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Comparison of Canister Rounds for Centurion and Abrahms

WO Bob Thompson, Art Armt
Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson
abrahms Abrahms MBT
centurion Centurion MBT
canaster round - abrahms Canister, XM1029 canaster round cutaway- abrahms Cross-section showing payload

The new Abramsí Tank Canister Round is a non-explosive muzzle action short-range anti personnel munition designed to engage dismounted troop concentration, light vehicles and strong points.

In its secondary role, canister creates entry points in buildings for infantry. Canister is in effect a shotgun shell for tanks, releasing 1100 tungsten balls out to an effective range of 700metres.

The canister can be adapted to carry various payloads such as chemical agents.

The cartridge itself comprises of a metal base cap that seals the round in the chamber and is approximately 40mm in height with the remainder of the height 740mm (total 780mm) being combustible cartridge case that is completely consumed during the firing. Total weight is 22.9kg. Type of firing is Percussion firing.

  • Current nomenclature:— M1028 120mm canister round.

centurion canister Canister Rounds

The Centurion Tank Canister Round is a non-explosive muzzle action, short range anti personal munition, designed to engage dismounted troops and according to 5th Royal Tank Regiment UK clears thick scrub.

The canister holds approximately 500 steel pellets about the size of a little finger tip.

The cartridge is brass with a plastic/metal type casing to hold the shrapnel. Total weight is 22.5kgs. Scrub clearance in jungle type terrain was tested and recorded as having a depth of 14metres by 6metres at zero elevation and point blank range. In open ground, the width of spread is 31metres, with a depth of 230meters, resultant 89% lethal. At 23metres canister is 100% lethal. Firing Mechanism is electrical.

  • The weight of both the Abramsí Canister and the Centurion Tank Canister are about the same. The M1028 weights 22.9kgs and the Centurion Canister weights 22.5kgs.
  • The shrapnel in the Abramsí is 1100 pellets with the Centurion being 500.
  • The Abramsí M1028-120mm cartridge has an effective killing range of up to 600metres and is so powerful that from a range of 75metres it has the ability to knock a man-sized hole in reinforced concrete walls.
  • General Dynamics Ordnance have produced a Sabot XM1068 that is smaller in diameter that can do a simular job to the canister round in that it can be set to airburst and therefore is lethal and accurate at long range.
  • The Centurion Tank canister round has an effective range up to 300metres with 89% lethal but after that the velocity drops. At close range of 50metres, the spread of shot was 23metres and had the ability to reduce Asian type houses to rubble.

The Abramsí canister is far superior especially as it can be adapted to carry chemicals including nerve gas.

"Army Developing Advanced Ammo for Abrahms tank. ... The M1028 canister".
Stuart Wheeler, Assistant Librarian, The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, UK, BH20 6JG
abrahms Abrahms MBT
centurion Centurion MBT

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