120mm smoothbore tank gun. The SHARD specifications comply with STANAG 4385 and ICD 120, ensuring they fit the main guns used on the Leclerc tank, the Leopard 2, the Abrams M1A1/A2, and the C1 Ariete, the main battle tanks used by the majority of main battle tanks used by NATO armored units.
SHARD offers improved terminal ballistic performance thanks to an optimized sabot, an elongated rod manufactured from a new tungsten alloy developed with Plansee Tungsten Alloys. It also uses a new combustible cartridge case and a high-performance, low-erosion propellant developed by EURENCO. These features yield increased penetration capacity combined with very high accuracy.
Nexter plans to complete the design optimization in 2021 and enter the industrial qualification phase in 2022, preparing SHARD for mass production from the end of 2022.
The validation and qualification of innovative technological building blocks in the SHARD program is also one of the milestones in the development of very high-performance munitions for future land combat systems, especially the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). Other innovations in tank ammunition include multimode insensitive ammunition known as “120 IM3M”, elements to counter reactive and active protection, and precision-guided munitions –“120 N-LOS” implementing technologies taken from the KATANA 155mm artillery guided projectile, all developed by Nexter.