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Northrop Grumman XM913 future 50mm automatic cannon for next generation IFV of US Army

American Company Northrop Grumman continues to deliver its XM913 50mm automatic cannon to the U.S. Army that could be integrated into the next generation of IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) that would replace the current tracked armored IFV of U.S. Army.
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New Northrop Grumman XM913 50mm automatic cannon at AUSA defense exhibition, October 2019. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Next Generation of Combat Vehicles, or NGCV, allows the U.S. Army to achieve combat vehicle overmatch in close combat against the pacing threat. It delivers decisive lethality with manned and unmanned teaming as part of a combined arms team in the future operating environment.

The CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center leads the command’s support to U.S. Army NGCV modernization efforts and the NGCV Cross Functional Team, with additional support from the command’s Army Research Laboratory, and Armaments, C5ISR, and Aviation & Missile centers.

According to the Janes defense website, the U.S. army has already received four XM913 cannons and Northrop Grumman plans to deliver seven more by the end of October, this year. The U.S. Army could conduct qualification, testing, and integration activities in 2021.

In October 2019, Northrop Grumman has unveiled the XM913 50mm Bushmaster at the AUSA (Association of the United States Army) defense exhibition and conference that was held in Washington D.C., United States. The XM193 is based on the proven Bushmaster III 35/50 design and is intended to provide increased capability against modern infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) designs along with counter-UAS (unmanned aerial systems).

The XM913 weapon developed in partnership with Northrop Grumman Defense Systems improves upon traditional chain gun technology. New design improvements will enhance the weapon’s precision and accuracy through optimized mechanical design and advanced weapon control systems.

The XM913 50mm cannon can hit ranges more than twice as far as the roughly 2-kilometer range of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles existing M242 25mm cannon. The 50mm is being engineered to address this potential disparity, by hitting ranges well over 4 km. The 50mm cannon can blend a variety of emerging, high-tech armored vehicle attack technologies into a single system — to include advanced fire-control, automated targeting sensors, next-gen ammunition, new computer processing speed, and longer-range medium caliber attack options.

Northrop Grumman XM913 future 50mm automatic cannon for next generation IFV of US Army 925 002
General Dynamics Griffin technology demonstrator fitted with XM913 50mm automatic cannon. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Currently, the US Army works on the Advanced Lethality and Accuracy System for Medium Caliber (ALAS-MC) program, with the goal to provide superior medium caliber weapon system performance and lethality as compared to currently fielded systems worldwide. Moreover, it is designed to provide greater target standoff, improved precision, and accuracy.

Key features of the system include high explosive airburst ammunition for optimized effects against personnel targets, behind walls and in the open; armor-piercing ammunition for optimized effects against materiel targets; integrated fire control enhancements; graphical user interface, and enhanced laser rangefinder. Integrated into the design are the 50mm automatic cannon, known as the XM913, capable of firing both XM1204 High Explosive Airburst with Trace (HEAB-T), and XM1203 Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APFSDS-T) munitions. The HEAB-T and APFSDS-T cartridges were designed and developed by Picatinny engineers and manufactured by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

In April 2019, a live-fire demonstration was held at the 'Big Sandy' test range, Arizona. It provides international attendees with a first look at a number of developments in the progression of the Northrop Grumman Bushmaster Chain Gun family including, the first public firing of the 50mm XM913 chain gun.

During AUSA 2018, American company General Dynamics has presented its Griffin Technology Demonstrator fitted with a turret armed with XM913 50mm cannon. The General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Griffin III technology demonstrator based on tracked armored vehicle chassis is one of the candidates for the OMFV (Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle) program of the U.S. Army. The vehicle is based on the British Ajax scout vehicle chassis. The Griffin III mounted a 50 mm cannon and could accommodate an APS (Active Protection System) and host unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Griffin II has a crew of two and the rear of the vehicle can accommodate six infantry soldiers.

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