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    should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55


    should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  M1A2AbramsSEP on Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:15 pm

    for years now the L44 has said to be no longer against Russian Armor systems. especially when Germany and America conducted test firing M829A1 rounds at Russain T-72s fitted with Kontakt-5 ERA. These trails would seem to back the claim the L44 is outdated; However, instead of designing a new gun we developed the M829A2 and later on the M829A3. are these new APFSDS rounds enough to deal with Russian tanks and their ERA or should we upgrade to the L-55 or a comparable gun

    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  2ndTankie on Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:25 pm

    I think that any modern APFSDS round will quite happily penetrate/kill the wide range of MBT's on the battlefield today. I believe that the ammunition and its lethality has advanced leaps and bounds beyond Armour.

    I also believe that like the british the americans like to put their own mark on things... The breach on the L44, or the Brits with the apache engines, and dont think the US would port a L55 to the M1. Also Im not sure the US or the Uk are prepared to undergo such an expensive upgrade and that the MBT's of today will probably see us to the end of the Heavy Armour age.


    king queen

    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  M1A2AbramsSEP on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:44 pm

    good points;however, a little known fact is that the U.S. designed two new cannons for the M1 the XM291 and the XM360 i'll scrape up some pics if i can.

    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  TankNutDave on Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:14 pm

    The Kontika 5 was a concern to NATO, but it was the introduction of the composite armor of the T-80B and the laminate armor on the T-72B which caused NATO the concern and realisation that the L44 was no longer powerful enough. The Germans were going to build the Leopard 3 with a 140mm cannon, but went with the cheaper conversion to a cal Length 55.

    The real problem for the US was that Germans use a diferent breach and was the reason why it took so long to introduce the L44 to the Abrams series, hence using the L7, so there could also be problems with that, which is slowing up the introduction to the Length 55.
    Staff Sergeant
    Staff Sergeant

    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  Bisley_Bob on Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:03 am

    Thank god the Taliban don't have ERA on their scooters and hiluxes then!

    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

    Post  KampfpanzerKommandant on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:54 pm

    Highly unlikely.

    The primary reason for the Germans upgrading their Leopard 2s to the L55 gun was because the KE APFDS they use are made of tungsten and not depleted uranium. These rounds are not as effective against current armored threats if fired through the L44 gun, so the extra barrel length of the L55 provides that extra bit of velocity to help make these rounds still powerful. The US military is constantly developing new penetration rounds, all made primarily on depleted uranium. These rounds are much more powerful then then the tungsten core KE APFDS rounds fired by Leopard 2s due to the fact that it is much heavier. The newest generation of US KE rounds that are in various stages of development will have a range of up to 12km, and they will be fired from the L44 gun.

    Testing current Abrams rounds to fire in an L55 gun would take time to see if they would still behave properly in the barrel and retain their strong ballistic characteristics. The US military apparently does not want to waste the time to do such and would rather just develop rounds that are more effective then the ones the Abrams currently fires.

    There are also some other minor reasons as to why the L55 gun won't be put on an Abrams. A longer gun is more difficult to traverse, and in an environment such as a forest or a city that can be a nightmare. What good is having a super powered long tank gun if you can't turn the turret because the terrain is too restrictive? It's part of the reason why Israel's Merkava 3 and Merkava 4 tanks have such short 120mm smoothbore guns, because they are small enough to be traversed easily in an urban environment in places like the Gaza Strip or West Bank. Sweden does the same thing with their Strisvagn 122s aka Leopard 2S, which is supposedly the most advanced version of the Leopard 2 in service (even more advanced then the 2A6 even though it lacks the L55) because in the heavily forested terrain of Sweden, traversing around such a long gun can be a serious problem. The current battleground of the Abrams, cities in Iraq, are very narrow and while any tank is vulnerable in these places, giving the Abrams a longer gun severely limits it's effectiveness because it will have a huge difficulty moving the turret around. It's already difficult enough to use a tank in an urban environment, why make it more difficult then it already is?

    I don't doubt the effectiveness of the L55, but I think upgrading it to the Abrams is not only unlikely, I think it's also unnecessary.

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    Re: should the M1A2 upgrade to the L-55

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