Rheinmetall will showcase the Group’s next generation 130mm tank armament at the largest land warfare conference and tradeshow in North America: the Association of United States Army annual meeting (AUSA 2019) taking place in Washington DC, 14-16 October 2019.
The 130mm developmental cannon delivers leap-ahead capabilities in lethality for next generation main battle tanks. Rheinmetall is a global leader in armament and ammunition development and delivery.
Rheinmetall developed its 130mm main gun technology demonstrator to address the emerging necessity of gaining significant performance enhancements against modern armored vehicles. The 130mm live fire demonstrator has completed developmental efforts that have showcased superior energy and output performance when compared to the standard 120mm L55/L55A1 cannon in a direct live fire test with modern targets.
The 130mm/L51 smoothbore gun weighs (without mounting components) 3,000 kilograms with a barrel length of 6.63 meters. As part of its Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program, the US Army is exploring concepts to replace the Abrams tank fleet including considering manned and unmanned tank variants; larger armaments; next generation munitions; and unmanned turrets.
In the coming months, the 130mm/L51 gun will undergo additional testing that is expected to confirm a substantial leap in performance when compared with in-service tank main armaments. An MBT equipped with the 130mm cannon would be capable of successfully engaging better-protected opponents at greater ranges with superior firepower.
Rheinmetall is also developing corresponding ammunition for use with the 130mm cannon. Rheinmetall is also developing an unmanned 130mm demonstrator turret featuring automated ammunition flow. This system will be compatible with the European Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) project and can serve as a combat performance upgrade to all Leopard 2 user nations. The development also matches key developmental priorities in the US Army NGCV program.
Rheinmetall is the main developer and manufacturer of 120mm smooth bore weapon systems in service today on the Leopard Main Battle Tank and the US Army Abrams Main Battle Tanks (via license to the US Army). In the case of the Leopard, Rheinmetall also developed and supplied the ammunition for the smooth bore 120mm cannon. Continuously improving the performance of 120mm tank gun and ammunition technology has long been one of Rheinmetall’s highest priorities.