European NATO Army alternatives: 1950 - 1990

It doesn't work that way. Tank guns fire unitary ammunition and artillery pieces use separate ammunition with a variable number of charge bags (whether the charge is then cased or the breech is self-obturating), so they wouldn't be compatible even if you wanted to fire the same projectiles out of both guns, which is almost never the case.
It would be possible to make a round semi-fixed. The problem is, a tank round it optimised for higher velocities whereas an artillery round is not, so the difference would be large. Not impossible, just a round optimised for AT work as against a round optimised as an artillery one.
 
Regarding tanks & artillery

Could both tanks and artillery using the same caliber of round help such as what happened with the L7 105mm round being not only used by tanks M60, Leopard & Centurion bit also the Abbott SPG, M101, M102 M108 guns?

Would it be useful for NATO tanks to up gun and use the NATO 155mm round?, Is it at all possible?

No.
Artillery shell fragments are ejected sideways, and you want the shell to arrive as steeply as possible, overwise half of the fragments go straight into ground.

So you want to "lobe" it high, over hills and trees. The firer can use third person to control fire, "an observer". Indirect fire.

Hence artillery fire separate ammo, one that have a number of "bags" of propellant. Basically one, for short range, the whole lot of bags for long.

Tank guns are the opposite, hard and fast.
 
1975

Having looked again at gun /missile launchers, the French do have a laser beam rider in 1972 for its 142mm system.

Money saved by cancellation of Shillelagh, by Taylor at the same time of M60, could be used for composite core.

142mm smoothbore would be a better calibre for APDSFS, MP-HEAT and HESH. HESH can be fired by SB, but finned projectiles have 20% less payload than rifled guns. HESH was used on early British ATGW.

WITH 142mm HESH, the warhead is heavy enough for any heavy bunkers, especially than build by Nth Korea.


History
The ACRA program began in the year 1961 by the Atelier de construction de Puteaux or APX for short and it was created in 1971 by the Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres. It was heavily inspired and influenced by the American M551 and its MGM-51 Shillelagh missile. It had much superior muzzle velocity of 550 m/s with an effective range of about 3,300 m.

The initial guidance system was a beam projector that used xenon lamps but this was quickly changed into a laser guidance system.
 
I wrote the French wiki article on ACRA. The concern is the really excessive cost of the missile, and that it could not be used by helicopter. Replace with the Franco-German HOT.:


Texas Instruments has a patent on laser beam rider. As with thermal imagers, the US could do it cheaper and earlier.

AMX -30 was using II cameras early 80's, and first thermals in early 90's.

Cost is relative???
 
Price of the AMX-30 in 1967 : 2,5 millions of francs :
https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/art...lindes-des-forces-de-man-uvre_2631260_1819218. HTML

with inflation, we arrive at 4.5 million francs in 1975. We have an ACRA missile manufactured in small series (500 used for tests) costing around one million francs.

The relationship between the impact of the ammunition and the target to be destroyed also gave pause at the time; faced with tens of thousands of tanks and hundreds of thousands of vehicles of the Warsaw Pact, missiles and rockets were needed en masse.
 
Edit : Official convertissor of french administration : https://www.insee.fr/fr/information/2417794
AMX-30 in 1967 : 2,5 millions of French Francs : 3 663 704,18 Euros 2023 - 1 USD in 1967 = 4, 94 FF
ACRA missile in 1973 : 1 million of French Francs : 1 022 156,74 Euros 2023 - 1 USD in 1973 = 4,45 FF
1 Euro equal 1.08 US Dollar this February 20, 2023


With the end of the dollar's relationship with gold, things move a lot from one year to the next, see the graph :

In comparison, a SCALP/Storm Shadow surface-to-air missile (1,300 kg, + 500 km range) is estimated at 850,000 euros per unit in 2011.

The Mistral very short-range surface-to-air missile, dated 2001, has a unit price of 41,000 euros for the portable firing station and 169,900 for the ammunition.


The fact that France does not have the capacity to have huge serial constructions like the USA means that the unit cost is higher.

In 2018, for the MMP medium-range missile system program - Range : 5000 m - (now called Akeron MP), here is what was announced:


The scope of stage 1 of the program includes in particular the acquisition of:
- 1,750 ammunition,
- 400 shooting stations,
- 113 combat shooting simulators, 80 shooting training simulators,
- peripheral equipment,
- the initial support system of 2 years from the delivery of the 1st serial batch.

The scope also includes:
- the development, qualification and production of 425 transport kits for vehicles,
- the development, qualification and production of 50 airdrop kits.

The cost of the program is 677.5 million euros in 2018 economic conditions.
The unit price of an ammunition is 197,800 euros in 2018 economic conditions.
 
The relationship between the impact of the ammunition and the target to be destroyed also gave pause at the time; faced with tens of thousands of tanks and hundreds of thousands of vehicles of the Warsaw Pact, missiles and rockets were needed en masse.
I do not disagree with this or using HOT. The gun / launcher is on the USA's tab, as was HELLFIRE.

The lessons of '73 was ATGWs were not as superior as first thought, as were the BMP.

In context of that,
ATGW (Especially unprotected launchers of AFV), are a one trick pony ( long range ambush). Soviet artillery groups at both RAG and DAG, were enlarging to conduct hurrican barrages to clear ATGWs. Also, the "mass" of soviet armour was not solely heavy tanks, but more than half are lighter BMP, etc,. Plus the increasing ATGW helicopter.....

Adding heavy auto cannon, would be more cost effective, if added to basic ATGW tank destroyers?

Having a mobile heavily armour ATGW may not be cost effective alone, but a force multiplier?
 
Only as a separate reserve in armored battalions.

This will prevent you from breaking through your opponent's defense. You can quickly strengthen the breach and protect against a sudden counterattack by enemy tanks.
 
The fact that France does not have the capacity to have huge serial constructions like the USA means that the unit cost is higher.

Germany accepted that fact and developed the smoothbore and we're going to let the US keep its missiles as an overwatch (iE limited number) system.

Ironically, the work with workable fin rounds in the US was a product of the 152mm.

With the Germans working on both 105 and 120mm SB, a 110 /48mm SB would have good new /retro gun as APDSFS started service in NATO?? And later a 125-130/48mm for any future LEO3??. 110 can have long rod, semi combustible case and match 120/55 rifle.

With the Soviet's Kobra entering service in 75, a hybrid ACRA/Shillelagh still makes sense as an overwatch. A faster missile 142mm 600m/s allows anti-helo missile as faster Stinger!

152mm was considered for TEA (Trimethylaluminium) incendiary round (like M202 flash).

A HESH round would have been big. Important in highly urbanised Europe with towns every 2 km, minor cities every 10km with concrete reinforced buildings. The short barrel would be helpful in narrow streets
 
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The problem with Shillelagh was apparently that the guidance system would be knocked into misalignment if a conventional round was fired. So, if you fired conventional rounds were fired, you would need to send the vehicle back to workshops to re-align and re-zero the missile side of things. Which was fine if you weren't on operations but if you were it was a bit of a problem.
 
The problem with Shillelagh was apparently that the guidance system would be knocked into misalignment if a conventional round was fired. So, if you fired conventional rounds were fired, you would need to send the vehicle back to workshops to re-align and re-zero the missile side of things. Which was fine if you weren't on operations but if you were it was a bit of a problem.

No doult with 50-60s tech. Shillelagh was a 50's missile. Navy had the same problem with carrier planes trapping with missiles aboard. A lot of sparrow missile faults were traced to this.

However, by the mid 70's, electronics had hardened enough to allow digital computers, laser range finders and thermal imagers.

A semi cased 142mm system is well within the tech of time. If shillelagh was $2000-$4000 at time, it's similar cost as TOW and HOT.

If the Soviets could with Kobra, the US army could if it wanted too.
 
No doult with 50-60s tech. Shillelagh was a 50's missile. Navy had the same problem with carrier planes trapping with missiles aboard. A lot of sparrow missile faults were traced to this.

However, by the mid 70's, electronics had hardened enough to allow digital computers, laser range finders and thermal imagers.

A semi cased 142mm system is well within the tech of time. If shillelagh was $2000-$4000 at time, it's similar cost as TOW and HOT.

If the Soviets could with Kobra, the US army could if it wanted too.
It was found that a smoothbore 120mm was just as effective over the same ranges as a shillelagh so they decided with all the problems a shillelagh presented with they'd rather just stick with a APDSFS round.
 
It was found that a smoothbore 120mm was just as effective over the same ranges as a shillelagh so they decided with all the problems a shillelagh presented with they'd rather just stick with a APDSFS round.
Not in the 70's.

(The delivery of six leo 1 tanks was scheduled for 1979, 114 for 1980, 180 for 1981, and 300 tanks each following year.[39])

Soviets went Kobra, then and had better range, speed, and OK penetration.

US and UK keep 165mm demo guns.
 
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You overestimate the number of T-54s in service.
Until the 1960s, the basic tank for mobilization would still be the T-34.

A bigger problem is the severely limited artillery, NATO lacks rocket artillery to destroy manpower.

On a different topic...

Britain wanted a new artillery calibre. 105mm was US standard. It used Italian pack howitzers, but while very portable, were not robust.

110mm was prefered caliber. The light gun, was the compromise, in 105mm, but a totally different 105mm round. Better ballistics, separate loading and electric priming.

The piece cannot be towed at high speed with the barrel rearward, or it flips. To rotate the barrel forward, a wheel need to be removed to allow this.

In light of dealing /jolly as standard helo (and C-15 wide body transport), should the UK go for 120mm?? It's a common caliber.

An Abbot 120mm could fire to 20km with standard British design ammo?
A M108/M109 use 120mm to replace both of these early SPGs with fast firing SPGs?
Design a purpose built 155/45mm long gun on a tank hull using Bull's design?
 
However, by the mid 70's, electronics had hardened enough to allow digital computers, laser range finders and thermal imagers.

No most of those are theoretically possible in the 70s, practical and reliable late 80s, able to integrate the rangefinder, ballistic computer cant meter and so forth into something that can be used by you, cold hungry tired dumb grunt that you are and give better results than what you had before. probably early 90s.

Things like Komet or Refleks which fire out of the existing main gun barrel ( which requires a smoothbore) rather than designing a gun able to take a larger size missile and development of a new ammunition type for all other functions are the way to go . But has limited evidence of effectiveness. OFC the comparison is with the cost and effectiveness of this type of munition with APFSDS or HEAT or HESH/HEP of the same calibre which also can benefit from improvements in laser rangefinding ballistic computers and so forth. And the biggest advantage is potential range, which requires the ability to see that distance, so hills are a thing.

At the same time armour to defeat HEAT rounds is progressing by leaps and bounds both composite and reactive.
110mm was prefered caliber. The light gun, was the compromise, in 105mm, but a totally different 105mm round. Better ballistics, separate loading and electric priming.

The piece cannot be towed at high speed with the barrel rearward, or it flips. To rotate the barrel forward, a wheel need to be removed to allow this.

In light of dealing /jolly as standard helo (and C-15 wide body transport), should the UK go for 120mm?? It's a common caliber.
No. The British planning was for an 88 ( 25lb) and 110 ( 4.5 inch) as was the US for the 105 replacement. Thats killed by the adoption of 105 and 155 as see thread title. So the British adapted the new shells from the 88 to 105 as there was no NATO standard for the 105 beyond calibre. Thats initially for the Abbot which replaces the 26lb SP guns later adopted for the Light gun.

But everyone else in Nato and a large part of the British army is already equipped with 105/155 The 88 110 5.5 suite may make sense But the 105 merges the functions of the 88 and 105 into a singe weapon, which for NBC reasons you will want to put into an enclosed AFV.

This can be towed by basically anything, the barrel is turned for high speed movement on primary roads, not the most common situation for commando airborne and light infantry units, and its takes about a minute. So you can change location easily without that process and do it later when you reach the motorway.

As the 105 is rated for just about every transport helo in the world and most light trucks, snowmobile equivalents and can be airdropped. its difficult to see what advantage a larger gun could achieve.
 
Is there anything in particular that made the 105 L7 such a great gun for almost every tank until the 90s? Or rather why did the US long 90s, 100s, 120s British 120s and French 100s and 120s fail?
 

CalBear

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No most of those are theoretically possible in the 70s, practical and reliable late 80s, able to integrate the rangefinder, ballistic computer cant meter and so forth into something that can be used by you, cold hungry tired dumb grunt that you are and give better results than what you had before. probably early 90s.

Things like Komet or Refleks which fire out of the existing main gun barrel ( which requires a smoothbore) rather than designing a gun able to take a larger size missile and development of a new ammunition type for all other functions are the way to go . But has limited evidence of effectiveness. OFC the comparison is with the cost and effectiveness of this type of munition with APFSDS or HEAT or HESH/HEP of the same calibre which also can benefit from improvements in laser rangefinding ballistic computers and so forth. And the biggest advantage is potential range, which requires the ability to see that distance, so hills are a thing.

At the same time armour to defeat HEAT rounds is progressing by leaps and bounds both composite and reactive.

No. The British planning was for an 88 ( 25lb) and 110 ( 4.5 inch) as was the US for the 105 replacement. Thats killed by the adoption of 105 and 155 as see thread title. So the British adapted the new shells from the 88 to 105 as there was no NATO standard for the 105 beyond calibre. Thats initially for the Abbot which replaces the 26lb SP guns later adopted for the Light gun.

But everyone else in Nato and a large part of the British army is already equipped with 105/155 The 88 110 5.5 suite may make sense But the 105 merges the functions of the 88 and 105 into a singe weapon, which for NBC reasons you will want to put into an enclosed AFV.

This can be towed by basically anything, the barrel is turned for high speed movement on primary roads, not the most common situation for commando airborne and light infantry units, and its takes about a minute. So you can change location easily without that process and do it later when you reach the motorway.

As the 105 is rated for just about every transport helo in the world and most light trucks, snowmobile equivalents and can be airdropped. its difficult to see what advantage a larger gun could achieve.
Cold, hungry, dumb, grunt?

Oh, please DO expand.

I quite insist.
 
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