The 120mm Compact Automatic Magazine allows thirty-four powered, moveable rounds of ammunition to be instantly and automatically accessible and reside in the same volume in which thirty-four stationary rounds were previously stored.
Using the M1 Abrams turret bustle as a baseline, the 120mm Compact Automatic Magazine maintains the same level of anti-fratricide protection for the rounds, retains the upward-venting, pressure relief blow-off panels for crew and vehicle survivability, and brings the chosen round to the loader as opposed to the loader searching stationary racks for the right type of round. No transfer of ammunition is necessary between reserve and ready magazine segments as all of the rounds in the automatic magazine are ready rounds.
The virtual memory of the control system retains the inventory of ammunition types and locations as they are loaded into the magazine. When the gunner selects ammunition type with his switch on the turret control yoke, the desired round travels to the blast port where a crewman or a robotic loader can easily, quickly and safely make the transfer from the magazine to the gun.
The double row of ammunition canisters is powered by a pair of electric or hydraulic motors housed in the isogrid of the magazine chassis. A firing rate of up to fifteen rounds per minute can be supported by this drive system.