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  #3511  
Old 21 Jul 09, 17:32
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Definately Leopard 2 to Leopard 2 A5 top; Leopard 2 A6 bottom.
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  #3512  
Old 21 Jul 09, 18:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar1 View Post
Definately Leopard 2 to Leopard 2 A5 top; Leopard 2 A6 bottom.
That's the easiest ones out of the way.

For the Leo 2 with L/44 I would count all variants up to and including Leo 2A5 the Strv 122, Leo 2 PSO, and Leo 2A5 DK.

Under the Leo 2A6 I would include the 2A6M, Leo 2 HEL, Leo 2E, Leo 2A6EX.


So far, the score simply looks like this:

L/44: Leo 2A5

L/55: Leo 2A6

But of course there's many more to go
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  #3513  
Old 21 Jul 09, 18:17
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Rheinmetall's L/44

Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

M256

Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia.

KM256

Sth Korea.

Type 90

Japan.

Rheinmetall's L/55

Canada, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain.

World Industries Ace L/55

Sth Korea.

The Challenger II may also get the L/55 version one day, two have trialed it.....
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  #3514  
Old 21 Jul 09, 18:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achtung Baby View Post
Rheinmetall's L/44

Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

M256

Australia, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia.

KM256

Sth Korea.

Type 90

Japan.

Rheinmetall's L/55

Canada, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain.

World Industries Ace L/55

Sth Korea.

The Challenger II may also get the L/55 version one day, two have trialed it.....
Nice list

So in addition to the 2A5 and 2A6 I presume you are referring to the M1, K1A1, Type 90, K2 and Challenger 2. Any others you'd like to add that list
Don't forget that there are tanks that use Rheinmetall derived guns as well (incl. prototypes).


Updating the tally so far:

L/44: Leo 2A5, M1, K1A1, Type 90

L/55: Leo 2A6, K2, Challenger 2
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  #3515  
Old 21 Jul 09, 20:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEP View Post
Challenger 2
Not so sure that should count. The Chally2's weapon is basically L30 with a smooth bore barrel taken from the L/55. The trouble is the L30 has a very compact breach compared to the German gun. So there's insufficient space for the Rheinmetall 120mm. Add in the two piece ammo storage currently installed and you'd need an entirely new turret.

The initial problems was that when it fired the signature was too intense. By all accounts they've now fixed that issue.
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  #3516  
Old 22 Jul 09, 03:47
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- Do we count IMI 120mm gun, found on israeli Merkava tank, and M60T Sabra upgrade?

- Italian Ariete tank (L44)

- prototype of turkish Altay
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  #3517  
Old 22 Jul 09, 07:24
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Originally Posted by Listy View Post
Not so sure that should count. The Chally2's weapon is basically L30 with a smooth bore barrel taken from the L/55. The trouble is the L30 has a very compact breach compared to the German gun. So there's insufficient space for the Rheinmetall 120mm. Add in the two piece ammo storage currently installed and you'd need an entirely new turret.

The initial problems was that when it fired the signature was too intense. By all accounts they've now fixed that issue.
You are right, the 120mm L/55 has not of course been adopted across the Challenger 2 range. IIRC firing trails with two vehicle using the German gun began in Jan '06. Though I do not know what the final verdict of these tests is...

However, my intention here is to try and illustrate how ubiquitous the Rheinmetall guns have become. Even if they are not adopted on a particular tank, they represent a benchmark that is difficult to ignore. So for the purposes of this exercise I want to not only mention the production versions, but also include trial applications of the Rheinmetall guns.
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  #3518  
Old 22 Jul 09, 07:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vathra View Post
- Do we count IMI 120mm gun, found on israeli Merkava tank, and M60T Sabra upgrade?

- Italian Ariete tank (L44)

- prototype of turkish Altay
Yes, I would count these as well since they all have their roots in the Rheinmetalls. Each does nonetheless have notable differences. The IMI 120mm gun is for example more compact and uses a different recoil system. The Oto Melara 120mm L/44 on the C1 Ariete for example has an identical gun chamber but slightly different barrel layout.


The tally so far:

L/44: Leo 2A5, M1, K1A1, Type 90, Merkava III/IV, C1 Ariete, M60T Sabra

L/55: Leo 2A6, K2, Challenger 2, presumably Altay

I know of at least of 4 more tanks that have dressed up in a Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 and 2 more of which I'm not entirely certain of the heritage but suspect Rheinmetall involvement.
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Last edited by AEP; 22 Jul 09 at 07:47..
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  #3519  
Old 22 Jul 09, 08:40
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Indian Arjun tank had tests with Rheinmetal gun.
Ukraine T84 Yatagan has some 120mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing NATO standard rounds.
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  #3520  
Old 22 Jul 09, 12:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEP View Post
You are right, the 120mm L/55 has not of course been adopted across the Challenger 2 range. IIRC firing trails with two vehicle using the German gun began in Jan '06. Though I do not know what the final verdict of these tests is...

However, my intention here is to try and illustrate how ubiquitous the Rheinmetall guns have become. Even if they are not adopted on a particular tank, they represent a benchmark that is difficult to ignore. So for the purposes of this exercise I want to not only mention the production versions, but also include trial applications of the Rheinmetall guns.
I can tell you how the program went. CLIP (Challenger lethality improvement Program) is dead. It costs money which the armed forces just don't have. As I said its just the barrel off the L/55, not the gun its self, those come off the L30.
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  #3521  
Old 22 Jul 09, 12:43
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I haven't seen it listed yet but the M1 Abrams has it as well.

Oh my bad i see it now.
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  #3522  
Old 22 Jul 09, 16:29
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Lets add prototypes of:
- Leopard 1A6 prototype
- South African Olifant (Centurion)
- Jordanian M48 upgrade AB9B1
- Italian Centauro (wheeled vehicle)

And of course german version of MBT-70

Last edited by vathra; 22 Jul 09 at 16:35..
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  #3523  
Old 22 Jul 09, 18:26
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Quote:
Lets add prototypes of:

- Italian Centauro (wheeled vehicle)
Actually wheeled AT destroyer for light to medium resistance.
And introduced to Italian army,so it not any more a prototype.
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  #3524  
Old 22 Jul 09, 18:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikolas93TS View Post
Actually wheeled AT destroyer for light to medium resistance.
And introduced to Italian army,so it not any more a prototype.
It is in italian army with standard 105mm gun.
Version with 120mm gun is probably ordered by Oman, 6 vehicles. (haven't seen one)
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  #3525  
Old 23 Jul 09, 13:11
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Originally Posted by AEP View Post
I think this latest challenge has run its course...

Before posing this challenge I knew that the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 was used on many tanks, but I must admit that I was unaware of just how widespread it has become. It has therefore been quite interesting to try to untangle the lineages of certain tank guns..., though I wish I owned a proper book on the subject rather than having to spend considerable time and effort digging things up on the internet and verifying the authenticity of the information.


Despite various programs investigating, developing and testing the viability of a 140mm tank gun, the end of the Cold War and the subsequent reorientation of arms development, has meant that the 120mm tank gun still maintains a central role in current tank design some three decades after its inception. And the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 has to be the gold standard of this calibre. Its high performance has been recognised in many militaries and has consequently led to its ubiquitous application either in its original form or as a template for the development of various indigenous versions. The fact that the Rheinmetall gun plays an important role in NATO has of course also aided its wide distribution.
More importantly though, the 120mm smoothbore gun owes much of its longevity to continuous improvements in its lethality. KE rounds are now attaining penetration capabilities of around 750mm RHA at 2000m by on the one hand increasing the length and diameter of the penetrator and on the other by improving metallurgic composition. Furthermore, important advances in propellants combined with a longer barrel (L/55) have ensured that muzzle velocities have increased (~1,750 m/s) in spite of penetrators becoming larger and heavier.
But herein also lie the limits of the 120mm smoothbore gun as its various design aspects are pushed ever further. Longer penetrators are better against RHA, whereas a larger diameter is more effective at defeating composite armour. Since the penetrator must have a logical size and weight limit for any given calibre gun, it follows that there inevitably arises a tension between increased performance against one form of armour versus the other. Higher muzzle velocities have to some extent mitigated this tension, but have also meant an increase in chamber pressure and barrel wear.
Eventually, the only way to escape the limits of the 120mm calibre would be to up-gun to 140mm. This will of course introduce its own set of complications. First of all there is the matter of increased cost, size and complexity of a larger gun. In addition, the relevant tank rounds themselves will also be larger and heavier and presumably considerably limit the number of rounds carried. Then there is the question of overall vehicle weight. As a rule of thumb, when designing MBTs, you ideally want the armour on a tank to be able to withstand a shot from its own gun. Considering the fact that the latest M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 weigh in excess of 65 tons, it follows that a tank armed with a 140mm gun would surely weigh in at approx 70 tons or more! Such combat weights are clearly unsustainable in the face of a present day emphasis on smaller more strategically mobile armed forces geared towards conducting peacekeeping missions and engaging in low-intensity conflicts.
In the face of such new post-Cold War priorities the holy grail in current tank design seems to be a tank which retains the capabilities offered by a 120mm gun while being strategically more mobile. Attaining such goals inevitably means making compromises. The Swedish CV90120 is a good example of this. It certainly offers better strategic mobility, but at the expense of armour protection. Interestingly, Italian OTO Melara has developed a so-called 120m L/45 low-recoil force gun. It utilises electrothermal-chemical technology (ETC) in a longer recoil mechanism combined with a peppercorn muzzle break in order to achieve substantial reduction in recoil forces which would allow the 120mm gun to be used in the relatively weaker chassis of a light tank (or for that matter a wheeled vehicle).
Of particular note is also the American 120mm XM291 gun which retains a high pressure chamber but has a composite gun tube for reduced overall weight. It also uses ETC, but this time as a propulsion mechanism doing away with the need for solid propellants, in order to achieve greater muzzle velocities. During testing XM291 muzzle energy only just fell short of 17 megajoules (MJ) which is not far from the 18-20 MJ range expected from a standard 140mm weapon. Further research and funding into this weapon is still needed in order iron out issues with its propulsion system that are not yet understood or fully developed. Nonetheless, the US has continued the pursuit of ETC technology (as have Germany and the UK) under the expansive Future Combat Systems with the 120mm XM360 gun intended for the XM1202 Mounted Combat System. Although things don't look too promising as the Army partially terminates elements of this future tank program (http://www.defencetalk.com/army-term...vehicle-20559/).

To be sure the traditional 120mm smoothbore calibre tank gun, and by implication the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 and L/55, still has a role to play but it would seem that its techical limits will eventually mean that it will have to be replaced by technologically more advanced weapons. So far though, any viable alternatives do not provide any wholesale improvement over existing 120mm MBT guns.
ETC is still in the experimental phase and could take another 10 years, if not longer, to reach widespread practical application. In the meantime then, I suppose the familiar plethora of 120mm smoothbore guns should hang around for some time to come.


With all of that said and done it means that for the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 we have the following tanks:
- Leo 2A5
- Leo 1A6
- M1 Abrams
- K1A1
- Type 90
- Merkava III/IV
- C1 Ariete
- M60T Sabra (upgrade)
- M60-2000 (prototype)
- Lince (prototype)
- Magach-7 (upgrade)
- MBT-70 (prototype)
- Arjun (tested)
- TK-X?
- Olifant Mk.2?

For the L/55:
- Leo 2A6
- K2
- Challenger 2 (tested)
- M1A2sep (tested)
- Altay (under development)

The 120mm smoothbore gun on the new Japanese TK-X tank has been designed by Japan Steel Works (they also produce the Rheinmetall L/44 under license for the Type 90). However, I don't know if this gun is an entirely new design or a Rheinmetall derivative?


Quote:
Originally Posted by vathra View Post
Ukraine T84 Yatagan has some 120mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing NATO standard rounds.
It uses an indigenous Ukrainian design originally developed for the T-72-120. The 2A46M breech has been modified to accommodate NATO standard 120mm ammunition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vathra View Post
Jordanian M48 upgrade AB9B1
This tank uses the Swiss Ruag 120mm L/50 smoothbore Compact Tank Gun along with GIAT ammunition. The same gun is mounted on for example the Falcon turret and the CV90120.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vathra View Post
- South African Olifant (Centurion)
A new turret for the Olifant Mk. 2 mounting a Denel (LIW division) design 120mm smoothbore gun has been proposed. However, I have so far been unable to find any Rheinmetall involvement in this project.


Many thanks to vathra, nikolas93TS, Arthwys, cougar1, Achtung Baby, and Listy for helping out
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Last edited by AEP; 24 Jul 09 at 02:11..
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