USA Inability or Unwillingness to Produce a Main Tank Gun

Foo Fighter

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No and I've never heard of the phrase "55 calibre" weapon being used in that manner either. I am though, now an old git and It is the ever constant fasct that language use changes. I sometimes wonder about the line from a Trek film, "Could it be, that we have grown so old, so inflexible as to constitute a joke"? I hope not but I do like accuracy.
 

sferrin

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No and I've never heard of the phrase "55 calibre" weapon being used in that manner either. I am though, now an old git and It is the ever constant fasct that language use changes. I sometimes wonder about the line from a Trek film, "Could it be, that we have grown so old, so inflexible as to constitute a joke"? I hope not but I do like accuracy.

I've seen it before. Here's a good example showing US 16/45 (caliber) and 16/50 (caliber):

 

Foo Fighter

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I get wehat you are saying, I have never heard the singular being used. a 16" 50 calibre for example is the format I am used to, I do however accept and understand that language both colloquial and tech will change with the times. I try to be a good Borg but remain a better Vulcan. Logically anyway.

A good example would be the Kwk 42 75mm L70.
 

fredymac

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M109 specifically. Why "awfully poor" - they got first noticeable "upgrades" in fire automation in ~2013 with A7, and is still miles behind of even 2S3, which entered soviet service in 1970. As a result - poor firerate and fire sustainability. Cannon part is quite obsolete too, which only partially negated by some nice ammunition choice (you won't negate short L39 cannon by using Excalibur for every shot). So there is no proper comparison to things like K9, and PzH 2000 or 2S19M(2) are just of different league.

There is a difference between a gun that is designed badly and has a poor introduction and one that is just old. The M109 was introduced in the early 60’s and was widely adopted throughout the west.

When you say the 2S3 is “miles ahead” of it, what specifically are talking about? Range, accuracy, or rate of fire? You say the M109 “cannon part” is obsolete which gets back to my original distinction of a bad gun design and one that is old. That said, a new 39 caliber gun probably wouldn’t offer much better accuracy or range.

The US has built a number of automated loading systems but they were all cancelled (the Crusader for example). Its not a matter of ability but priority. In the main, the US prioritizes accuracy which winds up implemented in the ammunition rather than the gun.


 

iverson

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For some reason the US has not produced an indigenous Main Tank Gun for service use since the 90mm gun of the 1940s. Yes there were test versions in 105 and 120mm but it was decided to go with licensed built foreign guns in those calibers.
Yes there is/was the XM291, the XM360, the M256E1 but nothing makes it to service.
Lots of experimenting, then just buy the foreign gun.

What gives?

Given the performance of US guns in WW2 compared to the German and British guns like the 17-pounder, one might well ask why we didn't sooner?

We did, after all, field the M81 152mm gun/launcher in the M-551 and M-60 tanks, and wanted it in our version of the German-American MBT-70.

So, if post-war British and German performed well enough, why not buy them, avoid the R&D costs, and avoid the results of buy-US?
 

marauder2048

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For some reason the US has not produced an indigenous Main Tank Gun for service use since the 90mm gun of the 1940s. Yes there were test versions in 105 and 120mm but it was decided to go with licensed built foreign guns in those calibers.
Yes there is/was the XM291, the XM360, the M256E1 but nothing makes it to service.
Lots of experimenting, then just buy the foreign gun.

What gives?

Given the performance of US guns in WW2 compared to the German and British guns like the 17-pounder, one might well ask why we didn't sooner?

We did, after all, field the M81 152mm gun/launcher in the M-551 and M-60 tanks, and wanted it in our version of the German-American MBT-70.

So, if post-war British and German performed well enough, why not buy them, avoid the R&D costs, and avoid the results of buy-US?

The 90mm gun with HVAP out-performed contemporary British and German designs.

You could argue that the US continued to pursue that to the exclusion of other
calibers because it was so successful and because it was thought to be more amenable to autoloading.
 

Elan Vital

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There is also the infamous M68A1E2/M68A2 with the XM24 tube which essentially was a M68 with an improved breech and vastly improved barrel and thermal shroud, extended by 1.5 feet to increase muzzle velocity and able to handle greater operating pressures. Was in development since about 1983 along with the M900 APFSDS to reequip M60A3s and 105 M1s and M1IPs but was cancelled in 1985.
 

GARGEAN

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Remember, the US gets to use DU penetrators, something not available to other nations.
Why wouldn't it be awailable to other nations? Many, if not most, major tank-building countries use it in ammunition: Russia, France, UK, China. Germany is out due to politics, not due to DU not being available.
I thought DU had been banned.
No, why would it be? Actively used in many applications, in mil tech mainly ammunition, across the globe.
 

muttly

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Some people want it banned because of unfounded radiation fears.
 

Arjen

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Toxicity of depleted uranium:
Depleted uranium (DU) is an emerging environmental pollutant that is introduced into the environment primarily by military activity. While depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, it still retains all the chemical toxicity associated with the original element. In large doses the kidney is the target organ for the acute chemical toxicity of this metal, producing potentially lethal tubular necrosis. In contrast, chronic low dose exposure to depleted uranium may not produce a clear and defined set of symptoms. Chronic low-dose, or subacute, exposure to depleted uranium alters the appearance of milestones in developing organisms. Adult animals that were exposed to depleted uranium during development display persistent alterations in behavior, even after cessation of depleted uranium exposure. Adult animals exposed to depleted uranium demonstrate altered behaviors and a variety of alterations to brain chemistry. Despite its reduced level of radioactivity evidence continues to accumulate that depleted uranium, if ingested, may pose a radiologic hazard.
Consider the general, not-related-to-radiation toxicity of other metals - chromium, cadmium, mercury, lead.
 
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Arjen

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Yes, but I don't know to what extent. Radiological toxicity is still present in depleted uranium. Chemical toxicity never goes away. When the fighting stops, what remains on the battlefield - DU dust, ammo to a lesser extent - causes leukemia, renal failure and neurological damage in people living nearby.
 

Firefinder

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Yes, but I don't know to what extent. Radiological toxicity is still present in depleted uranium. Chemical toxicity never goes away. When the fighting stops, what remains on the battlefield - DU dust, ammo to a lesser extent - causes leukemia, renal failure and neurological damage in people living nearby.
Toxicity of depleted uranium:
Depleted uranium (DU) is an emerging environmental pollutant that is introduced into the environment primarily by military activity. While depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, it still retains all the chemical toxicity associated with the original element. In large doses the kidney is the target organ for the acute chemical toxicity of this metal, producing potentially lethal tubular necrosis. In contrast, chronic low dose exposure to depleted uranium may not produce a clear and defined set of symptoms. Chronic low-dose, or subacute, exposure to depleted uranium alters the appearance of milestones in developing organisms. Adult animals that were exposed to depleted uranium during development display persistent alterations in behavior, even after cessation of depleted uranium exposure. Adult animals exposed to depleted uranium demonstrate altered behaviors and a variety of alterations to brain chemistry. Despite its reduced level of radioactivity evidence continues to accumulate that depleted uranium, if ingested, may pose a radiologic hazard.
Consider the general, not-related-to-radiation toxicity of other metals - chromium, cadmium, mercury, lead.
Meanwhile lets look at the other major penerater metal...

Tungsten.
Significant controversy over the environmental and public health impact of depleted uranium use in the Gulf War and the war in the Balkans has prompted the investigation and use of other materials including heavy metal tungsten alloys (HMTAs) as nontoxic alternatives. Interest in the health effects of HMTAs has peaked since the recent discovery that rats intramuscularly implanted with pellets containing 91.1% tungsten/6% nickel/2.9% cobalt rapidly developed aggressive metastatic tumors at the implantation site. Very little is known, however, regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with the effects of inhalation exposure to HMTAs despite the recognized risk of this route of exposure to military personnel. In the current study military-relevant metal powder mixtures consisting of 92% tungsten/5% nickel/3% cobalt (WNiCo) and 92% tungsten/5% nickel/3% iron (WNiFe), pure metals, or vehicle (saline) were instilled intratracheally in rats. Pulmonary toxicity was assessed by cytologic analysis, lactate dehydrogenase activity, albumin content, and inflammatory cytokine levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 24h after instillation. The expression of 84 stress and toxicity-related genes was profiled in lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage cells using real-time quantitative PCR arrays, and in vitro assays were performed to measure the oxidative burst response and phagocytosis by lung macrophages. Results from this study determined that exposure to WNiCo and WNiFe induces pulmonary inflammation and altered expression of genes associated with oxidative and metabolic stress and toxicity. Inhalation exposure to both HMTAs likely causes lung injury by inducing macrophage activation, neutrophilia, and the generation of toxic oxygen radicals.

TLDR. Basically just as bad with the added risk of lung cancer.

Eyeah heavy metals are bad for you health in multiple ways besides sufficient velocity to the face.
 

Arjen

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A catalogue of bad news, that.
 

Foo Fighter

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Particularly for us ex tank gunners and loaders..........
 

muttly

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The penetrators are all that is DU and are covered by the rest of the
projecticle. Wouldn't this protect the gunners that handle the shells
only releasing particles after the shell hits something.
 

GARGEAN

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Modern APFSDS are consisting mainly of penetrators, partly covered by sabot but nothing on part of round itself. They have varnish cover tho, so that's already enough to stop already extremely small radiation and help with possible toxicity due to surface fracturing.
 

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