Author Topic: Upgunned LeClerc  (Read 2557 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Upgunned LeClerc
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:33:11 »
Nice looking upgrade of the main gun to 140mm 55 caliber.This is not being looked at seriously at this time but it could. The debate I think is the advantage of staying with the 120mm over 140mm or 152mm. Bigger bullets reduce the amount that can be carried.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/france-just-showed-new-tank-sporting-massive-main-gun-21797

http://ftr.wot-news.com/2017/05/07/140mm-leclerc/


Offline Colin P

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 10:25:37 »
The actual calibre change is only 10mm a side, so less than a inch. I bet a lot of that could be recovered by altering trays and feeds. The real space issue will likely be changes to the case, if that is longer or substantially wider. Which according to Google Fu is a honking big round. More pictures here https://www.militaryimages.net/threads/french-army.6330/ 


Offline Nerf herder

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 15:26:47 »
The problem isn't just the ammo storage due to increased length, it's also increased recoil loads on the chassis, gun cradle, trunnions etc.

The possibility of it being a true drop in modification would be slim, as it is with the new Rheinmetall 130mm gun for the Leopard 2. It can be done with that tank, but modifications have to be done for ammo length for storage. Also, the buffers, recuperators have to be reworked and there's some mods for the size of them as well inside the turret.

There's been a 140mm Rheinmetall gun available since the mid 80s, but there is even more issues with the amount of kinetic energy that gun puts out to the point a new tank would have to be designed to support it, thus it being abandoned back then.

Regards
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 17:43:53 »
I seem to recall the 140mm cannon was indeed designed to be a "drop in" replacement, although a lot of the other stuff would have to be changed (including the fire control system). The key reason the 140mm cannon wasn't pursued turned out to be the collapse of the USSR, and the subsequent evaporation of the threat of future Soviet tanks like the putative "T-95". Other programs from the same period, like the American "Block III" program to upgrade all the armoured fleet with 80 ton behemoths also died a quiet death.

If anything, conventional tank gun artillery is about where modern rifles are; at the peak of evolutionary development. The costs of pushing for another few percent improvement in performance are far more than can be justified, and when you consider that even the classic L-7 105mm cannon from the Leopard 1 hits the target with 13 million foot pounds of energy, I suggest no modern tank will drive away from a kinetic energy strike from a 120mm round in any condition to keep fighting.

The future was probably presaged in the 1980's with several American projects like TERM (Tank Extended Range Munitions), a "smart" top attack round, and "X-Rod", which had a booster rocket attached to the penetrator. The ROK army has actually developed and put TERM technology in service with the K-STAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) round The Russians and Israelis have perfected through tube missiles like LAHAT, which can attack targets up to 13 km away with a spotter, and we can also think that longer term electro-chemical propellants will replace current propellants and farther on electromagnetic railgun technology will finally be scaled to tanks.

Short term I suspect the trend will be to 55 calibre gun barrels and a mixture of advanced APDS-FS rounds for close in work and "smart" rounds to allow tanks to extend the battlespace (K-STAM has a range of 8 Km and LAHAT can fire out to 13 km), and HEAT-MP for anything which isn't a tank.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 18:25:59 »
There's been a 140mm Rheinmetall gun available since the mid 80s, but there is even more issues with the amount of kinetic energy that gun puts out to the point a new tank would have to be designed to support it, thus it being abandoned back then.

Regards

This might be a good argument there for re-introducing a SP anti-tank gun, with the ability to drop in upgraded guns as the technology advances.
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Offline Nerf herder

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 00:26:55 »
I seem to recall the 140mm cannon was indeed designed to be a "drop in" replacement, although a lot of the other stuff would have to be changed (including the fire control system). The key reason the 140mm cannon wasn't pursued turned out to be the collapse of the USSR, and the subsequent evaporation of the threat of future Soviet tanks like the putative "T-95".

No, the actual reason was the stresses on the turret, key splitting some of the welds and the platform rock was too much beyond 45 degrees from the 12 o'clock position as well as binding the turret ring bearings. Then there was also the issue of storing rounds that were almost 5 feet in length in tubes only four feet long.

I won't even get into the kinetic loads from the recoil system.

I'd like to know why you think the IFCS/SFCS of a 130mm gun needs changing? Seems the Germans did it just fine with the current EMES 15 setup.

Quote
If anything, conventional tank gun artillery is about where modern rifles are; at the peak of evolutionary development. The costs of pushing for another few percent improvement in performance are far more than can be justified, and when you consider that even the classic L-7 105mm cannon from the Leopard 1 hits the target with 13 million foot pounds of energy, I suggest no modern tank will drive away from a kinetic energy strike from a 120mm round in any condition to keep fighting.

The average 120mm APFSDS-T penetrator has about 19 mega joules of kenitic energy when striking a target. Lots of M1s and Challengers were hit by 125mm rounds and shrugged them off due to Armour composition and geometry.

There is a reason why most modern armies have gotten rid of 105mm cannons.

Quote
The future was probably presaged in the 1980's with several American projects like TERM (Tank Extended Range Munitions), a "smart" top attack round, and "X-Rod", which had a booster rocket attached to the penetrator. The ROK army has actually developed and put TERM technology in service with the K-STAM (Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition) round The Russians and Israelis have perfected through tube missiles like LAHAT, which can attack targets up to 13 km away with a spotter, and we can also think that longer term electro-chemical propellants will replace current propellants and farther on electromagnetic railgun technology will finally be scaled to tanks.

Many of the countries you talk about also have passive and active missile Defense systems. There are also many out there in development that make missiles irrelevant. Rail guns won't be practical in our lifetime.

Quote
Short term I suspect the trend will be to 55 calibre gun barrels and a mixture of advanced APDS-FS rounds for close in work and "smart" rounds to allow tanks to extend the battlespace (K-STAM has a range of 8 Km and LAHAT can fire out to 13 km), and HEAT-MP for anything which isn't a tank.

HEAT is going the way of the dodo. There are many other chemical energy round and kinetic that do a much better job  the only good thing about HEAT is it has the same effect at all ranges, however modern armour countermeasures reduces it considerably.

As for the venerable L55 (of which I'm a fan for obvious reasons) will more than likely be dropped for a reliable 130mm turret with the proper mods being done to it. That extra 1.7m barrel length makes it difficult to conduct any sort of fighting in built up areas. A 44 caliber cannon allows for manoeuvreability and the increased KE will out do a 120mm 55 cal gun any day.

As for range, guys were taking shots well beyond the given ranges you can find in Wikipedia in Afghanistan. Americans were killing targets over 5000m during the last Iraq war with the same gun we have. The issue is optics and their ability to zoom in at these extreme ranges, which are rare engagement ranges within the tanker community.

Regards
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Offline Nerf herder

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 00:31:41 »
This might be a good argument there for re-introducing a SP anti-tank gun, with the ability to drop in upgraded guns as the technology advances.

Actually Germany and France are currently developing a test bed for the next version of the Leopard utilizing either the 130 or 140(using an auto loader it's thought).

Regards
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 01:12:17 »
Actually Germany and France are currently developing a test bed for the next version of the Leopard utilizing either the 130 or 140(using an auto loader it's thought).

Regards

There also was a Leopard 2-140, it was a test only due to the cold war ending but it was to be the answer to the Soviet 152mm tank cannons. 
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Offline MCG

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 01:33:57 »
Actually Germany and France are currently developing a test bed for the next version of the Leopard utilizing either the 130 or 140(using an auto loader it's thought).

Regards
That project has its own thread:

https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,120146.0.html

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Re: Upgunned LeClerc
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 15:15:36 »
If anything, conventional tank gun artillery is about where modern rifles are; at the peak of evolutionary development. The costs of pushing for another few percent improvement in performance are far more than can be justified, and when you consider that even the classic L-7 105mm cannon from the Leopard 1 hits the target with 13 million foot pounds of energy, I suggest no modern tank will drive away from a kinetic energy strike from a 120mm round in any condition to keep fighting.

I respectfully disagree. Tanks can and will shrug off hits from other tanks. M1A1s whacked each-other in the face with Silver Bullets a few times, no damage. That was during the Gulf War, before they had the DU armour, or the ERA. How'd they survive firepower of that magnitude? Composite armour.

Modern tank armour is weird voodoo stuff. It's a composite of steel, ceramic, aluminium, U-238, rubber, explosives, plastic, and some other stuff besides (tank dependent). We talk about its effectiveness in mm Rolled Homogeneous Armour equivalent (mmRHAe), how much armour plate you'd need to have the same protection. It's also differentiated for attacks by kinetic projectiles, or attacks by shaped charges. Most armour (especially when ERA is involved) is drastically more effective versus shaped charges than KE. The exact numbers are (obviously) not published, but we have some good estimates.

The hull and turret front of a T-72A varies from ~300-550mm RHAe. As a comparison, this:



is the citadel of USS New Jersey, 17 inches of solid steel (which, *25.4, is about 430mm). The T-72A, a decidedly mediocre tank, has as much armour as a battleship.

What about something a little more upscale? Leopard 2A4 has 750mm vs KE on the turret. Challenger 2 is reckoned to have a whopping 1250mm vs. KE, and as much as 2000mm vs. HEAT on the cheeks. Armata is "supposed" to have 1000mm on the front.

Now, to counter this, we have absolutely massive guns. The Rheinmetall 120mm/L55 puts out about twice as much energy as the 105mm L7 (designation, not caliber). Throwing DM53, it'll penetrate maybe 800mm RHAe (again, estimated, not published). That's almost enough to go in one side of that battleship and out the other! Still not enough to penetrate a Chally 2 or an Armata (maybe). Hence, the need for a bigger gun. Despite your assertions of only few more percent, Rheinmetall believe they can get 50% more pen out of the 130mm/L51 (though, of course, I'll believe it only when I see it).

Short term I suspect the trend will be to 55 calibre gun barrels and a mixture of advanced APDS-FS rounds for close in work and "smart" rounds to allow tanks to extend the battlespace (K-STAM has a range of 8 Km and LAHAT can fire out to 13 km), and HEAT-MP for anything which isn't a tank.

Following on what Nerf herder said, missiles ain't that great in a world where everyone has an APS, laser detectors (sucks to be you, LAHAT spotters), jammers, and smokescreens. Can't jam a big angry heavy metal dart, though.
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