Eurosatory 2016

Gun for future tanks [ES2016D1]

13 June 2016

Rheinmetall (External Pe6b, Stand D261-211) is presenting its latest 130mm smoothbore tank gun developed by Rheinmetall Waffe and Munition. The first technical demonstrator was completed in May 2016, and following its unveiling at Eurosatory, will start its company firing trials from a static stand at the Rheinmetall proving ground.

The gun is an L/51 weapon and features a vertical sliding breech mechanism and increased chamber volume and is chrome-lined.

Including its recoil system, it weighs about 3,000kg, with the barrel on its own weighing 1,400kg. It is not fitted with a muzzle brake. The example being shown here is fitted with a thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system, which will be used for the forthcoming firing trials.

The gun will fire a new armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) round, which will feature a semi-combustible cartridge case, new propellant and a new advanced long rod tungsten penetrator.

This will be followed by a new 130mm high-explosive air-bursting munition (HE ABM), which will leverage from the 120mm DM11 HE ABM currently in production for the home and export markets for use with the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 and L/55 smoothbore tank guns.

Both the 130mm APFSDS and HE ABM rounds will be insensitive munition compliant, which is being demanded by an increasing number of customers.

The gun and its family of ammunition are being aimed at future main battle tank (MBT) or direct fire platform applications, but could potentially be backfitted to existing MBTs to enhance their firepower in the face of the higher levels of protection now being provided on some of the more recent MBTs such as the Russian Armata T-14 MBT and the latest versions of the T-90 MBT.

(279 words)