- Apr 18, 2010
130mm L51 gun is out of the question, everybody who has seen it says that it can't be loaded by a human loader, shells are just too big. But 120mm L55 gun basically has the same breech, obviously this is the correct length for this gun.With the gun on Abramsx demonstrator that could be introduce in future Abrams, most like it won't happen. Unless the U.S. Army combines both in terms of length, lighter gun and more powerful gun chamber on it. Depends on the threat of Russian and Chinese tanks. So far we haven't seen the need for it yet. Other countries especially in Europe are introducing the 130mm gun as well as more powerful 120mm L55A1 which has a gun chamber pressure to handle more powerful rounds being introduce. Those are mature tech and can be implemented on the Abrams. Just a reminder that a longer and more powerful chamber gun would require turret change and so on into the future Abrams.
New 120 mm gun and ammunition; a 20% performance increase in the coming years - EDR MagazineWhile Rheinmetall’s new 120 mm smoothbore gun, known as L55A1, is already available and is in series production for Germany,www.edrmagazine.eu
While Rheinmetall’s new 120 mm smoothbore gun, known as L55A1, is already available and is in series production for Germany, Denmark and Hungary, fitted to the Leopard 2A7V MBT, the second element that will bring increased performances, the new APFSDS round, has still to come. As for the gun, Rheinmetall released the pressure differences between the L44 gun and the L55A1, which feature the same chamber volume that is of approximately 10 litres. The Extreme Service Condition Pressure (ESCP) is raised from 672 to 700 MPa, the Permissible Maximum Pressure (PMP) from 710 to 735 MPa, and the Design Pressure from 740 to 760 MPa. This pressure increase is vital to obtain the performances increases that the two rounds under development will bring with them.
The first one to enter service will be the DM73, which should reach qualification by year-end and will ensure an 8% performance increase over current DM53/DM63 rounds. However the round that will “squeeze” all the remaining growth potential from the 120 mm smoothbore weapon system will be the KE2020Neo; while the DM73 is an upgraded version of previous rounds, this one is a brand new development which qualification should start in 2024 to be completed by 2026, when it will become available on the market. The forecasted increase in performances should reach 20% compared to current armour piercing ammunition.
Switch to the L55 gun between Leopard 2A5 and Leopard 2A6 was rather straightforward. Americans could have done the same thing. It's just remarkable that they still haven't done so.
I guess it's just that re-arming some 2500+ tanks would be too expensive to be considered.