Germany’s Rheinmetall unveils ‘anti-Armata’ tank gun at Paris expo

© Wolfgang Rattay
A new 130mm smoothbore tank gun was revealed by the German military giant Rheinmetall at the Eurosatory 2016 arms expo in Paris. The weapon is expected to be able to deal with Russia’s latest main battle tanks, based on the Armata platform.

The first technical demonstrator of the gun developed by Rheinmetall Waffe and Munition was complete in May and will soon undergo firing trials at the company’s proving ground, IHS Jane’s outlet reported.

The gun’s barrel is approximately 6.5 meters long (caliber L/51) and weighs 1,400 kg. It is not fitted with a muzzle break. The gun has a vertical sliding breech mechanism and an increased chamber volume. Together with the recoil system, the weapon system weighs three tons.

Rheinmetall is developing a new armor-piercing fin-stabilized round for the gun, which will feature a semi-combustible cartridge case, new propellant and a tungsten penetrator. Another munition variant is a new 130mm high-explosive air-burst round, based on the 120mm round currently in production.

The gun is aiming for future main battle tank or direct fire platform applications, Rheinmetall said. Potentially it can be retrofitted to existing tanks, such as the US M1A1 Abrams, Germany’s Leopard 2, Japan’s Type 90, South Korea’s K1A1 and K2 tanks, and Turkey’s Altay.

The weapon’s firepower is aimed to counter better protection of most recent main battle tanks like the Russian T-14 Armata and the latest version of the T-90, the company added.

The gun should be in production by 2025.