TechNew EMBT tank unveiled with formidable 140 mm cannon

New EMBT tank unveiled with formidable 140 mm cannon

European tank of the future with a 140 mm ASCALON gun
European tank of the future with a 140 mm ASCALON gun
Images source: © KNDS
Łukasz Michalik

1 July 2024 06:57

This year's Eurosatory arms fair provided an opportunity to showcase the latest proposal for the EMBT tank. The vehicle has an unmanned turret featuring a 140 mm ASCALON cannon, capable of effortlessly destroying any existing tank.

The Defence24 service reports on the latest version of the European EMBT tank proposal. Designed for the French and German armies and unveiled this year, it is distinguished using an unmanned turret with a giant calibre cannon.

This trend is evident in both German and French industry proposals. While Germany is considering increasing the main armament calibre of tanks to 130 mm (Rh-130 L/52 cannon from the KF51 Panther tank), France further promotes the 140 mm ASCALON cannon.

This development extends the old FTMA (Future Tank Main Armament) project from the Cold War era. In this instance, the increased effectiveness of anti-tank fire is due to the higher energy of the projectile fired.

In the case of the ASCALON 140 mm cannon and a special telescopic projectile up to 1.3 metres long, the energy of the penetrator hitting a target 2 kilometres away is expected to reach 10-14 joules. According to the designers, this will allow for the destruction of any tank currently in existence and those introduced into service over the next few decades.

The weapons of the future are too powerful

Attempts to introduce cannons with a larger calibre than the currently used 120 mm are explained by the pursuit of efficiency. However, manufacturers of future cannons face a severe problem – the war in Ukraine has demonstrated the effectiveness of currently used weapons.

Instances of firefights have shown that Western tanks with older cannons (modern models fire higher energy projectiles), firing 30-year-old ammunition, have no trouble penetrating the front armour of the latest Russian tanks.

Considering that modern ammunition is much more effective than that provided to Ukraine, this casts doubt on the necessity of a costly and rapid introduction of more giant calibre tank cannons into service. Contrary to earlier concerns, the ones currently in use have no problems penetrating Russian armour.

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