Automatic Ammunition Handling, Loading and Resupply
Controlling the Bullet Flows
As a recognised world leader in ammunition handling, MDSI provides fast, safe and reliable hardware. Many of our systems deliver 300,000 rounds of ammunition - about four years of typical mission activity - before any maintenance is needed.
We understand the impact of weight on the agility of combat machines. Our lean, compact, volumetrically-efficient designs are used on attack helicopters, ground vehicles and gunships.
We also appreciate the need for operational certainty. From 20mm through 155mm, we have developed and fielded lightweight, high-reliability systems on the ground, in the air and at sea.
Our “Linear linkless” design eliminates conventional bullet links from ammunition-handling systems.
The “serpentine” bullet flow moves the ammunition along any line from storage to weapon, quickly and reliably. It also maximises the utilisation of available space for ammunition storage.
The volumetric efficiency and form-factor flexibility of linear linkless designs enable multiple bays (ammunition streams) to be merged at very high speed for single or dual-feed weapons.
We have been designing and developing robotic autoloaders for ground vehicles for over 25 years. These systems are capable of securely handling the required rounds within the volumes available, the rates required and the orientation desired.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter’s 30mm cannon is fed by a Meggitt handling system holding 1200 rounds. It can be interchanged with a 300 round module, mounted with a 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank. This gives the combat commander tactical options for immediate battlefield requirements.
The latest AH-1W “Whiskey” and Z “Zulu” variants of this attack helicopter use our linkless magazine to replace the Cobra’s previously linked and jam-prone 20mm cannon.
The US armed forces have taken the upgraded weapon straight into operational theatres. All US helicopters have been retrofitted along with a host of allied nation helicopters. The warfighter has claimed the reliability improvement with our linkless system is >830%.
For the XM813 Stryker, the saddlebag configuration 75×75 ammunition handling systems marks the US Army’s first entry into linkless feed for ground vehicles.
The highly reliable handling system yields greater than 250,000 MRBF (mean rounds between failure) and removes cumbersome and unreliable links from the system. This solution has become the wave of the future for US and NATO allies for ground vehicles.
The 40mm ammunition handling system (AHS) for the UK Ajax and Warrior vehicles is critical to the performance of these important UK army programs.
The Ajax and Warrior vehicles provide the warfighter with a capability to select between round types and reliably deliver within specified time periods.
The AHS is being qualified through an enhanced spectrum of requirements including live field demonstrations.
Our automatic ammunition handling systems are used by defence forces around the world including the US Army, US Air Force, US Navy, USMC and the UK MoD.
We work closely with the aircraft and vehicle OEMS, such as Boeing and General Dynamics, to design efficient and reliable systems.
Our automatic loaders are a form of battlefield robotics – highly sophisticated pick-and-place robots capable of handling relatively delicate high explosives. As such they are present on numerous fighting ground vehicles and on pioneering programmes within the US Army’s Future Combat Systems initiative.
At Meggitt, we can provide you with an AHS that is specifically designed for your application. To discuss what you need in more detail, please contact us.