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    Hypersonic anti tank round

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    Walther von Oldenburg

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    Hypersonic anti tank round

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:02 pm

    Since we now have hypersonic cruise and anti ship missiles, why not a hypersonic KE round for anti tank use?

    The system would be designed to be fired from aircraft as well as existing MLRS systems which should allow use of much heavier rounds if desired - having a a 15 kg piece of tungstein/Du travelling even at 3000 m/s would not be fun.

    Possibly even completely screw APFSDS and go back to old school full calibre rounds, possibly with tungstein/DU cap. Having a 122 mm 25 kg piece of steel striking an Abrams at Mach 10 would not be fun either. Devastation caused by such round (not to mention 200-300 mm one) would absolutely horrific if such a projectile hit the top armor

    What are your thoughts, dear forum members? Wink
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    GarryB

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    Re: Hypersonic anti tank round

    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:16 am

    Back in the 1990s there was a lot of talk about very high velocity anti tank missiles... related to the SA-19 two stage missile, where the main rocket motor accelerated the missile to about 1.2km/s... and presumably the missile itself would be another rocket motor that accelerated the missile to much higher speeds for the terminal effect required.

    It didn't really amount to much, but solid rocket fuel has limitations, whereas scramjet motors can be made rather small and would be rather interesting.

    Certainly if you can get the velocity up high enough you can actually save money by using cheaper materials for the penetrator which would make them rather more viable weapons too.

    Of course there is the self forging fragments, which are low velocity weapons that detonate a HE charge about 50m from the target, where the explosion is focused and is designed to reform a flat disc of material into a penetrator moving at 3km/s or so. It is not super effective because the shape created is not usually pointed and looks more like a shuttle cock used in badminton... if it had a sharp point it would penetrate much better... but is still pretty useful... mainly for top attack use against the thin top armour of vehicles.

    Also don't rule out APFSDS rounds... even in the 1960s there were designs of APFSDS rounds that had ramjets fitted to them to retain speed on the way to the target... having a scramjet would vastly improve performance and make it much more practical...

    My understanding is that 3km/s is the balance point... if you chart penetration being the result of velocity and mass of the penetrator, you generally get the best improvements in penetration when increasing velocity. Once you get above 3km/s however the benefits of increasing velocity don't increase very much but the energy required to get higher speed increases. This suggests that rather than putting more energy into the projectile to get even higher speeds it is much more efficient to make the projectile heavier... which normally means longer as wider increases drag and increases speed loss per second.

    Against armour the concentration of energy is critical, but of course a 15kgs of most materials you could accelerate to 3km/s would be devastating... even a 4kg tungsten shell with 11kgs of chocolate blamanche inside would be devastating at 3km/s... at such speeds and energies even solids act like fluids anyway... lead is a very soft metal but it is used inside harder metal jackets to allow the bullets to have high densities and therefore higher momentum to move through the air more efficiently and to have more effect on target.

    Very high velocity very light bullets are effective on light targets.... the light targets almost explode... but against heavier animals they tend to break up and often lack penetration.

    At point blank range a subsonic .22lr lead projectile is comparable to 50 cal Browning ammo when fired into water... in fact the .22 ammo might be more lethal as the enormous energy of the 50 cal round will probably shatter the projectile on impact with the water, while the .22 round might actually injure you over a distance of a few metres.


    New EM gun technology will likely lead to smaller calibres and much higher velocities too.
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    Walther von Oldenburg

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    Re: Hypersonic anti tank round

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:34 pm

    What would be predicted penetration of a steel APCBC round at such speeds?

    The best APCBC rounnd ever rounded which was the 120 mm one used on M103 had a max penetration of 300 mm - but it only travelled at about 1000 m/s as compared to 1500 m/s for the slowest APFSDS. It was this difficulty in accelerating full caliber rounds to speeds above 1000 m/s that spurred development of APDS and APFSDS later on.

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