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South African artillery/cannon/guns - prototypes, projects, concepts etc.

Graugrun

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This topic deserves it's own thread - starting off with my favorite S.A. artillery prototype, the LEO or G7, it was part of the 'Losvoor" (far ahead) artillery program. The aim was to achieve all that could be done by 155mm artillery (range, lethality) within a 105mm artillery piece while still including a 105mm's advantages (smaller, lightweight, lower logistics footprint, higher ammunition count for the same volume, transportable by helicopter etc).

The LEO/G7 was revealed in 2001 or so IIRC. With a standard range of 24 Km and a base-bleed range of 30 Km, it certainly had more than the range of most contemporary Western 155mm artillery pieces, with it's PFF 105mm round having up to 3 X the lethality of then British and American 155mm rounds (proved in testing by both of them), I certainly think they got a long way into achieving their goals. Accuracy was also excellent BTW.

The Americans in the meantime have adopted the 105mm PFF round (and others I think) and their were trials in the U.S. where the LEO was placed into a turret on their LAV III vehicles (after the Crusader program was cancelled). Unfortunately nothing yet has come of that. Like most projects of the time funding saw it not progressing any further - more to come, in the meantime an article that appeared in Armed Forces magazine (date unknown, properly around 2001).

BTW I intend to cover all of the bigger South African guns/howitzers/cannon/artillery/mortars/tank,armored car guns etc within this thread.
 

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kaiserbill

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I think this is the LEO 105mm G7 in the T7 turret mounted on the LAV III being tested at the Alkantpan Test Range in the Northern Cape.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Graugrun said:
The Americans in the meantime have adopted the 105mm PFF round (and others I think) and their were trials in the U.S. where the LEO was placed into a turret on their LAV III vehicles (after the Crusader program was cancelled). Unfortunately nothing yet has come of that. Like most projects of the time funding saw it not progressing any further - more to come, in the meantime an article that appeared in Armed Forces magazine (date unknown, properly around 2001).


Nope. LEO was mounted on the LAVIII hull for the Stryker BCT project while Crusader was still going ahead. The Stryker BCT had a requirement for a SP artillery system using the same chassis. United Defese (later BAES) were offering the M777 mounted on a LAV in the fashion of the Soviet 240mm mortar and GDLS were offering the Denel LEO 105mm system. However the SP arty requirement was later cancelled for SBCT (money!) and these brigades had to make do with legacy towed systems.
 

lastdingo

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Whenever you think about South African artillery ranges, remember their athmospheric conditions there allow for a couple per cent more range on some desert artillery ranges (hot propellant, for example). Some European 52cal SPGs gained several per cent range when tested on South African ranges.
 

Abraham Gubler

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lastdingo said:
Whenever you think about South African artillery ranges, remember their athmospheric conditions there allow for a couple per cent more range on some desert artillery ranges (hot propellant, for example). Some European 52cal SPGs gained several per cent range when tested on South African ranges.


High altitude is the main thing. Much of the Transvall, Orange River area is at over 4,000 feet altitude (the Highveld). Air is less dense meaning shells can fly further. However the range advantage of the 155mm ERFB and similar 105mm rounds is nothing the South Africans came up with but based on the research and application of Canadian engineer Gerald Bull for the shell shape and the Swedish coast artillery for base bleed. The range advantage of the ERFB comes with a cost however of higher dispersion thanks to slightly more instability in the rounds. Nothing a precision guided fuse kit can't fix but.
 

JFC Fuller

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If I recall correctly, the LEO-105 turret never got as far as being fired whilst the LAV-III it was on was manned- all the firings were remote controlled.
 

Graugrun

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Abraham Gubler said:
lastdingo said:
Whenever you think about South African artillery ranges, remember their atmospheric conditions there allow for a couple per cent more range on some desert artillery ranges (hot propellant, for example). Some European 52cal SPGs gained several per cent range when tested on South African ranges.


High altitude is the main thing. Much of the Transvall, Orange River area is at over 4,000 feet altitude (the Highveld). Air is less dense meaning shells can fly further.However the range advantage of the 155mm ERFB and similar 105mm rounds is nothing the South Africans came up with but based on the research and application of Canadian engineer Gerald Bull for the shell shape and the Swedish coast artillery for base bleed. The range advantage of the ERFB comes with a cost however of higher dispersion thanks to slightly more instability in the rounds. Nothing a precision guided fuse kit can't fix but.

It is often believed that Gerald Bull provided us with the huge leap in artillery when the G-5 gun and it's ammunition was first revealed , however that belief is not entirely correct (he certainly provided us with assistance and with some important technology though).

The full picture is that after our operation Savannah - the 1974-5 invasion of the Cuban/Russian backed country called Angola (at the behest of the American CIA), we quickly realized that we our old WW2 era 5.5 inch and 25 pounder guns were being outgunned by Russian D-30's and 122mm MR L's. This immediately started us on a quest for artillery with ranges greater than 26 Km's. However with a total arms embargo now placed on us, we simply had to develop our own artillery (compounded by the fact that we had a relatively small and now non replaceable airforce, also necessitating the need for artillery to compensate).

We initiated concepts and theoretical work for long range artillery, however we lacked the computing capability to test our theoretical framework. The CIA put us in touch with Gerald Bull and we then contracted his Canadian SRC company in terms of assisting with our artillery project.

Gerald Bull, who had been working extensively on some of his own concepts and ideas for for very long range artillery (including placing objects/satellites into space via artillery), ran OUR theoretical calculations on his computers for us. Later with his financial issues (mostly due to his U.S. conviction and Canadian fine for contravening the U.N.'s arms embargo, principally from helping us), we (Armscor) bought shares in his SRC company and placed key management/engineers within the SRC company. Prototype barrels and projectiles were tested through a joint consortium of of Gerald Bull's and Armscor's engineers on the island of Antigua, which proved rather successful. These tested prototypes were then shipped to South Africa, where from 1976 onwards we continued and developed the full artillery system, finally emerging as the G-5 gun.

It's true that we got base-bleed technology from Gerald Bull (he bought it from Sweden, who developed it specifically for their coastal artillery), however it is rather tricky to get right and has a fairly negative effect on dispersion (accuracy), which is why the Americans gave up on rocket assisted rounds for many years (yes, I know there is a difference, they work in a similar way though). We perfected it to the point where the dispersion is negligible (0,4% at full range) and range was even further increased. Still today many defence firms around the world purchase our base bleed units/filling, for use and also re-sale on their own home produced artillery shells (including Germany).

Although we still use nubbed ERFB rounds in our army (legacy reasons), we have long past moved beyond that and obtain the same ranges with standard shaped and 'nubless' JBMOU compliant rounds. So there is one benefit from Gerald Bull that does not apply anymore.

Artillery men should know that the main cause of wear on a barrel, is not so much from the driving band of the round being fired rubbing/scraping against the barrel but rather from the heat of the propellent charge behind it. If you try to make the charge cooler burning to negate this, you end up having far less explosive energy to propel the round - and therefore much shorter range. We developed (bi-modular) charges that are far cooler burning and have far lower flash characteristics, while still delivering the same amount of explosive energy of traditional propellent. My understanding is that this has been sold/shared with the Germans, British and others (Americans?).

I spoke to a Rheinmetall representative two years ago at length (one of the 3 biggest German defence firms), who told me directly that after they had bought a 51% share in our Somchem and Nashcem companies (propellants/artillery/mortar/rockets etc), they then completed exhaustive testing on all our products - the result? - A non negotiable directive, directly from from the CEO of Rheinmetall that from then on ALL contracts and deals Rheinmetall enter into world-wide will be for the exclusive promotion and sale of the South African designed and developed ammunition (artillery, mortar etc). All the development (chemicals and physical) for the aforementioned ammunition is still developed by South Africans in South Africa, with the exception of insensitive munition (IM) filling, as the Germans had better developed IM stuff than ours.

We were the first (or one of the first ) to place muzzle velocity radars onto our artillery guns to assist with increased accuracy - Also the hugely increased lethality of our artillery rounds - our 105mm rounds for example are more than twice as lethal as the standard US M107 155mm round - proven in US and British tests, the US now manufactures them for themselves under license from us. Then there are the V-LAP rounds (combined Base-Bleed and rocket assist).

I cannot think of all of them now, however the simple fact of the matter is that there have been so many developments and continuous gains in artillery by us, long after Gerald Bull's assistance had come and gone, that it is ample proof that we did not just get some input from an artillery genius (who most others would not listen to anyway) and that, his input (while valuable) was not the alpha and omega of our long range and very accurate artillery.

Regards ranges at altitude, it is always mentioned that our ranges are achieved at altitude, which certainly gives an advantage - however all the brochures on G-5, G-6, G-7 etc always give the ranges based on sea level. Even then, we had deployed artillery that far out-ranged (with good accuracy) most western systems at the time and for many years thereafter.

The tests in 2006 by the German KMV's PzH2000 using our M2005 V-LAP projectiles, achieved ranges of just over 56 km at our Alkantpan range in South Africa - using our M2000 and their own Rh40 projectiles they achieved ranges of 40km, very similar ranges to our G-6. Our G-6 has achieved ranges of 75km using our M9703 V-LAP projectiles at Alkantpan.

Lastly, forgive me if I sound a touch nationalistic, or venting in the above - It's just that too often I read that Gerald Bull was our artillery messiah, and without him we would be absolutely nowhere in terms of artillery - it's simply not true...



Moving on - Below is the LEO G-7 105mm brochure - as mentioned above, our next step in artillery design was to create the best of both 105mm and 155mm worlds in terms of range, lethality, weight, logistics support and tail etc...etc - packed into a 105mm system.

Note also the comparisons between our 105mm Igla rounds in terms of lethality, to some of the more prominent Western 155mm artillery rounds.
 

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tround

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Denel deliberately forget the DPICMs .
A 155mm M483a1 shell is 6.54 times more lethal than a M107 against personnel in the open (standing i think) so , 3.94 times more lethal than a 105mm HE PFF .It's even more lethal against trucks APC VCI SPG , field artillery .





the 105mm HE PFF is lethal against soft targets at all ranges but against medium targets it need accuracy and it's effectiveness (its destruction capacity and not only of neutralisation ) at long range in counter battery fire for exemple is doubtful.
 

sa_bushwar

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Graugrun said:
Abraham Gubler said:
lastdingo said:
Whenever you think about South African artillery ranges, remember their atmospheric conditions there allow for a couple per cent more range on some desert artillery ranges (hot propellant, for example). Some European 52cal SPGs gained several per cent range when tested on South African ranges.


High altitude is the main thing. Much of the Transvall, Orange River area is at over 4,000 feet altitude (the Highveld). Air is less dense meaning shells can fly further.However the range advantage of the 155mm ERFB and similar 105mm rounds is nothing the South Africans came up with but based on the research and application of Canadian engineer Gerald Bull for the shell shape and the Swedish coast artillery for base bleed. The range advantage of the ERFB comes with a cost however of higher dispersion thanks to slightly more instability in the rounds. Nothing a precision guided fuse kit can't fix but.

It is often believed that Gerald Bull provided us with the huge leap in artillery when the G-5 gun and it's ammunition was first revealed , however that belief is not entirely correct (he certainly provided us with assistance and with some important technology though).

The full picture is that after our operation Savannah - the 1974-5 invasion of the Cuban/Russian backed country called Angola (at the behest of the American CIA), we quickly realized that we our old WW2 era 5.5 inch and 25 pounder guns were being outgunned by Russian D-30's and 122mm MR L's. This immediately started us on a quest for artillery with ranges greater than 26 Km's. However with a total arms embargo now placed on us, we simply had to develop our own artillery (compounded by the fact that we had a relatively small and now non replaceable airforce, also necessitating the need for artillery to compensate).

We initiated concepts and theoretical work for long range artillery, however we lacked the computing capability to test our theoretical framework. The CIA put us in touch with Gerald Bull and we then contracted his Canadian SRC company in terms of assisting with our artillery project.

Gerald Bull, who had been working extensively on some of his own concepts and ideas for for very long range artillery (including placing objects/satellites into space via artillery), ran OUR theoretical calculations on his computers for us. Later with his financial issues (mostly due to his U.S. conviction and Canadian fine for contravening the U.N.'s arms embargo, principally from helping us), we (Armscor) bought shares in his SRC company and placed key management/engineers within the SRC company. Prototype barrels and projectiles were tested through a joint consortium of of Gerald Bull's and Armscor's engineers on the island of Antigua, which proved rather successful. These tested prototypes were then shipped to South Africa, where from 1976 onwards we continued and developed the full artillery system, finally emerging as the G-5 gun.

It's true that we got base-bleed technology from Gerald Bull (he bought it from Sweden, who developed it specifically for their coastal artillery), however it is rather tricky to get right and has a fairly negative effect on dispersion (accuracy), which is why the Americans gave up on rocket assisted rounds for many years (yes, I know there is a difference, they work in a similar way though). We perfected it to the point where the dispersion is negligible (0,4% at full range) and range was even further increased. Still today many defence firms around the world purchase our base bleed units/filling, for use and also re-sale on their own home produced artillery shells (including Germany).

Although we still use nubbed ERFB rounds in our army (legacy reasons), we have long past moved beyond that and obtain the same ranges with standard shaped and 'nubless' JBMOU compliant rounds. So there is one benefit from Gerald Bull that does not apply anymore.

Artillery men should know that the main cause of wear on a barrel, is not so much from the driving band of the round being fired rubbing/scraping against the barrel but rather from the heat of the propellent charge behind it. If you try to make the charge cooler burning to negate this, you end up having far less explosive energy to propel the round - and therefore much shorter range. We developed (bi-modular) charges that are far cooler burning and have far lower flash characteristics, while still delivering the same amount of explosive energy of traditional propellent. My understanding is that this has been sold/shared with the Germans, British and others (Americans?).

I spoke to a Rheinmetall representative two years ago at length (one of the 3 biggest German defence firms), who told me directly that after they had bought a 51% share in our Somchem and Nashcem companies (propellants/artillery/mortar/rockets etc), they then completed exhaustive testing on all our products - the result? - A non negotiable directive, directly from from the CEO of Rheinmetall that from then on ALL contracts and deals Rheinmetall enter into world-wide will be for the exclusive promotion and sale of the South African designed and developed ammunition (artillery, mortar etc). All the development (chemicals and physical) for the aforementioned ammunition is still developed by South Africans in South Africa, with the exception of insensitive munition (IM) filling, as the Germans had better developed IM stuff than ours.

We were the first (or one of the first ) to place muzzle velocity radars onto our artillery guns to assist with increased accuracy - Also the hugely increased lethality of our artillery rounds - our 105mm rounds for example are more than twice as lethal as the standard US M107 155mm round - proven in US and British tests, the US now manufactures them for themselves under license from us. Then there are the V-LAP rounds (combined Base-Bleed and rocket assist).

I cannot think of all of them now, however the simple fact of the matter is that there have been so many developments and continuous gains in artillery by us, long after Gerald Bull's assistance had come and gone, that it is ample proof that we did not just get some input from an artillery genius (who most others would not listen to anyway) and that, his input (while valuable) was not the alpha and omega of our long range and very accurate artillery.

Regards ranges at altitude, it is always mentioned that our ranges are achieved at altitude, which certainly gives an advantage - however all the brochures on G-5, G-6, G-7 etc always give the ranges based on sea level. Even then, we had deployed artillery that far out-ranged (with good accuracy) most western systems at the time and for many years thereafter.

The tests in 2006 by the German KMV's PzH2000 using our M2005 V-LAP projectiles, achieved ranges of just over 56 km at our Alkantpan range in South Africa - using our M2000 and their own Rh40 projectiles they achieved ranges of 40km, very similar ranges to our G-6. Our G-6 has achieved ranges of 75km using our M9703 V-LAP projectiles at Alkantpan.

Lastly, forgive me if I sound a touch nationalistic, or venting in the above - It's just that too often I read that Gerald Bull was our artillery messiah, and without him we would be absolutely nowhere in terms of artillery - it's simply not true...



Moving on - Below is the LEO G-7 105mm brochure - as mentioned above, our next step in artillery design was to create the best of both 105mm and 155mm worlds in terms of range, lethality, weight, logistics support and tail etc...etc - packed into a 105mm system.

Note also the comparisons between our 105mm Igla rounds in terms of lethality, to some of the more prominent Western 155mm artillery rounds.

More pictures of LEO
 

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panzerskool

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Read Bulls Eye by James Anderson Random house 1992 if you can find one for a very detailed and in-depth account of Bull and Armscor surrounding the G5 development
 

Graugrun

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tround said:
Denel deliberately forget the DPICMs .
A 155mm M483a1 shell is 6.54 times more lethal than a M107 against personnel in the open (standing i think) so , 3.94 times more lethal than a 105mm HE PFF .It's even more lethal against trucks APC VCI SPG , field artillery .


the 105mm HE PFF is lethal against soft targets at all ranges but against medium targets it need accuracy and it's effectiveness (its destruction capacity and not only of neutralisation ) at long range in counter battery fire for example is doubtful.

Although Denel may have deliberately left out the DPICMs - I think it would have more to do with this type of ammunition no longer really being in service in the US anymore - as well as that this type of ammunition is now pretty much banned in the Western world.

You do also realise that you are trying to compare a 155mm cluster/sub-munition round (M483 A1), weighing in at 46,7 Kg to a 105mm PFF round weighing in at only 15,08 kg - much less than half the M 483 A1's weight...? The M 107 155mm round weighs 43,2 kg BTW.

If I understand your 2nd sentence correctly you are saying that for counter battery fire PFF is not too effective, that would be correct if the target consists of protected self-propelled guns, the switch would automatically be to standard HE rounds then, and yes you would have to get your rounds a little closer to them to get the same damage effect as 155mm rounds. In that case though (and hopefully your tactical intelligence is good), you would be deploying similar artillery (155mm SPG) instead of standard towed type 105mm guns. In terms of range, the aforesaid would also apply - however if they where caught out by 155 SPG's as you suggested, then yes they would most likely come off at the loosing end.

If the counter battery fire was similar or equivalent 105 light towed guns, then the G7 LEO's PFF rounds with a 24 Km range would make short work of them.... BTW accuracy is stated as having dispersion of less than 0,3% at 24Km range.

I think the real point that is trying to be made with the G7 LEO is that although it's only a 105mm gun, it's range, and lethality and accuracy compares favourably with much larger 155mm guns, and in some cases beats them.

Below is an article from Janes Defence weekly (22-Nov-2003) - however the Engineering News article (Feb 2004) is far more detailed and insightful - interesting what they say about the muzzle-break.

I will post a much more detailed Janes IDR article covering the G7 LEO and other current 105mm guns in use soon.
 

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Graugrun

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Thanks sa_bushwar and panzerskool for the info!

tround - Just to clarify what we are talking about in comparing the Leo G7 Igla PFF 105mm round to 155mm rounds - see pic below of Igla in the center on a pedestal (no I did not do that - promise!), with a few 155mm rounds to the rear right for comparison (155 sub-munition rounds should be even bigger).
 

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kaiserbill

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Interesting that the LEO 105mm turret for the LAV/Stryker was designed on the Rooikat turret ring.
Was there a plan to perhaps mount it onto a Rooikat chassis at some stage perhaps?
 

sa_bushwar

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Graugrun said:
tround said:
Denel deliberately forget the DPICMs .
A 155mm M483a1 shell is 6.54 times more lethal than a M107 against personnel in the open (standing i think) so , 3.94 times more lethal than a 105mm HE PFF .It's even more lethal against trucks APC VCI SPG , field artillery .


the 105mm HE PFF is lethal against soft targets at all ranges but against medium targets it need accuracy and it's effectiveness (its destruction capacity and not only of neutralisation ) at long range in counter battery fire for example is doubtful.

Although Denel may have deliberately left out the DPICMs - I think it would have more to do with this type of ammunition no longer really being in service in the US anymore - as well as that this type of ammunition is now pretty much banned in the Western world.

You do also realise that you are trying to compare a 155mm cluster/sub-munition round (M483 A1), weighing in at 46,7 Kg to a 105mm PFF round weighing in at only 15,08 kg - much less than half the M 483 A1's weight...? The M 107 155mm round weighs 43,2 kg BTW.

If I understand your 2nd sentence correctly you are saying that for counter battery fire PFF is not too effective, that would be correct if the target consists of protected self-propelled guns, the switch would automatically be to standard HE rounds then, and yes you would have to get your rounds a little closer to them to get the same damage effect as 155mm rounds. In that case though (and hopefully your tactical intelligence is good), you would be deploying similar artillery (155mm SPG) instead of standard towed type 105mm guns. In terms of range, the aforesaid would also apply - however if they where caught out by 155 SPG's as you suggested, then yes they would most likely come off at the loosing end.

If the counter battery fire was similar or equivalent 105 light towed guns, then the G7 LEO's PFF rounds with a 24 Km range would make short work of them.... BTW accuracy is stated as having dispersion of less than 0,3% at 24Km range.

I think the real point that is trying to be made with the G7 LEO is that although it's only a 105mm gun, it's range, and lethality and accuracy compares favourably with much larger 155mm guns, and in some cases beats them.

Below is an article from Janes Defence weekly (22-Nov-2003) - however the Engineering News article (Feb 2004) is far more detailed and insightful - interesting what they say about the muzzle-break.

I will post a much more detailed Janes IDR article covering the G7 LEO and other current 105mm guns in use soon.

Close-up of LAV turret
 

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Graugrun

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Somewhere in the USA...
 

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sa_bushwar

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G6 ammo - can you identify the type of projectiles?
 

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Graugrun

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The top one is a sub-munition round, consisting of (48, IIRC) HEAT sub-munitions - we stopped them quickly once the strong rumours about a potential world -wide ban started (although I'm sure it was still pretty much only in the pre-production phase).

The 2nd looks like the leaflet (propaganda) round and the 3rd looks like a red phosphorus round - see Swartklip brochure below.
 

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tround

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First Graugrun , could you reformulate your answer on the counter battery ?

The french army had compared the 37mm pom pom against the 75mm field gun . The Rock Island Arsenal had compared lethality of 30mm shell against 105mm shell for aerial applications .

Denel compare a 155mm natural fragmention shell against a 105 mm with tungstens fragments preformed against only soft targets .

Denel market a 155mm DPICM for the G6-52 .

A 105 mm he m1 shell has 4/5 the lethality of a M107 against standing personnel with PD fuze .(m101 and m114 both at max ranges )

the 150mm heavy field howitzer was adopted for the destruction of the field fortifications , not because it's better against personnel in the open . French found the 105mm ineffective against fortified villages in the tonkin and need 155mm etc .

Report of a Board of Officers Convened to Make a Study of the Armament and Types of Artillery Materiel to be Assigned to a Field Army (1919) : The projectile of this caliber is the smallest projectile which can be called upon to give adequate mining effect against material targets of semi-permanent nature. The place of this howitzer is,
therefore, determined by considerations of its destructive ability

Abstact from the FM 3-06 urban combats : Weapons of at least 155-mm are necessary against thick reinforced concrete, stone, or brick walls .
The effectiveness of the G5 against T55 MBT in the Angola war ? the effectiveness of the M109 SPH during the battles of Sidon and Tyre ?


Where is the medium and hard targets in the Denel argumentation ?
 

sa_bushwar

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Some nice shots of the SANDF G5's in action.
 

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Graugrun

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tround said:
First Graugrun , could you reformulate your answer on the counter battery ?

The french army had compared the 37mm pom pom against the 75mm field gun . The Rock Island Arsenal had compared lethality of 30mm shell against 105mm shell for aerial applications .

Denel compare a 155mm natural fragmention shell against a 105 mm with tungstens fragments preformed against only soft targets .

Denel market a 155mm DPICM for the G6-52 .

A 105 mm he m1 shell has 4/5 the lethality of a M107 against standing personnel with PD fuze .(m101 and m114 both at max ranges )

the 150mm heavy field howitzer was adopted for the destruction of the field fortifications , not because it's better against personnel in the open . French found the 105mm ineffective against fortified villages in the tonkin and need 155mm etc .

Report of a Board of Officers Convened to Make a Study of the Armament and Types of Artillery Materiel to be Assigned to a Field Army (1919) : The projectile of this caliber is the smallest projectile which can be called upon to give adequate mining effect against material targets of semi-permanent nature. The place of this howitzer is,
therefore, determined by considerations of its destructive ability

Abstact from the FM 3-06 urban combats : Weapons of at least 155-mm are necessary against thick reinforced concrete, stone, or brick walls .
The effectiveness of the G5 against T55 MBT in the Angola war ? the effectiveness of the M109 SPH during the battles of Sidon and Tyre ?


Where is the medium and hard targets in the Denel argumentation ?

I think there is some miss-understanding here and perhaps because my post #1 could have been written a bit better/clearer - the LEO G7 105mm gun's designers intention was to NOT to completely replace 155mm guns - but to achieve as much as possible with a 105mm gun system as could be achieved with a 155mm gun. This was to be done within the same ammunition weight, logistics tail, and gun weight advantages etc..etc of a 105mm gun as far as possible. They ended up outdoing some 155mm guns on both range lethality and even accuracy. Therefore we end up with much more flexibility, where we can use a 105mm gun in many more scenarios that previously would have necessitated 155mm guns.

So my previous answer to your counter battery question was that yes you are correct, if the LEO was facing modern 155mm SPG's, LEO would be in big trouble. However you would need to decide to deploy either medium or heavy weight artillery depending on the situation. I stated that if LEO was facing other 105mm guns in the counter-battery role, then they are more than likely going to loose out to LEO.

Regards taking out tanks - yes PFF would not be your ideal ammunition choice, if it was LEO, then they would revert to their natural fragmentation round and try to get very close or direct hits to disable them. I am not sure of what sort of overpressure/blast effects one would need to kill or disable the tank crew, however you would certainly limit or even disable a tank's fighting ability should a LEO's 105mm PFF detonate very close to it (damage/destroy various optics, antennae, miss-align the main gun/optics, damage external piping, potentially damage radiators, engine components etc and even tracks being shed off from the blast). I'm sure this is what you meant when you said they have to be accurate (i.e. detonate close by).

That said a 155mm natural fragmentation shell would also need to detonate not too far away from a MBT to be effective - perhaps you or someone with good artillery experience can give us some details around that (distances etc).

The point is that we have effectively made a long range 105mm PFF round, that is more lethal in the light target role (men/trucks/Jeeps/light AFV's), then some current 155mm rounds that are more than double it's weight. (no one else has successfully made a modern PFF round 105 or 155mm round to the best of my knowledge). This lethality was confirmed by independent in country trials by both the UK and US ammunition test authorities - see Janes IDR November 2002 article below. This article actually covers a fair amount of comparisons between the LEO round and two 155mm rounds, and covers various other 105mm artillery pieces and their ammunition for your perusal and cross reference to the LEO G7.

I have also included two printed sheets showing the lethality of the LEO round (variously called the M9759A, M2020) and a M1 155mm round, the green rectangle represents a full sized soccer field.

DPICM ammunition is pretty much banned in most Western countries (I believe that Israel still actively uses them though). So any comparisons with them would be moot (not applicable/not important anymore).

You are correct - there is no particular argument from Denel in terms of medium and hard targets, that was not their main marketing focus I suspect - but don't forget there is a range of shells including a natural metal fragmentation shell for the medium to hard targets.

During our 23 year Border War (Angola), we learned a thing or two regards artillery and found that we were generally using it mostly against troops, light to medium armoured vehicles, supply convoys and various bases/rear bases. Thus PFF is the type of round we found would be most effective in modern warfare and therefore wanted. Others seem to think so to - My understanding is that the US army now uses the Igla M2020 PFF round (M9759A3), either imported by or license manufactured by General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS) as the type M1130 HE-PFF - link to PDF: http://www.gd-ots.com/download/105mm%20M1130%20HE-PFF.pdf

We are still pretty much comparing the LEO G7 to 155mm pieces though - once we level the playing field and compare it to all other 105mm guns, apart from weight - LEO pretty much wins hands down in all cases - that's why I have included the whole article for the various comparisons.

Kaiserbill, the article confirms the that it was originally considered for Rooikat - it also alludes to it's high potential in the anti tank role, if firing an APFSDS type round.
 

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Graugrun

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Posting this separately to the above post due to size limitation considerations.
 

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Graugrun

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A little more on fuses - another forgotten prototype, the IMPI - a Plessey Tellumat development. Either Fuchs improved their fuses or perhaps the IMPI was too expensive, did not work as advertised or it was perhaps just a case of no funding for the SADF to purchase it, so no foreigner buyers would.

It's intended market seems to have been primary a naval one, however it advocated land (anti helicopter use as well).
 

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kaiserbill

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An anti-helicopter round for the Rooikat.....I'd not thought of that.

One wonders though how delicate the transmitter would be mounted on such a vehicle?
 

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kaiserbill said:
An anti-helicopter round for the Rooikat.....I'd not thought of that.

One wonders though how delicate the transmitter would be mounted on such a vehicle?

I think it would be pretty impractical on the Rooikat as an anti-helicopter round for many reasons - I'm also pretty sure that Fuchs just simply improved their 76mm proximity fuse and that was that...
 

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Staying on fuses for a while - there where two South African course correcting fuse projects that I know of - one is still running and in fact ramping up (Denel Dynamics), more on this soon.

This was the other (Fuchs) design that never made it past the prototype stage, it was only a one dimensional correcting fuse (range only) - see attached, both from Janes IDR first article 11/2003 the next from 06/2006.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Graugrun said:
I think it would be pretty impractical on the Rooikat as an anti-helicopter round for many reasons - I'm also pretty sure that Fuchs just simply improved their 76mm proximity fuse and that was that...

When the US Army was seriously looking at a new light tank armed with a 75mm ARES gun one of the selling points was its anti air capability. This gun fired basic standard 76mm shells with a telescoped case and could manage 60 rpm. A three round burst of these shells fitted with IR prox fuses was expected to knock down just about any Soviet tac air. Of course the manually loaded GT4 on the Rooikat couldn’t fire bursts but with the IR prox fuse even a single round would certainly be very bad news for any hovering or approaching helicopter.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1702.0.html
 

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sa_bushwar said:
G6 ammo - can you identify the type of projectiles?


They are all carrier rounds with the tube at the nose being the expelling charge. Bomb 1 has nine cans. They look like HC smoke grenades but the little image attached to it seems to show HEAT warheads? Nine unguided submunitions would not make for a good anti-tank weapon. Bomb 2 is maybe a ILLUM round with the yellow shape to absorb the expelling blast and the white space where the candle and parachute is meant to go. Bomb 3 has three cans coming out of the carrier loaded with what looks like phos impregnated felt patches for smoke?
 

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I wonder what the term caliber means, e.g L52 gun. Does it mean the total length of the gun, or just the travel distance of the projectile, excluding the chamber (since chamber could add 1m to total length of the gun)?
 

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ynm said:
I wonder what the term caliber means, e.g L52 gun. Does it mean the total length of the gun, or just the travel distance of the projectile, excluding the chamber (since chamber could add 1m to total length of the gun)?

AFAIK it's the caliber of the round (in this case 105mm) multiplied 52 times - so the length of the rifled part of the barrel (excluding the chamber and muzzle break) would be 105 X 52 = 5,46 meters.

Well, normally it's excluding the muzzle break - in the LEO G7's case they have made it into an integral part of the (rifled) barrel.
 

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Now for a really fugly one - the T-6 turret developed primarily for the Indian Arjun MBT as a SPG conversion for some of them - pictured here on the alternate T-72 chassis.

Not the nicest looking turret at all - but apparently worked quite well. Part of an everlasting artillery project with India, still sort of on the go (with the latest turret versions), and will the project ever end with an order of some kind...?
 

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Thanks for all the info Graugrun.
Its almost information overload. I've always wondered about the differences between the T6 turret and the one they developed for the Stryker/LEO system.
 

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Graugrun said:
ynm said:
I wonder what the term caliber means, e.g L52 gun. Does it mean the total length of the gun, or just the travel distance of the projectile, excluding the chamber (since chamber could add 1m to total length of the gun)?

AFAIK it's the caliber of the round (in this case 105mm) multiplied 52 times - so the length of the rifled part of the barrel (excluding the chamber and muzzle break) would be 105 X 52 = 5,46 meters.

Well, normally it's excluding the muzzle break - in the LEO G7's case they have made it into an integral part of the (rifled) barrel.

IIRC the length of a gun barrel in calibres was originally measured by the British Army to be from the muzzle to the start of the chamber. The German Army measured it from the muzzle (including muzzle brake if fitted) to the rear of the chamber. Since WWII, it's become somewhat of a more imprecise measurement.
 

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Graugun,

The Indians have, at least for the moment, decided to acquire a system they call catapult. Its 130mm gun dropped on top of an Arjun chassis and is not turret mounted.
 

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Thanks JFC Fuller, I vaguely remember something like that - I think they also mentioned that Catapult is also meant to be an interim measure - to be honest I have after following the process for many years, lost a bit of interest and so don't pay all that much attention to it anymore - India must be of the most difficult and frustrating countries to deal with in terms of defence products - still thanks!

Thanks too for the insight Kadija_Man - I need to check with some insiders as to how the SA defence industry measures it.

compton_effect - I just still have a lot to post, so I'm trying to get a move on as such...


BTW the T-6 turret is certainly very different to the LEO's in many ways. The above post was the first type T-6 turret which later became further refined into the Bhim T-6, as per the attached (thank goodness, the early version was just way too fugly). The first T-6 turret featured a 45 caliber gun, wheres the T-6 Bhim's gun had now become the 52 caliber version.

The Bhim pictured was not the latest version (I think this was in around 2004 or so IIRC), as practically every year or two it was updated/changed/modified in some way or another. The Bhim pictured below is now also pictured on the Arjun chasis (MBT in development by India).
 

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Moving to low tech for a moment - 120mm Mortar Cluster Bomb - which I doubt got any further than the prototype stage, anyone know anymore?
 

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Graugrun

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Condor or T-5, the 155mm truck mounted gun made in response to an Indian army request for such a vehicle - made popular at the time by the French developing the innovative GIAT/Nexter CAESAR truck mounted/fired 155mm gun.

The Condor/T-5's main improvement over the CAESAR was that it could fire over an 80 degree arc (CAESAR has a far smaller, mostly forward firing arc), this gives it a lot more flexibility and reaction time, as it would not be necessary to move the whole vehicle should a new target need to be engaged past the frontal arc. Also as Condor/T-5 has two large side arm stabilizers as well as it's rear stabilizer, it's stability during firing is far better (better accuracy on target for the next round) - and this is also what allows it to fire a little to the sides. I'm not sure if these stabilizers slowed it's reaction time (90 seconds) much compared to CAESAR, as I'm not sure of CAESER's in an out reaction times.

Condor/T-5 seems not to have gone further than the prototype stage - BTW the "T" stood for "Truck" mounted.
 

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Article on Bhim courtesy Janes Defence Weekly - 12/08/1998
 

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A little more on T-5 Condor, this time courtesy of Jane's IDR November 2002.
 

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