• Two Australian F-35s over the Hopi Reservation, Arizona, USA.
    Two Australian F-35s over the Hopi Reservation, Arizona, USA. Defence

Rheinmetall has launched a new munition product in Australia designed specifically for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The 25mm Frangible Armour Piercing (FAP) ammunition, which is already in service with the USAF, is designed to engage vehicles in air-to-ground engagement and aircraft in air-to-air engagements.

The ammunition combines a high penetration performance, low dispersion, and handling safety.

“The 25mm FAP is a true all-purpose munition for the twenty-first century,” Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said.

“Importantly, the FAP technology contains no explosives, ensuring maximum safety in the aircraft or in storage and transportation, as well as enabling it to be used in training.”

The 25mm FAP ammunition expands Rheinmetall’s munitions activities in Australia. The company is working with its munitions partner NIOA to establish and operate a $60 million 155mm artillery shell forging facility in Maryborough, Queensland. The plant is designed to be able to manufacture steel artillery shell cases for the domestic and export markets.

The Queensland Government recently announced that it will contribute $7.5 million towards the build.

The FAP round was specifically developed by Rheinmetall for NATO air forces to provide the F-35 a non-DU and non-HE cartridge to engage modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) at extreme slant ranges while still able to engage aircraft in air-to-air engagements.

Unlike conventional aircraft ammunition, FAP cartridges do not ricochet as the projectile core disintegrates upon impact.

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