Military Review

Tank science of the future: Challenger 2 with NG 130 cannon

38

Cannon NG 130 at the 2016 exhibition


The project of the promising 130-mm smooth-bore tank gun Rheinmetall NG 130 has entered a new stage. The experimental gun was transferred from the stationary stand to the tank and the tests began. As a result of the first events of this kind, a promotional video was released. However, the future of the new weapon is still uncertain.

First demo
On July 31, Rheinmetall Defense published a demo video showing an experimental tank with a prototype of the new gun. An upgraded British-made Challenger 2 MBT is used as a platform for testing the gun. He received new additional armor, modern fire control devices and, most importantly, a 130 mm NG 130 or L51 gun.

The video showed spectacular footage of the passage of the track on rough terrain, as well as preparation for firing (the moment the ammunition was sent) and several shots. In addition, a flying sabot projectile and a target, incl. at the time of his hit. The video emphasized entertainment, but it also shows all the interesting moments.


Experienced Challenger 2 with a new gun

The note accompanying the video said that the L51 cannon for MBT is a response to the growth in the protection of modern armored vehicles and is capable of providing a significant increase in combat qualities. In addition, it was called the latest achievement of "Rheinmetall" in the field of "tank science of the future."

From exhibition to tank
For the first time, a new 130-mm tank gun was presented at Eurosatory 2016. A technical demonstrator of a product called Next Generation 130 (NG 130) was shown along with a promising armor-piercing round. At the same time, the main technical features of the weapon became known from unofficial sources.

At the end of last year, Rheinmetall spoke about the work done in recent months. By that time, the design stage was completed, after which a full-fledged experimental gun was made. By November 2019, approx. 80 shots. It was reported that the first prototype NG 130 has a 15 liter chamber and operates at barrel pressures up to 880 MPa. The total mass of the tool with recoil devices is 3 tons.


The muzzle of the gun, the barrel bend sensor is visible

New unitary rounds with a partially combustible sleeve were developed especially for the NG 130. They are equipped with an armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectile of increased power and a high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a programmable fuse. It was argued that an extended-length BOPS with a tungsten core would give a noticeable increase in penetration, but its exact values ​​were not named. High-explosive fragmentation ammunition will also show advantages due to the greater mass of the charge.

Talking about the results of the first tests, Rheinmetall noted that at the next stage of development, the characteristics of the NG 130 gun will change. In addition, the commenced production of the second prototype was mentioned with some changes. Plans for testing the gun on tanks were not disclosed.

Finally, a few days ago, they showed footage from the tests of the tank, which became the carrier of the experimental 130-mm cannon. Together with the cannon, an automatic loader was installed on the Challenger 2, which had not been previously mentioned in official communications. Any technical details of the tests were not disclosed.


The breech of the gun in the process of ramming. The needle-shaped head of the BOPS is visible

Technical features
Over the years, the main features of the NG 130 / L51 product have become known. It is a 130 mm smoothbore gun with a barrel length of 51 clb (6,63 m). The production uses a kind of "new high-strength steel"; the channel is chrome-plated.

The barrel is equipped with an ejector in the central part, a heat shield and a bend control system. The breech is distinguished by a large volume of the charging chamber. The shutter is a vertical wedge with an electric mechanism for firing a shot.

Judging by the previously announced data, it can be assumed that the main design features will not change as the project develops. However, one should expect the processing of individual elements and changes in the associated characteristics. In particular, an increase in the pressure and initial velocity of the projectile should be expected - with an increase in the firing range and armor penetration.


On the Challenger 2 tank, the L51 cannon is supplemented with an automatic loader of an unknown type. The commercial showed only the work of a mechanical rammer. The mechanized stowage for shots is probably located in the developed aft niche of the tower. The rate of fire of such a system is not disclosed.

Media and prospects
Since the first demonstration, the developers have constantly mentioned the increase in the characteristics of the 130-mm cannon in comparison with the existing smaller caliber gun, but the exact data has not yet been disclosed. The increase in caliber and the creation of new ammunition really allows you to count on a noticeable increase in the main characteristics.

At the same time, new challenges and problems arise. 130mm rounds are significantly larger and heavier than the available 120mm rounds, which requires an automatic loader. In addition, the growth in size reduces the possible transportable ammunition.


In 2016, the NG 130 gun was positioned as a means for the future deep modernization of the German MBT Leopard 2. It was also considered in the context of the promising MGCS project. The "European tank" of the future should show serious advantages in firepower - and the NG 130 could give it such capabilities.

However, the British MBT Challenger 51, previously not mentioned in the context of this project, became the first real carrier of the L2 gun. The new prototype has already confirmed the fundamental possibility of mounting NG 130 and related equipment on such a chassis, as well as the ability to shoot and hit the target.

It should be recalled that now several companies are developing a project for the modernization of Challenger-2 on a competitive basis. It is possible that Rheinmetall will soon offer the British army an updated version of its project with an increased caliber cannon. However, the weapon is still in need of fine-tuning and is unlikely to meet the deadlines set by Great Britain. If the customer does not decide to revise the terms of the program after seeing the benefits of the new weapons.


Armor-piercing projectile in flight

The German tank Leopard 2 is still only a potential carrier of the L51. Perhaps in the very near future such a prototype will appear. Such a project is of particular interest, since we are talking about one of the most popular and commercially successful MBTs of our time. Rheinmetall Defense will be able to count on lucrative contracts for the modernization of existing tanks with a more powerful gun.

Tank science of the future
The development company looks to the future with optimism and promises new successes. Earlier it was stated that the development of the L51 gun would be completed in the middle of the decade, and after that it would be ready for the series. Accordingly, the appearance of such guns in the troops should be expected only in the second half of the decade. Even later, NG 130 will find application on experimental and serial MGCS tanks, which will go to the troops only by the early forties.

At the current stage, the project of the NG 130 / L51 tank gun has a certain optimism, but it is too early to talk about practical results. The design has been confirmed to work and improved performance has been obtained; started testing a gun with an automatic loader on a real tank. However, the work continues and will take several more years, and their success is not yet guaranteed.

Thus, by the end of the twenties, the first modernized MBTs with the latest 130-mm cannon and the corresponding fighting qualities may appear in the armies of foreign countries. It will take some time to fully update and re-equip the fleet of armored vehicles. Then, fundamentally new tanks are expected to appear, probably with the NG 130 cannon or its future modification. Time will tell how other tank-building powers will respond.
Author:
Photos used:
Rheinmetall Defense, Janes.com
38 comments
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  1. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 4 August 2020 05: 58
    +5
    A much more informative article on a topic already announced recently. Respect to the author. Although I personally do not really understand the fundamental difference between calibers 125 (T-90 and T-14 with 2A82-1M) and the new "Rheinmetall" 130 mm with a unitary shot ... The initial velocity and dimensions of the BOPS for the "German" are not known, how and armor penetration ... But the OFS are similar in size, and their power should be close ... the transition to a "cruising" caliber - 6 inches would be revolutionary. But then the tank should be insulated strongly - withstand the recoil of SUCH a weapon! The ISU-152's gun was not as powerful, and had a muzzle brake ...
    1. Flamberg
      Flamberg 4 August 2020 06: 17
      0
      Although I personally do not really understand the fundamental difference between calibers 125 (T-90 and T-14 with 2A82-1M) and the new "Rheinmetall" 130 mm with a unitary shot ...

      I do not know about the T-14, but no one knows this, but in the T-90 they ran into an automatic loader (the maximum length of the BOPS-a). Although one grandmother said that the most modern NATO bops kill the barrel resource by two times.
      1. 5-9
        5-9 4 August 2020 12: 18
        -1
        M829A3 and A4 can be fired not only by all M1A2s (I'm not talking about the A1s), but with modified barrels.
    2. Flamberg
      Flamberg 4 August 2020 07: 15
      0
      But then the tank should also be insulated strongly - withstand the recoil of SUCH a weapon!

      By the way, the miracle presented below on the chassis is just a centurion laughing
  2. Flamberg
    Flamberg 4 August 2020 06: 00
    0
    Thus, by the end of the twenties, the first modernized MBTs with the latest 130-mm cannon and the corresponding fighting qualities may appear in the armies of foreign countries.

    Which is unlikely. For they have the same problems - "there is no money, but you hold on", and the current 120 mm babakha is doing quite well.
    1. alexmach
      alexmach 4 August 2020 22: 47
      0
      Yes, but they have a great trump card - they have the ability to re-equip existing tanks.
  3. Sergey_G_M
    Sergey_G_M 4 August 2020 06: 01
    +3
    Well, 15 years ago, we had the same thing in the media, there were a lot of things - like a new tank - as I remember now, a "Black Eagle" like it will be something with something, it turned out a prototype on which technical solutions were worked out, and it did not go anywhere and did not even was going to. With the 130th German one, the same thing, it was known about it 10 years ago, well, it is being worked out gradually, accuracy, reliability, survivability are improved. Nothing special, banal and predictable, eh, the Germans cannot give asymmetrical and unpredictable answers, even it becomes a bit sad ((
    1. Per se.
      Per se. 4 August 2020 06: 32
      +6
      Quote: Sergey_G_M
      Well, 15 years ago, we had the same in the media, there were a lot of things - like a new tank - as I remember now, "Black Eagle"

      That's right, in the media, where everything was messed up and messed up. Here is the Omsk "Black Eagle" (object 640).
      The tank initially had a 125 mm gun, with an automatic loader placed in the aft niche.
      Here is the Nizhny Tagil object 195 (T-95), with a 152 mm gun, with the crew taken out in a separate armored capsule (due to the size of the gun).
      Then, instead of fine-tuning object 195, they made a "platform set", which resulted in a "bastard" simplified T-14 with a 125 mm gun.

      As for the appearance of real prospects for our "partners" for a 130 mm cannon, "so the morning began on the collective farm", waited. Ultimately, you will have to give up games with "headsets" on a complex, expensive and raw base, and return to fine-tuning the supertank (object 195) in an improved form.
      1. Ded_Mazay
        Ded_Mazay 4 August 2020 06: 55
        -4
        Quote: Per se.
        Ultimately, you will have to give up games with "headsets" on a complex, expensive and raw base, and, return to fine-tuning the supertank (object 195) in an improved form.

        You are an expert! laughing
        Both tanks are nowhere to be found further, and you "competently" argue that where you have to throw ...
        1. Per se.
          Per se. 4 August 2020 07: 04
          +4
          Quote: Ded_Mazay
          Yes you are an expert
          Well, what are you, what kind of "expert" I am, especially for "hares", I can not compete with you. I’m talking about what I have an idea of ​​when I’m at my retirement age.
          1. Ded_Mazay
            Ded_Mazay 4 August 2020 07: 16
            -6
            Quote: Per se.
            I argue about what I have an idea of ​​when I reach retirement age.

            Well, talk further, and we with the "hares" will see what will come true ...
            1. Pavel57
              Pavel57 5 August 2020 10: 39
              0
              They would rather put 152 mm on the T-14.
              1. Ded_Mazay
                Ded_Mazay 5 August 2020 17: 41
                +1
                Quote: Pavel57
                They would rather put 152 mm on the T-14.

                I doubt it. The new 125mm cannon can handle what NATO has now. And the prospects for enhancing the armor of their 60 ton monsters are very vague. The appearance of new tanks from NATO countries in the next 10 years is completely unlikely. Rather, NATO will creep at the seams.
                The question is, what mammoths with a 152 mm log thrower will we hunt?
      2. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 4 August 2020 07: 15
        +3
        Quote: Per se.
        Here is the Nizhny Tagil object 195 (T-95), with a 152 mm gun, with the crew taken out in a separate armored capsule (due to the size of the gun).

        I'm already ashamed to mention again that during the development of the T-95 tank guns were considered and, even, were developed, other than 152 mm, caliber: 125 mm, 135 mm, 140 mm ...! repeat Moreover, judging by the description in the article of the 135-mm tank gun, the impression was that there was also a prototype of such a gun! From the description I remember that this 135-mm "babakha" was inferior in power to the 140-mm NATO gun, but surpassed the 120-mm .... And what are the "power" comparisons of 120-mm, 130-mm, 140-mm tank guns NATO? "Roughly speaking, but subtly speaking," a 140-mm gun is 120 times superior to a 2-mm gun ... a 130-mm gun ... a 120-mm one and a half ... Comparing with the well-known description of "our" 135 -mm guns. It can be assumed that Russia may already have a tank gun of a similar caliber and "similar" power to the NG130, tested on the "Object 195"!
        1. Per se.
          Per se. 4 August 2020 07: 58
          +7
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          perhaps there is already a tank gun of a similar caliber and "similar" power to the NG130, tested at the "Object 195"
          Vladimir Nikolaevich, initially only 195 mm 152A2 cannon was installed on object 83 (for the sake of 152 mm cannon, a tank was created), plus an auxiliary, automatic 30 mm 2A42. Work with experimental guns 125 mm (high power), 130-152 mm was carried out on many experimental tanks ("Object 225", "Object 226", "Object 785", "Object 477", "Object 299"). You can judge for yourself about the 2A83 gun.

          Performance characteristics of 152-mm gun 2А83:

          The ammunition load of the gun consisted of 40 rounds (types of ammunition: BPS, OFS, KUV).
          Type of gun - smoothbore, with a chrome-plated barrel.
          Weight - more than 5000 kg.
          Barrel length - 7200 mm.
          The initial velocity of the projectile - 1980 m / s.
          Effective shot range:
          - shells - 5100 m;
          - URS Krasnopol 2K25 - 20 000 m;
          - URS "Krasnopol" ZOF38 - 12 000 m.
          Rate of fire - 10-15 rounds per minute.
          Muzzle energy shot - 20-25 MJ.
          Penetration:
          - BPS - mm 1024;
          - ATGM - 1200-1400 m.
          The resource of the gun barrel - 280 shots.
          1. Nikolaevich I
            Nikolaevich I 4 August 2020 08: 49
            +2
            Thank you for your reply ! Of course, I raised a sensitive question! Once I came across an article from where I learned about the 135-mm tank gun on the T-95! I had to mention this on the pages of VO. Then they explained to me "in detail and in faces" that there was only a 152-mm cannon! I failed to find the article "with a 135-mm gun" on the Internet again! Relatively recently, on the Internet, I came across another article "about tanks" ... The article contained a "paragraph" about the T-95 tank and a mention that, in addition to 152-mm guns, the possibility of installing guns and other calibers on the "Object 195" was considered : 125mm, 135mm, 140mm ...! In the "first" article, there was a brief description of only the 135-mm cannon ... and in such a "tone" that it seemed that there was a prototype of the 135-mm gun! So I thought: what the hell is not joking? Maybe, in the end, it turns out that this is "zhu-zhu-zhu" - not casual! This 135-mm cannon was described with great confidence in the article! hi
            1. Nikolaevich I
              Nikolaevich I 4 August 2020 11: 24
              +2
              PS I tried again to "brush" the Internet ... something "caught" ... and something that did not come across the previous time. The weapons of the T-95 are spoken of in different terms: for example, in old articles you can find: 1. "On the" Object 195 "it is supposed to install a gun with a caliber of 135-152 mm ...; 2. On the MilitaryRussiaRu website there is a statement: (((At different times, information about equipping an experimental tank with smooth-bore guns of 135 mm and 140 mm calibers was also passed). 135 mm gun, as a probable weapon system of the tank "object 195" is adapted for the use of anti-tank systems
              Projectile speed - 1980 m / s))) 3.On one of the other "pro-war" sites you can also find: (((the main armament of the tank is a 135-mm smoothbore gun with an initial projectile speed of 1980 m / s and the ability to launch a guided missile through the barrel .))) In the end, I managed to understand something! Many such materials "rely" on Western sources! Since the secrecy of military developments in the USSR was "up to the mark," these "Western sources" had to use speculation! That's where the 135mm gun on the T-95 seems to come from! So, we take the 152-mm tank gun on Object 195 as a "base" and "may the Force come with us!"
      3. Grazdanin
        Grazdanin 4 August 2020 09: 36
        -3
        Quote: Per se.
        instead of fine-tuning Object 195, they made a "platform set", which resulted in a "bastard" simplified T-14 with a 125 mm gun.

        Simplified and complicated at the same time. Of course, I'm glad that the T14 crew is very well protected, but this is just a refinement to the level of western tanks. There are no more benefits. Whether the T14 principle will be able to perform tasks is not clear, how many years it will have to be completed too. We decided to save money, make the project cheaper than 195, but in the end we will spend twice. And the reaction of the West is appropriate, no one is forcing the appearance of a new tank. The United States is not considering replacing Abrams at all. Here the Germans just rolled out the option of modernizing the challenger, the British still modernize them and their 120 mm rifled is no longer relevant. You can't see other customers, well, maybe Turks in their Altai (out of fantasy).
        1. alpamys
          alpamys 4 August 2020 10: 01
          +1
          You can't see other customers, well, maybe Turks in their Altai (out of fantasy).

          and nothing that amers Jews Koreans Turks German guns are, although a license, but German developments
          1. Grazdanin
            Grazdanin 4 August 2020 10: 05
            0
            120 mm Rheinmetall is relevant, the shells for this cannon have sufficient armor penetration for all modern and potential tanks that will appear in this decade. It makes no sense to urgently change to 130 mm, new medium tanks generally cost 105 mm.
        2. Hermit21
          Hermit21 4 August 2020 10: 11
          +1
          Of course, I am glad that the T14 crew is very well protected, but this is just a refinement to the level of western tanks


          This level has been exceeded many times due to the implemented solutions for protection and survivability. Active remote sensing, active materials, new generation SAZ, isolation of the crew from explosives and fuels and lubricants, a set of measures to ensure survivability, unattainable on the current layout.

          We decided to save money, make the project cheaper than 195, but in the end we will spend twice


          T-14 is not much cheaper vol. 195 and is second only to the caliber of the gun. Which is fixable if necessary.

          And the reaction of the West is appropriate, no one is forcing the appearance of a new tank


          Because the rogue
        3. 5-9
          5-9 4 August 2020 12: 25
          0
          the crew in the T14 is very well protected, but this is only a refinement to the level of western tanks.

          these protected crews of western tanks ... then Leo2 from a shot in the frontal projection will develop at the seams (like the T-64) due to shells in the nose, then the M1A2 from the launch of the 1973 Fagot in the frontal projection will arrange fireworks from all the hatches unnecessarily ... the angles ... of safe maneuvering are small and you can get into the niche with the BC even from the front.
        4. Ded_Mazay
          Ded_Mazay 4 August 2020 15: 23
          +1
          Quote: Grazdanin
          Of course, I'm glad that the crew in T14 is very well protected, but this is just a refinement to the level of western tanks.

          Tell this tale about the protection of the relatives of the Turkish Leopard 2A4 crews knocked out in Syria. Well, the very ones that were hit by the detonation of ammunition in the niche behind the front plate.
    2. alpamys
      alpamys 4 August 2020 06: 59
      0
      Quote: Sergey_G_M
      , eh, the Germans cannot in asymmetric and unpredictable answers, even it becomes a bit sad ((

      Well, why can't they, watch a video about German Kriegsmarine Corvettes and the miracle of a 107mm cannon shooting at 100km .. isn't it a miracle?
  4. andrewkor
    andrewkor 4 August 2020 06: 05
    +2
    In general, there is very little left to "Sturmtiger"!
  5. Ilshat
    Ilshat 4 August 2020 06: 28
    -1
    Tower _big_ (PMSM)!
  6. alpamys
    alpamys 4 August 2020 07: 02
    -1
    It was reported that the first prototype NG 130 has camor volume of 15 liters and works at pressures

    why a camoru and not a camera? camora is just a German pronunciation of the word camera request
    1. Flamberg
      Flamberg 4 August 2020 07: 09
      +2
      It happened so historically! wink
  7. Undecim
    Undecim 4 August 2020 07: 30
    +1
    As a result of the first events of this kind, a promotional video was released.
    Precisely advertising, since there is no new information about the gun in it. Accordingly, it is not in the article either.
    The breech is distinguished by a large volume of the charging chamber.
    The breech has no charging chamber. The charging chamber is part of the barrel, not the breech.
  8. Viktor Sergeev
    Viktor Sergeev 4 August 2020 08: 20
    +3
    How will they answer? Yes 152 mm. Only one question: why, if the main enemy of the tank will not be the tank? Well, they increased the caliber, reduced the number of shells, turned the tank into an anti-tank self-propelled gun. At the same time, the resource of the barrel was reduced several times. This is not a tank, but a ballerina who requires constant maintenance, replacement of the barrel, a tank is driving, followed by a tank of fuel and a couple of trucks with ammunition, the dream of the French to create a mobile fort is coming true.
    1. 5-9
      5-9 4 August 2020 12: 29
      0
      Because it is very difficult for KAZ to intercept OBPS, according to rumors, only Afghanit is capable of this, because an ATGM can be put into a tank (and even pierced) several pieces, and it will go ... a tank against a tank should still be able to fight ... and the power of 152 mm is much higher than 125 mm ... so an increase in caliber will go like an increase in protection
      1. Viktor Sergeev
        Viktor Sergeev 4 August 2020 18: 39
        0
        Yeah, give 305 mm, well, the size of two Mouse. Bigger caliber, bigger size and fewer shells. The task of the tank is to break through the defense, not to fight against tanks. The tank may withstand several ATGMs, or it may not, but the infantry has a lot of them, and even grenade launchers.
        1. 5-9
          5-9 5 August 2020 09: 19
          0
          Therefore, they are in no hurry to switch to above 120 and 125 mm, they just made and tested guns that are not yet installed
  9. egsp
    egsp 4 August 2020 08: 29
    0
    "We cut the fly, son ..." (program "Gorodok" 90s)
    1. Couchexpert
      Couchexpert 4 August 2020 08: 43
      +1
      Tiny ... Tiny! We must accurately quote the classics!
  10. disyptiformer
    disyptiformer 4 August 2020 13: 53
    -2
    The Fritzes are lying. The autoloader is absent sovsem. And our dodiks are happy to overclock.
    Behold the author. charge in this tower, this tank and only then ...
    And then all the readers were agitated.
  11. Doliva63
    Doliva63 4 August 2020 17: 43
    0
    In the photo, the "armor-piercing projectile in flight" is not visible. Or is it so?
  12. Sancho_SP
    Sancho_SP 24 September 2020 12: 32
    0
    And what they are waiting for is not clear. It has long been possible to make the cannons of a tank and self-propelled guns the same, as well as half of the shells.