Germans show us how to make effective Tank guns. This excerpt was taken from Janes defence news weekly BAE Systems Land Systems has confirmed at DSEi that the 120mm L/55 smoothbore tank gun has carried out its first test firing at the Eskmeals firing range in the UK. For these trials, the weapon was installed in a static mount fitted to a Centurion chassis. Today the British Armyâs Challenger 2 MBT is armed with a 120mm L30 rifled tank gun, which fires separate loading ammunition, projectile and charge. This weapon system is not interoperable with the UKâs NATO allies and to develop a new weapon system is no longer affordable. Under a Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) Future Business Group contract awarded in 2003, BAE Systems Land Systems teamed with Rheinmetall W & M in developing a 120mm L/55 smoothbore tank gun. This fires standard ammunition obtainable from a variety of sources, including the latest generation of APFSDS (armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot) types, which do not use a depleted uranium penetrator. The L/55 has a greater effective range than the current weapon installed in Challenger 2. This 120mm smoothbore weapon has been manufactured by Rheinmetall W & M of Germany and is ballistically similar to that installed in the latest production German Leopard 2A6 MBT, but externally is almost a direct replacement for the current 120mm L30 rifled tank gun. After static firing trials the complete weapon system will be integrated in a Challenger 2 turret for a series of unmanned trials, which will take place early in 2006. The UK MoD is continuing to derisk 120mm smoothbore technology for both the projected Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) direct fire platform and the in service Challenger 2 MBT. An additional package of work is expected to extend the TDP.