EURENCO (Stand N7-330) has released details of two new propellant systems, which have been developed by internal research and development funding since 2015 as part of its Total Ammunition Large Calibre (TALC) propellant project.
The first of these is the NK1404, which is the company’s propellant for 155mm modular charge systems (MCS) used by towed and self-propelled systems. Each MCS contains 2.5kg of NK1404 propellant and so far, more than 500 of these have been fired at the Bofors test range in Sweden at all temperatures and ranges, with good test results claimed. In particular, neither residue at low temperature and no pressure waves at high temperature were observed. According to EURENCO, another series of tests is due to be carried out late in 2017, which will lead to final qualification.
MCS are now rapidly replacing conventional 155mm artillery bag charges, because these are more suitable for use in the automatic ammunition handling systems installed in many of the more recent 155mm self-propelled artillery systems.
For 120mm armoured piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot tank ammunition, EURENCO has developed the GB19T propellant, which completed its second series of firing tests in June 2016 in Bourges, France. This temperature-stable propellant will also soon be qualified and, like the NK1404, has been developed by EURENCO in Karlskoga, Sweden.
In addition, a new REACH-compatible 120mm combustible cartridge case (CCS) has been developed in parallel by the EURENCO research and development teams in Bergerac, France.
All natures of 120mm ammunition fired by the Rheinmetall (Leopard 2) and Nexter (Leclerc) main battle tanks use ammunition with a semi-combustible cartridge case, and all that remains after firing is a stub cartridge case.
The ammunition fired by the Nexter 120mm smoothbore gun installed on the Leclerc MBT has to be barcoded, because the vehicle is fitted with a bustle-mounted automatic loader.