Manufacturer: Meggitt Defense Systems, Inc.  
Product type: Weapons & Weapon Systems  
Name: Autoloader  

Compact autotoloader

The compact autoloader is an all-electric, fully automatic ammunition handling system designed for easy integration into the M1 weapon station. The magazine subsystem stores 34 ready rounds of 120 mm ammunition in the envelope of the M1 bustle. The transfer unit resides completely behind the recoil path of the cannon. Its operational swept volume does not encroach into any useable space within the turret, thus allowing the retention of the full four man crew.

The magazine design utilizes a double-row, closed-loop chain of canisters providing outstanding volumetric storage efficiency. Rounds are brought to a designated pick-off point which eliminates the requirement for the current large bustle blast doors in favor of a solid armored bulkhead featuring a small blast port.

Fratricide protection is provided for the 17 inner row canisters, and the existing pressure relief blow-off panels are retained, maintaining the M1's excellent survivability characteristics.

The transfer unit incorporates three degrees of freedom, all closed-loop control, operating in concert to extract, reorient, and load the selected round into the main gun at any weapon elevation between minus three degrees through plus ten degrees. The compact autoloader provides the crew with the ability to fire 12 rounds per minute, on the move, thereby taking maximum advantage of the advances in fire control technology and the digitized battlefield.

The compact autoloader features automatic ammunition inventory, high system reliability, graceful system degradation, and complete manual backup.

Property Value
Ammunition in the autoloader
Main weapon caliber (mm)

Included in:
Product Amount
M1A2 Abrams (Main battle tank)

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