152-mm gun for the T-14: actuality and perspectives


152-mm gun for the T-14: actuality and perspectives

Author: Arthur Kowalewski.

The concept of the installation of 152-mm gun on the tank is not new, the attempted installation of this type guns were made in the mid-1980s, however, the technical complexity, excess capacity and the crisis in the country did not allow to fully implement such a task in Soviet times.

Perspective tank T-14 on the platform “Armata” provides for the possibility of installation of 152-mm guns, but at the moment this tank has an upgraded gun with a caliber of 125 mm. However, the Russian defense Ministry is still deliberately to put the 152-mm gun in a limited number of T-14.

Attempts to introduce gun 152 mm on domestic tanks

The first tank with a 152 mm cannon LP-83 was the “Object 292″ Leningrad Kirov plant and VNII Transmash”, created on the basis of the T-80BV. Due to financial difficulties of the late 1980s and early 1990s years in the autumn of 1990 was created only a prototype tank. In 1991, testing began with the test firing, in which it was revealed the significant superiority of 152-mm cannon compared with the main tank gun with a caliber of 125 mm 2A46.In particular, this concerned a larger one and a half times of the pulse shots at approximately equal recoil of guns, which allowed no significant improvements set the gun on the T-80BV, significantly increasing their firepower.

However, in the 1990-ies due to underfunding of the armed forces, “Object 292” and failed all the tests. Later gun with a caliber 152 mm PL-83 were to be used in the “Object 477″ Molot”, and its counterpart, the 152-mm gun 2A83, on the “Object 195” “Black eagle”.

“Object 477″ Molot” because of the unfortunate location of the ammunition did not develop and was soon closed.

For the “Object 195” “Black eagle” at the Yekaterinburg plant No. 9 has created a new gun 2A83 152 mm caliber, which is a modification of guns 2A65 self-propelled artillery (ACS) “Msta-s”. The first test gun 2A83 took place at platform track B-4, which showed the same high results as the PL-83. The direct fire range amounted to 5100 m, penetration – 1024 mm homogeneous steel, which exceeded the indicators of the 2A46. However, in 2010 work on the “Object 195” the Black eagle was halted in favor of a new universal armored Bay “Armata”.

Compare guns of 125 mm and 152 mm

At the moment tanks T-14 “Armata” have a modernized 125-mm gun 2A82-1M, developed by factory no 9 in Yekaterinburg.

The performance characteristics of the 125-mm gun 2A82-1M:

  • Gun type – smooth bore with chrome plated stem;

  • Weight – 2700 kg;

  • Barrel length – 7000 mm;

  • The initial projectile velocity is 2050 m/s;

  • Effective firing range:

– shells – 4700m;

– controlled a missile (URS) 3УБК21 Sprinter – 8000 m;

– anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) “Reflex-M – 5500 m;

  • The rate of fire is 10-12 rounds per minute;

  • Muzzle energy of the shot – 15-24 MJ;

  • Armor penetration:

– armor-piercing discarding sabot projectile (BPS) – 850-1000 mm;

– ATGM – 950 mm;

  • The life of the barrel of the gun – 800-900 shots;

  • Ammunition – 45 rounds;

  • Autoloader – 32 of the projectile.

As 152-mm guns for the T-14 is considered a gun 2A83, upgraded gun SAU “Msta-s” 2A65, development of the same Ekaterinburg plant No. 9.

The performance characteristics of the 152-mm gun 2A83:

  • Gun type – smooth bore with chrome plated stem;

  • Weight – 5000 kg;

  • Barrel length – 7200 mm;

  • The initial velocity of the projectile – 1980 m/s;

  • Effective firing range:

– shells – 5100 m;

– URS “Krasnopol” 2К25 – 20 000 m;

– URS “Krasnopol” ЗОФ38 – 12 000 m;

  • The rate of fire of 10-15 rounds per minute;

  • Muzzle energy of the shot is 20-25 MJ;

  • Armor penetration:

– BPS – 1024 mm;

– ATGM – 1200-1400 m;

  • The life of the barrel of a gun – 280 shots;

  • Ammunition – 40 rounds;

  • Autoloader – 24 of the projectile.

As can be seen from the characteristics of guns compared to the gun 2A82-1M gun 2A83 has significant superiority in almost all respects. It also features the ability to fire ammunition with a length of 1 meter, such as “Krasnopol” – up to this they were used in ACS “Msta-s”.

But this weapon has some critical drawbacks, chief among which is the much larger “parasitic mass” of the gun: even with the use of composite materials weight 2A83 almost twice the weight 2A82-1M. From this arises the second disadvantage is a significant reduction of the tank ammunition. A third disadvantage of this weapon should be considered more than three times the smaller life of the barrel of the gun.

What is the competition

The main competitors are domestic German 2A83 gun 130-mm gun Rheinmetall L55. and 140 mm XM291 gun American.

The German L55 gun. caliber 130 mm created based on a 120-mm predecessor. It is still unknown the exact characteristics, besides the fact that the gun has a barrel length of 51 caliber (6630 mm), will have 50% more power compared to the 120 mm version, and the weight of the gun is 3000 kg For the firing of 130-mm gun will be using two types of perspective unitary shells is armor-piercing shells (APFSDS) with tungsten core, an elongated, partially combustible cartridge case using the charge on the powders of a new type;and multi-purpose high-explosive projectile with a programmable air blast, developed on the basis of the DM11 projectile. Mass production guns scheduled to deploy by 2025.

American XM291 gun caliber 140 mm is the result of work on the project ATAC (Advanced Tank Cannon – “Promising tank gun”). According to the developers, this tool has two times more power than similar 120-mm gun M-256, mounted on the tanks M1A2 “Abrams”. The gun has a removable barrel, the design of the breech allows you to replace a 140-mm gun 120-mm, thus allowing to use as new types of ammunition and old.The gun has an automatic loader, during the tests, the instrument showed a rate similar to the rate 2A83 – 12 rounds per minute. Ammo is 22 rounds caliber 140 mm or 32-33 shells of caliber 120 mm Main drawback of this weapon is very large recoil energy.

Gun in development since 1985 and still has not passed the test today, she is at the stage of the experimental sample.

Prospects of introduction and use 2A83 gun on the T-14

We can quite confidently say that the version of the T-14 with the 152mm gun will be created. In February 2016, has started the procedure of acceptance of the military T-14, including the version with a 152 mm gun. Specialists of “Rosatom” are already working on creating a heavy-duty explosive-piercing shells of calibre of 152 mm of depleted uranium.

The problem of low amounts of ammunition at the 152-mm version of a tank can be solved by placing additional shells at sebachannel niche.

Since the T-14 has its own radar station (radar), 152-mm version of the tank, the use of guided missiles of type “Krasnopol”. In this scenario, the T-14 is looking more like the destroyer than a tank, so it is possible that the 152-mm version of the T-14 in the documentation will have the abbreviation “combat artillery car.” (BAM).

From the foregoing it can be concluded that the main gun of the T-14 will remain 125-mm gun 2A82-1M. With a gun of calibre of 152 mm 2A83 will be produced in limited series of tanks to perform more specific tasks as part of a tank group. Scenario 152-mm guided missiles possible in the destruction of enemy fortifications, the application of precision strikes on armored vehicles or air defense of the enemy at a distance of 20 km and more (projectile “Krasnopol” 2К25 allows you to do it).Therefore, the T-14 with the 152mm gun would not be the main version of the tank on the platform “Armata”, and will serve a highly specialized machine of fire support.

2 responses to “152-mm gun for the T-14: actuality and perspectives

  1. The problem of using a 152mm gun on the T-14 are far greater than the author foresees:

    The internal volume of an armored vehicle is very limited because every square inch of internal volume is protected by an expensive and weighty armored envelope. This adds up to larger rounds meaning less ammo can be carried. The need to resupply frequently limits the time a unit can stay engaged and is a burden on logistical support units. In other worlds, the advantage of a large gun are canceled out by an empty ammo rack.
    A powerful gun recoils. a very powerful gun recoils more. This means that the turret, gun trunnions, turret ring and road gear must be designed to withstand these forces. That means more weight and more volume to accommodate the larger weapon. This is critical for the Russians, as their infrastructure can not support tanks over 50 tons.
    As the M551 showed, a powerful gun on a light vehicle creates its own headaches as sensitive equipment tends to do poorly when shaken vigorously. If a 152mm gun is twice as powerful as a 125mm, that means twice the recoil forces on the same 50 ton hull. That isn’t a lot of mass to soak up a great deal of force.
    The entire discussion of gun bore as a variable in armor penetration is a failure to understand the mechanics of tank guns. The primary anti-tank round is APDSFS, which as the name implies is sub-caliber. Therefore, its not bore size but chamber size (the volume of propellant behind the round) which determines velocity thus armor penetration. Modern armors are optimized against HEAT rounds, so a larger bore HEAT rounds only plays into the armor’s strengths.

    A couple of extra points. The T-14 does not have a radar in the sense the author thinks it does. The radar on the T-14 is not a GSR type radar (which would be ineffective due to ground clutter). Rather, if there is one on the vehicle its part of active defense system.

    The rate of fire of 10-15 rounds per minute only applies if the round being fired is already indexed in the auto loader. If the ammo carousel has to rotate the selected round into loading position, the rate of fire can be as low as 2 round per minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you that this is a sort of Gunomania. The loss of barrel life alone is so bad that you end up with a “really powerful” gun you can’t afford to train with! Furthermore the trend in Tank warfare is highly urban, where huge Guns are just overkill.


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