This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons, particularly in larger calibres (12.7+mm).
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Here's a bit more info, but still no performance data:
The first four XM913 50mm cannons have been delivered by contractor Northrop Grumman. The XM913 was first unveiled last October at the AUSA (Association of the United States Army) trade show as reported by Overt Defense.
A further seven cannons are scheduled for delivery in the next six weeks and Northrop Grumman expects a further supplementary order for ten more to be delivered next year. The XM913 is intended to be mated with whatever design is finally approved for development in response to the mercurial US Army Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) programme.
The XM913, based on the Bushmaster III 35/50, can currently fire two projectile types – the XM1204 High Explosive Airburst with Trace (HEAB-T) and XM1203 Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Trace (APFSDS-T). The XM1204 programmable detonations with settings for Point Detonate (PD), Point Detonate Delay (PDD), and Airburst (AB).
Both cartridges were developed by Picatinny Arsenal and produced by General Dynamics. Northrop Grumman, however, hope to introduce a guided 50mm projectile which would substantially improve the already impressive 4,200 meter range of the XM913.
Jarrod Krull of Northrup Grumman told Jane’s; “The 50 mm cannon combines Bushmaster chain gun reliability with next-generation effective range that will provide the warfighter with increased stand-off against near peer adversaries.” The XM913 is envisaged to be able to engage a range of targets including enemy infantry, next generation infantry fighting vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles, with the XM1024 designed with drone swarms in mind.
In related news, the Advanced Armaments Division of the Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal continues work on developing their XM913-based Advanced Lethality and Accuracy System for Medium Caliber (ALAS-MC) platform with the next milestone being live-fire testing on a surrogate platform which will be conducted in 2021.
The programme to finally source an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) as part of NGCV, which will likely be equipped with an XM913 variant, also edges forward with contractors working up initial digital designs for an initial down-select in April next year. The platform will likely be armed with the 50mm cannon along with an anti-tank guided missile system and will carry up to six soldiers with a three-man crew.
I find it interesting that after taking an age to begin the very slow process of replacing the 25 mm M242 with the 30 mm Mk 44 in light AFVs, the Army should leapfrog over that, also over the Super 40 derivative, and also over the 35 mm Bushy III to get the 50 mm version. Talk about a huge leap forward in performance!
Tony, I'm more and more skeptical about this "calibre race", except for the obvious benefits for the vendors. I mean, if the target is enough valuable and thus protected against 30mm APFSDS, then it would deserve an ATGM or even a small salvo of ATGM.
Meanwhile, round cost of 50mm is going to be quite high, it is going to consume more internal volume and weight, less rounds will be carried... I mean, giving the low probability of battling against an adversary who fields hundreds of such well-protected-but-not-as-MBT vehicles, this trend is suboptimal at best under my point of view
I'm more and more skeptical about this "calibre race", except for the obvious benefits for the vendors. I mean, if the target is enough valuable and thus protected against 30mm APFSDS, then it would deserve an ATGM or even a small salvo of ATGM.
The Russian switch to a 57 mm AGL with Airbust/HESH and APFSDS ammunition is logical and innovative. It's a drop in replacement for the 30 mm and dramatically improved the utility of the mounting. Add the introduction of a small calibre missile to supplement the usual Kornet and the flexibility of the mounting has been improved the range of potential targets.
A lot of volume and weight is need to be sacrificed in order to install any 57mm gun, compared with a 30 one. a 30mm round should have enough payload for a decent AB capability. If anything, 35mm would do. And I have to insist: if the target is enough protected and thus valuable for resisting a 30mm AP impact, then it is far more expensive than a modern ATGM or a bunch of them.
I'm sure that a smaller missile is going to be useful for certain roles if it is enough cheap. But it is quite difficult to make it cheap if it has to resist gun accelerations.
What are the probabilities in the next decade of a fight between middle calibre gun armed vehicles?
It's a drop in replacement for the 30 mm with APFSDS and a airburst/HESH round. There is the usual anti-missile defence and 12 PGMs carried.