posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 12:39 PM
Originally posted by Fang
...Why the change in policy? Is it simply down to standardisation issues?
The "higher accuracy" claim was bogus to begin with. Yes, technically a spinning round has a hgiher inert accuracy. Problem is that the worldwide
main ammunition types are saboted KE penetrators and HEAT. The penetrators become actually unstable when spinning, they have their own fins for
stabilization. The hollow charge warheads loose a great deal of penetration power when theay spin. Because of these reasons the APFSDS and HEAT rounds
designed for the Challenger´s L30 gun have anti-spin rings.
So what you have are rounds that have no benefit from the rifling because they just don´t spin, but still suffer from the deficiencies of the weapon
in that it cannot build up as much pressure as the L44/55 smoothbores. Challenger 1s have routinely come last in tank shooting exercises with Germany
and the USA in the pre-90s. Granted, the Challenger 2 uses an upgraded L30 cannon version and has a new targetting system; still the devil is in the
That leaves us with the lovechild of british tankers, the HESH round, which is the only common tank round that benefits from the spin. Apparently a
highly effective weapon against fortifications and lightly skinned vehicles (its basically a lump of explosives), but its becoming technically
First, there is a new generation of multiporpose HE(AT) rounds that offer a wider array of tactical flexibility. Second, modern armoured vehicles are
increasingly armoured with spaced armour and spall liners, two systems that basically negate the working principle of a HESH round.
As a last reason for the policy shift, it has been announced that the british rifling-adopted penetrators are in dire need for a technical upgrade,
but the MOD just won´t stem that bill given that there are zero export chances. Also I have heard that Brits want to go away from Depleted Uranium
towards tungsten penetrators, though that may be hearsay.