Military Review

Limited prospects for telescopic ammunition

40

Ajax armored vehicle with a 40-mm cannon from CTAI. UK Department of Defense Photo


In the fifties, the so-called. telescopic ammunition for artillery or small arms weapons... Later, this idea was developed in several countries and attracted the attention of the military. However, despite all the expectations and strengths, so far only one gun for telescopic ammunition has entered service. Other developments of this kind have, at least, uncertain prospects.

Basic provisions


The concept of a telescopic projectile appeared in the fifties, but it was not taken seriously until 30 years later. By the beginning of the nineties, the first workable prototypes appeared, and over the next two decades it was possible to complete the development of promising projects and offer ready-made systems to the military.

The basic idea behind the telescopic shot is quite simple. The projectile is completely placed inside the sleeve and is surrounded by a propellant charge. Thanks to this, the ammunition receives a limited size and the simplest cylindrical shape - in contrast to the traditional shot, which is characterized by the complexity of the outer contours. The most famous caseless cartridges, in which a bullet is embedded in a propellant block, can be considered a special case of a telescopic scheme.


Infographics on the CTAS 40 project from CTAI / BAE Systems

The cylindrical shape of the shot simplifies the design and manufacture of ammunition storage and supply systems. It becomes possible to more efficiently use the available volumes and increase the ammunition load. Extraction and dispensing processes are also simplified. There is a fundamental possibility of creating rifle / artillery systems of different schemes.

At the same time, the telescopic chuck has noticeable disadvantages. When developing it, it is necessary to solve several specific problems. In particular, it is necessary to ensure the correct exit of the bullet / projectile from the sleeve with an accurate hit into the breech of the barrel. In addition, the search and development of weapon schemes that allow realizing the full potential of a cylindrical shot has become a serious problem.

The only success


A lot of projects of weapons for a telescopic cartridge are known, but only one sample has so far reached the series and operation in the troops. This is a CTAS 40 cannon from the French-British company CTA International. Case Telescoped Armament Int. was founded in 1994 as a joint venture between Britain's Royal Ordnance and France's GIAT. The main task of the new organization was initially the development of a fundamentally new 40-mm round and weapons for it.


Ammunition for the CTAS 40. Photo Wikimedia Commons

At various times, the CTAI has developed a number of automatic cannons and machine guns of various configurations, single-barreled and multi-barreled. At the beginning of the 40s, based on the accumulated experience, the CTAS 2013 project was launched, which was successfully completed in the next decade. In 40, the first order for the production of CTAS 2018 appeared in order to arm real combat vehicles. The first carrier of such a gun was the armored vehicles of the British Ajax family. In XNUMX, France ordered guns for its Jaguar armored vehicles.

CTAS 40 is a 40mm autocannon for a 40x255 mm telescopic projectile. The most interesting part is the rotating chamber. Before the shot, it turns perpendicular to the barrel bore, after which the shot is sent, which pushes the spent cartridge case. Further, the chamber takes up the previous position and is combined with the barrel for firing a shot. This scheme made it possible to obtain a rate of fire of up to 200 rds / min.


Experienced EBRC Jaguar armored vehicle - another CTAS 40 carrier. Photo by Thales

Several rounds for different purposes have been developed for the CTAS 40 cannon. These are general-purpose high-explosive fragmentation, armor-piercing subcaliber, trajectory detonation projectile and several types of practical. Thrown projectiles differ in shape and size, however, due to different leading devices, they are placed in a standard sleeve.

On the way to success


The idea of ​​a telescopic ammunition was originally proposed in the United States, and American experts have been working on its development for a long time in the context of artillery and infantry weapons. For several decades, it has not been possible to obtain results suitable for practical application, but the work continues. At the same time, the main attention is now paid not to artillery, but to small arms.

In 2003, the US Army launched the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program, which aimed to create new types of infantry weapons. One of its tasks was to work out the issues of creating and using telescopic cartridges of normal caliber. As part of this program, several companies have developed a number of rifles and machine guns for telescopic and caseless cartridges. At the same time, the program did not advance further than testing an experimental weapon, and rearmament did not begin.


Experienced American LSAT machine gun chambered for a telescopic cartridge with a plastic sleeve. US Army Photos

Over the past several years, China has been working on telescopic ammunition. In 2016, NORINCO Corporation presented the CS / AA5 combat module with a 40-mm automatic cannon for a telescopic shot. Together with the module, models of two ammunition were demonstrated, as well as armor with penetrations. The initial velocity of the projectiles exceeds 1000 m / s, due to which the high-explosive fragmentation flies for several kilometers, and the sub-caliber penetrates 130 mm of armor at 1 km.

According to open data, the CS / AA5 module and its main carrier VP10 armored personnel carrier are still at the testing stage. It is not known how soon this technique will be brought into service in the army. There is also no new information on the development of the gun. It was not reported about the presence of such developments in the field of small arms.

In our country, work on telescopic ammunition is still in its earliest stages. In 2015, the leadership of the Central Research Institute Tochmash spoke about plans to create similar systems in artillery calibers. It is possible that such works have begun, but their progress or results have not yet been reported.


Experienced NORINCO VP10 armored vehicle with a 40mm autocannon. Photo Twitter.com/OedoSoldier

To date, a number of Russian patents have been issued for various options for telescopic shots and weapons for them. However, these developments do not go beyond paperwork and often have various disadvantages. As a consequence, there is no practical value, and they will not in any way affect the development of weapons.

Limited perspectives


The development of the direction of telescopic ammunition and weapons for them has been going on for several decades, but its results cannot yet be called outstanding. Only a few projects were brought to testing, and so far only one sample has reached the series. It is not known whether the number of successful projects will increase in the future.

The reasons for this situation are obvious. Telescopic ammunition and weapons for it have a number of advantages associated with their use in various fields. However, the creation of such a complex is associated with serious difficulties and the need to work out fundamentally new solutions. In addition, on the horizon is the problem of disunification of ammunition available and promising weapons in the army. Not all potential customers consider the expected benefits reasonable and justify all difficulties.


Shots made in China and a sample of armor with a penetration channel. Photo Twitter.com/OedoSoldier

With all its advantages, weapons for telescopic shots still have limited prospects. To change the current situation, new solutions and technologies are needed that can provide cardinal advantages over the traditional scheme - only they can justify the complexity of development and implementation.

However, already begun projects of artillery and rifle systems for telescopic ammunition will continue. Probably, some of them will even be able to reach acceptance into service. However, the barrel armament revolution seems to be canceled. A unitary ammunition of the usual appearance with a partially recessed projectile does not give up its positions.
Author:
40 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. K-612-O
    K-612-O 8 September 2020 18: 04 New
    +2
    All of this is reminiscent of the attempts of the Fritz with the KWK 75/55 L40
    1. Alex_You
      Alex_You 8 September 2020 18: 26 New
      0
      Just as I hear about telescopic ammunition, I immediately recall this conical weapon.
    2. cat Rusich
      cat Rusich 8 September 2020 21: 37 New
      +7
      Here is the "telescopic cartridge" for the 7,62mm Nagant ...
      cartridge 7,62mm Nagant
      The bullet is recessed into the sleeve. Here's a hunting cartridge ...
      hunting cartridge 12 gauge
      The shot charge is also "recessed in the sleeve".
      1. Mister X
        Mister X 8 September 2020 23: 19 New
        +5
        hi
        Silent cartridge SP-4 for the PSS "Vul" pistol.
        The complex was adopted in 1983.
        1. Shurik70
          Shurik70 9 September 2020 13: 24 New
          +3
          Quote: Mister X
          Here is the "telescopic cartridge" for the 7,62mm Nagant ...
          .
          The bullet is recessed into the sleeve. Here's a hunting cartridge ...
          .
          The shot charge is also "recessed in the sleeve".

          Is a telescopic ammunition just a bullet heated in a cartridge case?
          As I understand it, telescopic is when the charge of gunpowder is not only behind, but also from the sides of the projectile.


          It's unclear why the article says they take up less space. The diameter is larger, after all. A simpler feed mechanism is yes. But they take up more space.
          1. Mister X
            Mister X 9 September 2020 21: 11 New
            0
            Quote: Shurik70
            Is a telescopic ammunition just a bullet heated in a cartridge case?

            That's right: the shell is hidden in the sleeve, and is located inside the powder charge.
            Not all are mentioned in this article, so I decided to add.
          2. Svateev
            Svateev 10 September 2020 14: 16 New
            +2
            Quote: Shurik70
            The diameter is larger, after all.

            That is why telescopic ones are FAVORABLE ONLY FOR SUB-CALIBER projectiles. Where, for example, all tank BOPSs are used successfully and for a long time are "telescopes", otherwise their length would be unimaginable.
            And all the arrow-shaped bullets developed by Dvoryaninov (TsNIITOCHMASH) are also "telescopes" for the same reason.
            And for caliber shells and bullets, the telescopic scheme only increases the complexity of the cartridge and the difficulty of centering the shell along the axis of the barrel.
  2. Jack O'Neill
    Jack O'Neill 8 September 2020 18: 43 New
    -8
    And what about the reliability of such a bullet? But what if a regular bullet hits her? And if God forbid hitting the arrow, then that's it, he won't be able to shoot?
    Telescopic ammunition has too many drawbacks, and the biggest problem is that you need a shooter to shoot. And it's all unreliable ...
    Here's a katana, that's what you need! She never gets stuck, she doesn't need bullets and she is beautiful.
  3. prodi
    prodi 8 September 2020 19: 21 New
    -1
    the main advantage of the telescopic ammunition is a larger propellant charge, the main disadvantage is the worst form factor for reloading
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 8 September 2020 20: 08 New
      +5
      And a significantly larger transverse dimension. This is the main disadvantage. Neutralizing most of the pluses.
  4. Vovanya
    Vovanya 8 September 2020 20: 41 New
    +3
    Something new guns are not visible, created according to the old scheme (using the "bottle" shell). But to scold the new telescopic scheme is welcome. Although CTAS does have some shortcomings of the cartridge, but, most importantly, they have created very promising shells, and the gun itself occupies a minimal volume and has a very large vertical guidance sector, quick change of the cartridge type, etc. Experts have already found a lot of positive aspects of such a scheme, therefore, to say that "a weapon for a telescopic shot has limited prospects" is to bend the soul, the prospects there are huge.
  5. puskarinkis
    puskarinkis 8 September 2020 20: 44 New
    +1
    Nagant cartridge, telescopic ammunition too? Only he is more than a dozen years old ...
  6. businessv
    businessv 8 September 2020 21: 18 New
    +1
    A unitary ammunition of the usual appearance with a partially recessed projectile does not give up its positions.
    And no wonder! If for tens of years they have not received any intelligible result, not to mention a "breakthrough", then it is not worth wasting either time, effort or money. Kirill, thank you for the informative and interesting article!
  7. KSVK
    KSVK 8 September 2020 22: 19 New
    0
    The basic idea behind the telescopic shot is quite simple.

    The author, I'm afraid you ABSOLUTELY do not understand what the "telescopic" ammunition is for.
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 8 September 2020 22: 22 New
      +2
      So clarify.
      1. Simargl
        Simargl 9 September 2020 20: 44 New
        0
        Quote: garri-lin
        So clarify.
        Make the cartridge as short as possible. The shorter the cartridge, the smaller the size of the automation.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin 9 September 2020 21: 16 New
          0
          The volume of the cartridge does not change. And the weight doesn't change. The cartridge becomes significantly thicker. The thicker the cartridge, the greater the transverse dimensions of the automation. And the greater longitudinal travel of the automation parts softens the recoil.
          1. Simargl
            Simargl 9 September 2020 21: 18 New
            0
            Quote: garri-lin
            And the greater longitudinal travel of the automation parts softens the recoil.
            The problem is not recoil, but size and weight. Especially noticeable in large calibers and shot energies.
            1. garri-lin
              garri-lin 9 September 2020 21: 22 New
              0
              The transverse dimension of telescopes increases greatly. The mass of moving parts is unlikely to be much less.
              1. Simargl
                Simargl 10 September 2020 05: 16 New
                0
                Quote: garri-lin
                The mass of moving parts is unlikely to be much less.
                Sometimes it is strong. In addition, it is not only the moving parts, but also the receiver.
                1. garri-lin
                  garri-lin 10 September 2020 11: 44 New
                  0
                  Which will also increase the transverse dimension.
  8. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 8 September 2020 22: 21 New
    +2
    An automatic 25-mm cannon with telescopic shots was developed for "Kurganets-45" ... the gun was tested ... according to the assurances of the developers, it is ready for production ...! But at this time, "intensified talk" began about "that the 57-mm caliber is better ..."! And the 45-mm caliber slowed down!
  9. Undecim
    Undecim 8 September 2020 22: 46 New
    +1
    The concept of a telescopic projectile appeared in the fifties, but it was not taken seriously until 30 years later.
    Come on.

    Cartridge .42 Ellis & White Front Loader (Cupfire). 1864 year.
  10. KSVK
    KSVK 8 September 2020 22: 49 New
    0
    Quote: garri-lin
    So clarify.

    Aren't you alarmed by the name of the ammunition: TELESCOPIC?
    First of all, for using a charge / projectile of different volume, while having the same ammunition in terms of form factor. Plus there is a simpler form of the chamber. With regard to smooth-bore hunting weapons, such a form factor allows you to use, for example, pyroxylin and black powder, because the "smoker" needs to be poured TWO times more. Again, a fraction. The larger it is, the larger the volume of the shot.
    With regard to modern small arms, this allows you to have ammunition very different in power and type of bullet in the same size.
    Well, for example, when using, for example, a 6,5 mm caliber, we have the opportunity to have both a rifle and an automatic cartridge in the same size simply by using a small powder charge and a light short bullet in an automatic rifle and a long / heavy / armor-piercing bullet and an increased charge of powder in a marksman rifle using for weapons ONE store.
    Indeed, when using a standard unified sleeve in a rifle cartridge, there will be a full charge, and in a submachine gun, there will be a lot of free space in the cartridge case, which will negatively affect the uniformity of the initial speed and thermal dependence. Which will lead to a decrease in the accuracy of fire. Although there is also a solution in the form of using a different type of powder.
    But for the artillery I will not say. In general, to be honest, I do not see any particular advantages over existing types of ammunition. The calibers in the artillery are different, the tasks are different. There are no stores that need to be unified. The uniform length of the ammunition is also not so important.

    So it's not in vain that anyone has yet managed to massively adopt this wonder-wunderwaffe. Nobody really needs it. At least not worth the money that needs to be spent on its implementation. Caseless ammunition and electric ignition look much more promising.
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 8 September 2020 23: 06 New
      0
      You gave an example with two cartridges. And you realize that the form factor of the cartridge will be rifle. And the power is automatic. Large cartridge with a weak bullet. Minus the amount of ammunition with dubious advantages. And also a cylindrical chamber. While the tapered is better. Telescopes are shorter but much thicker. There is a machine gun in the photo above. The box for the tape is outwardly standard. But the rounds will fit much less.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 8 September 2020 23: 44 New
        +1
        "The box for the tape is outwardly standard. But the rounds will fit much less." ///
        ----
        But the tape is much narrower than the regular one.
        And there is less possibility of misalignment of cartridges in the tape.
        What are the sores of traditional tapes.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin 8 September 2020 23: 51 New
          +1
          Maybe you're right. But how the cylindrical shape without the pronounced cone of the cartridge will affect the delivery is unclear.
    2. Inj Meh
      Inj Meh 17 September 2020 04: 32 New
      0
      The idea is interesting, especially in relation to the option: one barrel of 40mm or another caliber shoots ammunition of different power and length (for example, shots suitable for a 150 mm grenade launcher and subcaliber rounds 500 mm long)

      but probably the solution will be one barrel and two or three options for quick-change breeches (including, perhaps, a revolver type) and, accordingly, two or three options for the length of ammunition of the same diameter (or even slightly different diameters when using a conical shape), with different supply stores.
  11. KSVK
    KSVK 8 September 2020 23: 48 New
    -1
    Quote: garri-lin
    You gave an example with two cartridges. And you realize that the form factor of the cartridge will be rifle. And the power is automatic. Large cartridge with a weak bullet. Minus the amount of ammunition with dubious advantages.


    Not. The cartridge will be the same. That's the whole point. The 6,5 bullet has a ballistics of 7,62 with less weight. And these cartridges can be used in a submachine gun / assault rifle and in a Marksman and in a single machine gun. It's just that the cartridge will be of two types, more powerful and weaker. When firing from a machine gun with a powerful cartridge, the automatic firing mode will not be so effective due to the greater recoil.
    And also logistics. You don't think about her at all. Providing a unit with ONE ammunition is one thing. Another thing is two or three. But this ammunition still needs to be produced ... wink
    It's just that in this example I don't see any special prerequisites for a "telescope". In the hunting field, yes. Somewhere in combat ... doubtful.
    Quote: garri-lin

    And also a cylindrical chamber. While the tapered is better.

    This is what?
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 8 September 2020 23: 56 New
      0
      Extraction on contamination. The taper is better.
      And by cartridges. If several types of cartridges have the same size, then for lighter and more sturdy cartridges this size will be excessive.
    2. Private-K
      Private-K 9 September 2020 08: 01 New
      +1
      Quote: KSVK
      The patron will be the same

      Those. neither in appearance nor in touch, the cartridges are indistinguishable.
      That is, we have a situation when errors in equipping weapons with the "wrong" cartridge will be guaranteed and permanent. The military simply shrugs off such an obvious prospect by swearing.

      And at the expense of the prospects for telescopic cartridges, they are in the same place as before:
      - shot weapons
      - small caliber automatic cannons.
      But even with guns it is doubtful.

      The thickening of the cartridge accordingly reduces the already small capacity of small arms stores - there will be a shock from the military.
      1. Simargl
        Simargl 9 September 2020 20: 51 New
        0
        Quote: Private-K
        And at the expense of the prospects for telescopic cartridges, they are in the same place as before:
        - shot weapons
        GA and all sorts of Nagant cartridges are not the telescopes that are meant - they are ordinary, they have a projectile and a charge on top of each other. In the telescope, the projectile is recessed into the charge. By the way, the first were not the Americans, but the Germans with the G-11: there the cartridge is a classic telescope, and even caseless. By the way, there is also an expelling charge in the G-11 telescope.
  12. KSVK
    KSVK 9 September 2020 00: 11 New
    0
    Quote: garri-lin
    Extraction on contamination. The taper is better.
    And by cartridges. If several types of cartridges have the same size, then for lighter and more sturdy cartridges this size will be excessive.

    And for the heavy and powerful it is not enough. smile
    On average, you get the same weight.
    Even easier. We don't have a 5,45 machine gun. So x54. And they leave more than machine guns. wink
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 9 September 2020 00: 18 New
      +1
      Machine gun under 5,45, as it were. Also, the tape is at war. X54 is a good thing. But why such a senseless unification. Frankly speaking, perhaps even the creators of the concept of telescopic ammunition cannot name any significant advantages. Just a different form.
  13. Sergey Kovalev
    Sergey Kovalev 9 September 2020 03: 25 New
    -3
    The militant West still tolerated Russia while a paper tiger was sitting in the chair of its President. But if a real tiger sits in this chair, the war will begin in five minutes at its hottest. Therefore, a real tiger cannot appear in the Kremlin - it must hide in the jungle. And at the post of the President there should be a talking doll. Vladimir Putin is a very unsuitable candidate for this role.
  14. sen
    sen 9 September 2020 06: 23 New
    +3
    Telescopic ammunition for the Chinese combat module CS / AA5 with a 40 mm automatic cannon.
    1. psiho117
      psiho117 9 September 2020 12: 32 New
      +3
      Quote: sen
      Chinese combat module CS / AA5 with a 40-mm automatic cannon.

      Still, industrial espionage works great for the Chinese.
      Only the CTAS project appeared - they immediately filed their own. And they have practically brought it to production.
      Ours also tried something, even Rogozin was presented with this gun - but ... request
  15. CastroRuiz
    CastroRuiz 9 September 2020 13: 41 New
    +2
    Kitayskaya "razrabotka" neveniyaka kopipast izdelia CTA Int.
  16. DDZ57
    DDZ57 9 September 2020 17: 16 New
    +2
    The Chinese filed it down, because the CTAI performed basic research in the 90s. They have at least 20 patents for different solutions of these ammunition. Working out the solutions was not easy, it took more than 15 years. Patents, respectively, of the 90s, now the validity period is over.
    The first was developed a 45 mm armament system (70x305 mm sleeve) in accordance with the previously concluded tripartite agreement (France, Great Britain, USA) on NATO standardization STANAG (Standardization Agreement) concerning the STA cannon. In 1997, with the advent of the CT2000 cannon, the 45 mm caliber was reduced to the current 40 mm (case 65x225 mm), then the finished system was designated CTWS (Cased Telescoped Weapon System). Later, the name of the system was changed to Cased Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition (CTSA) and finally took on its current form CTAS (Case Telescoped Armament System).
    The gun and telescopic ammunition for it occupy their own niche in weapon systems. They blended well not only in land vehicles, but also began to enter the fleet.
    1. DDZ57
      DDZ57 9 September 2020 17: 33 New
      +2
      The shape of shots of the ST family (40x255 mm) simplifies the supply of ammunition, reduces the time for feeding and loading them, and also makes them more convenient for storage compared to the traditional design. Although they are similar in characteristics, maximum diameter and weight to the traditional 40x365R projectile for the 40/70 Bofors cannon (used in the CV90 and K21 infantry fighting vehicles), they are more than half the length, approximately 235 mm versus the 535 mm Bofors projectile.