Rifled Upgrade to Smooth Bore

Discussion in 'RAC' started by Salad_Fingers, Jan 31, 2008.

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  1. I've been reading up on the Challenger II and noted that the barrel is being upgraded to smooth bore design as opposed to rifled. A chat with a fella from the KRH was along the lines of the rifled gun of the C2 being more accurate at distance than the smooth bore used on the Abraham and Leopard. From what I can gather its due to ammo compatibility with new rounds designed for the German Leopard, seems a rather steep price to pay if its at the price of reduced accuracy. Thoughts?
  2. Hello Salad_Fingers,

    I suspect much of the justification for this is down to costs.
    With charges outsourced to South Africa and a very small tank fleet the costs of developing and manufacturing new guns and ammunition are very high.
    Personally I would prefer it if we retained the rifled guns,I believe they are more flexible.
    Although there is a theoretical advantage to smooth bores with kinetic rounds,I suspect that even in a major war scenario engagement of softer targets with chemical energy rounds will be of greater importance.

    If we were to replace our gun tank/cannon Infantry Fighting Vehicle fleet with a homogenous big gun Heavy Cavalry Vehicle fleet we would have greater production numbers to bring down costs.
    That however is a different debate altogether.

  3. I maybe out of order here as I am a Centurion and Chieftain guy so well out of touch with up to date equipment and techniques...This seems like another "We better follow the Yanks and do as they do" to me what next maybe upgrade the SA80 to a Brown Bess. I dont know how accurate the SA80 is compared to the SLR or the SMLE, I would be interested to know, But surly the present 120mm main armament has got to be the best option, cost should not enter the equation. Ezekiel Baker intoduced the first Rifled weapon to the British Army in 1800 and its the basis of modern standards ever since.It knocked 7 bells out of the French whoopee. I spose if modern warfare is just going to be about lobbing dirty crap about with no real accuracy needed then I can see the point, but we wont need tanks then anyway. The infantry to be reequipped with side by side shotguns the for maxim effect at close range :(
  4. I think you will find that this is mainly due to the fact that the Gubment have quietly dismantled the ammunition industry in UK and there is now no longer the cability to manufacture rifled tank ammuniton....

    With the steady demise of the 105 Tk (Leopard 1) and Chieftain/Chally there is no other source for AFV large calibre rifled ammuniton.

    This effectively means bye bye to HESH, which is a great pity, as the current target of choice (mudbrick wall) is not much bothered by HEAT or KE!
  5. The US Navy uses the 105mm on many of its ships and they love it???

    Unfortunately the demise of the UK arms industry is true. No more tanks in the pipeline, euro-fighter (2 generations behind the US) on the horizon, lack of choppers, lack of heavy airlift but a carrier or two in the mix. Maybe the Royal Navy can sail the new carrier to Afghanistan????
  6. Hey mate
    I'm a Cent and Chieftain guy also. JLR 65-67, QDG 67-73.
    Dot three fire!
    Firing now, top edge!
  7. Cost has a lot to do with it but so has performance. CR2 can currently penetrate any foe, but with the improvements in composite armours it won't be long before it can't, There lies the problem, rifled tank guns have been advanced and improved pretty much as far as they can be. Finding a way of improving performance ( i.e MV) even further is going to be difficult and expensive.

    Smooth bore has lots of development potential and new ammo including HE is coming into service so the " we need rifled barrels because we need HESH" is now not valid.
  8. Thanks for the info all.

    From what I can gather we don't have the capacity to research the improvements for our current rifled barrel so we'll modify the barrel and let the yanks and Germans do it for us and buy the end result.

    It looks like great cost efficiency, then again how much is it going to cost to a) design the new barrels b) manufacture them, c) install them and d) train personnel how to use/maintain them efficiently?
  9. Smoothbore will still be able to deliver a HE capability.

    Smoothbore HE capability

    I'm not denying accuracy will be affected at great range, but then HESH is no longer used against armoured targets. The targets it is currently employed against are at a greatly reduced range.

    The only people who will miss out will be the tankies when they are trying to get 3 HESH in the air simultaneously - are you sure the loader is meant to sit there with the charges on his knee?

    Smoothbore also allows the use of gun launched guided weapons (as the Russians have) and will ease development of future projects such as 140mm gun which is said to be the next progression.
  10. :?
  11. I was told the record for 'hesh in air' was 7 using 105 Cent in sixties.
    ex 11H
  12. Doubtful they were properly aimed shots! One piece rounds made loading a damn site quicker also! ;)

    Also HESH may not be the weapon of choice for killing MBT's, but how often will a Brit wagon be facing anything more menacing than an old T-72? We all know that HESH can handle those wagons with no problem at all, so no need to be wasting lovely and expensive 'fin' rounds. Mind you a T-72 if used properly can still spoil your morning! 8O
  13. Hi Liverpool 49 I have pmd you all best :D
  14. We had 7 in the air at Castlemartin in 69 cant name the crew because of the rules but I was loading. It was easier than the Chieftain with bag charges and vent tubes to deal with, but I had bent all the primer plates back so they just fell on the turret floor. I bet other crews did it as well. Once an hussar always an Hussar :D