Nexter's New SHARD Arrow Shell Boosts NATO Smoothbore Gun Penetration by 15%

Nexter announced the completion of the qualification process for the SHARD arrow shell on February 29, 2024.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:01 AM, March 1, 2024
  • 794
Nexter's New SHARD Arrow Shell Boosts NATO Smoothbore Gun Penetration by 15%
SHARD arrow shell @Nexter

Nexter, part of the KNDS consortium, completed SHARD arrow shell qualification, boosting NATO 120mm smoothbore gun firepower, and is now set for mass production.

SHARD claims a 15% increase in penetration capabilities, attributed to its design that also reduces barrel wear by 25%. Crafted by KNDS, SHARD enhances the performance of 120mm tungsten alloy shells with features, including a 15% boost in penetration and a 25% reduction in barrel wear, minimizing dispersion.

SHARD features digitally optimized design, a lighter aluminum shoe, an advanced penetrator made from high-performance tungsten alloy, and a propulsion system compliant with the REACH standard. The elongated penetrator, collaboratively designed with Plansee, ensures optimal penetration of the latest armor. SHARD's propulsion system adheres to the REACH standard, ensuring consistent ammunition velocity.

With a 52 caliber gun on the Leclerc, SHARD achieves an initial speed of 1720 m/s, while with the 55 caliber gun on the Leopard 2, it reaches 1734 m/s. Importantly, SHARD is not subject to the ITAR standard, making it compatible with all NATO tanks equipped with 120mm smoothbore guns, including the Leclerc, Leopard 2, M1 Abrams, Ariete, and Centauro 2 tanks. It adheres to Stanag standards 4583 and Interface Control Document 120 (ICD120), providing operational, logistical, and economic advantages with a single arrow shell for all weapon systems.

A demonstration for countries using Leclerc and Leopard 2 tanks took place at the end of 2023 in Alcochête, Portugal. Tests on semi-infinite armor targets showcased the 15% increase in power compared to existing models. Presentations and negotiations are ongoing with numerous countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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