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Challenger 2 to get L55 smoothbore

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posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 03:19 AM

The Challenger Lethality Improvement Programme (CLIP), which includes the replacement of the current 120 mm L30 series rifled tank gun with a 120 mm L/55 smoothbore gun, will be rolled into the C2 CSP. The FSG has been funding CLIP for several years, and the first unmanned firing of the weapon installed in a Challenger 2 MBT took place in early 2006

Along with moving into Tungsten over the more used DU they are bringing a `cleaner` capability to the fleet. Amazing gun on *probably* the most heavily armoured chassis in the world.

mod edit: changed to external quote tags

Quote Reference (review link)

[edit on 12-6-2007 by UK Wizard]

posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 10:46 AM
Whilst I understand that rifled barrels wear more quickly than smooth bores, The British Army has always claimed that the superior accuracy of rifled barrels (particularly over longer ranges) was the decisive factor in sticking with them, despite virtually every other MBT using a smooth bore gun. Why the change in policy? Is it simply down to standardisation issues?

posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 03:03 PM

Originally posted by Fang
Why the change in policy? Is it simply down to standardisation issues?

Going from what I've heard said about the boards I believe the ammunition that is now generally being fielded benefits from a smooth bore barrel over the rifled barrel, though I'm not entirely sure.

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 design.

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 obsolete.

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.

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 01:26 PM
Sorry Lonestar, but the so called anti-spin rings you speak about in the sentance, 'Because of these reasons the APFSDS and HEAT rounds designed for the Challenger´s L30 gun have anti-spin rings' do not exist.

These rings are collars that hold the discarding sabot halves together and are discarded [along with the sabot] when it leaves the muzzle.

As to your very bold statement about rifled barrels not being accurate, I refer you to a reply I made in the following thread:

Unfortunately, the MOD link did not highlight.


[edit on 13-6-2007 by fritz]

posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 02:42 PM
I saw a pic of the Challenger 2 with the new gun, could hardly tell it was different from previous gun.


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