And that is exactly why you would need a secondary cannon.
The problem is that the first rail gun tanks are going to be full of stuff to make the rail gun work and wont have room to stock HE shells.
Effectively such vehicles would be pure tank destroyers, but then the velocity of their projectiles and the potential for scramjet boosted rounds on flat open terrain they could be shooting targets 8-10km away anyway...
Just look at the sherman variants in WWII they needed to keep the 75mm gun in service because the 76mm high velocity gun's HE shells were inadequate while the Soviets could simply give every newly produced T-34 an 85mm gun.
The Soviets had the same dilemma... the 57mm gun used in the ZIS-3 was fitted to a few hundred T-34s, but in 1941 there wasn't anything the Germans had that the old first model 76.2mm gun couldn't defeat... they ended up needing a longer barrel model... F-34 or F-35 model gun or something, but they chose it over the much higher penetration 57mm gun because the 76.2mm gun held penetration over greater distances but mainly because it had a much better HE round (better than either Sherman 76mm) yet the penetration at the time was good enough for any German tank they might face at the time. Later that latter factor changed and they had been experimenting with a larger turret with an 85mm gun in the KV, which they fitted to the T-34 to make the T-34-85, and the heavy tank eventually got a 122mm gun.
As far as using HE shells in a railgun goes yes you could do it but I would be concerned about the integrity of the insolation around the explosive, if that were to be ruptured the explosive charge could be set off by the electrical charge of the rails.
No it would not. It might set it on fire, but it would not detonate... and I would think the HE content in a rail gun projectile would be tiny because of the small calibre and mainly serve as a spreading charge with the velocity of the fragments doing the damage... sort of like an AHEAD round or a Claymore mine.
You obviously haven't seen the state of the urban areas they are fighting in. There was even an article stating that majority of buildings in fighting zones would need to be completely demolished. And as stated they clearly not bothered by such or they wouldn't be using Goliath rocket system at least 2S7 with guided shells would hit the target u want while Goliath rocket is a guessing game.
Not what I meant. You would have to clear any area of mines and munitions before any rebuilding could take place but if you try to get rid of the terrorists by rolling barrage then you are going to start hitting those schools and churches and hospitals... now I don't care what western media say, I stopped listening or caring... they are the kids who cried wolf... but for the actual schools and churches and hospitals then levelling buildings with a few shells becomes a questionable tactic.
I understand that certain structures need more than standard rounds... there will be bunkers and rock structures that need heavy concrete piercing rounds to reach and in some places in the mountains the steep trajectory of a gun/mortar make certain targets reachable that otherwise would not be, but most of the time it is overkill and wasteful. Those heavy rounds are not the same as standard rounds... you can't transport as many and you can't fire as many per hour... When you carry a case with a single 152mm projectile between two people that is about 20-23kgs weight for each person... with 203 rounds that is 55kgs per person, and for 240mm rounds that is 65kgs per person... that makes a real difference in terms of rate of fire and volume of fire, but there are also issues of mobility.
I am not saying they can't have them, but you need a good reason to give them to them... how much 180mm ammo does Russia have... perhaps instead of giving them 203mm weapons and ammo, they could hand over any remaining 180mm rounds including guided rounds to Syria so they can keep using something they are familiar with...
Russia has tested a few systems in Syria and with tulpan and Pion being a niche and being designed for such warfare then I think it perfect for them to test it's not everyday Russia gets to test weapons on a battlefield.
I am sure they will take some to test, but whether they hand any over to the Syrians is another question.
Traditionally Tulip and other heavy mortars have been used in mountains and against heavy fortifications, but their trajectory make them very efficient killers of unprotected soldiers out in the open. Being exArmy I don't need to explain to you about the fragmentation walls of shells and how the near vertical position of a mortar bomb when it explodes gives much more even and effective fragmentation patterns than a round from a gun coming in at a shallow angle.
A 110kg she'll can achieve much more penetration into a building than a 40kg so no a 40kg cant achieve such destruction. And I I highly doubt a smerch would either, in fact smerch has no penetrator rocket capable of what pion can achieve with concrete piercing rounds and if they ever did then there would be no reason to keep pion.
How many heavy steel reinforced concrete buildings are there in this particular region of Syria?
I know in some places in Germany during WWII the heavy structure of the buildings meant they stopped using 76.2mm and 122mm artillery and brought up 152mm and 203mm guns, but that was not a regular thing. It was more the Germans with the fetish for ridiculous heavy guns... and all the costs and problems that go with them.
120mm and 152mm will be used mostly but there comes a time or situation when they just won't cut it and something heavier is needed and it very evident Russia thinks so too hence keeping them in service and upgrades, and maybe Syria was the inspiration for such upgrades showing the importance of such heavy weapons in siege or urban warfare.
I agree, but I think the solution of transferring such weapons to Syria sounds like a lot of effort, for something that could be solved with air delivered weapons instead.
They have a range of very good 152mm shells and are developing a new range of very very long range projectiles that might be able to replace airpower in the role of chasing down small mobile targets. I suspect to get a range of 170km the new 152mm shells are sub calibre light weight low drag shells... possibly with some propulsion too... such small shells perhaps with a 10-15kg HE payload would be ideal for taking out mobile vehicle targets as shown in the Syrian conflict (ie shown to be present and shown to be targeted).
I agree the Russian should test 203mm and 240mm calibre guns and ammo in Syria, but I think Syria would benefit more with other donations... helmets and flak jackets and other equipment... as I mentioned any 180mm calibre rounds or weapons they might have in storage.
I'd say Russia should test in Syria learn from it and make adjustments as and when needed. Every system tested and used in Syria is an advertisement for Russian equipment and more the better. Am not saying people are going to rush out and buy pion or tulpan but some countries may buy them in a very small number or if they already have ask Russia to do upgrades or buy guided shells from them it's also an advertisement for the capabilities of Russia and what it has at its fingertips and u know ur enemy or potential enemies are watching. It's not everyday Russia gets a chance to test such and if anything can help speed up the effort and demoralising the enemy. In my eyes this whole thing is a complete win win in every aspect for Russia and Syria with the enemy and international enemy at a lose lose situation
I don't disagree, but I think the market for 203mm and 240mm weapons is tiny and never going to get very large... 152mm and 120mm already do 95% of what is needed and for that extra 5 percent most countries would use an aircraft like the Su-24 or Su-34 or Su-25... The Russians have adapted their helicopters to deliver unguided bombs too so even a Hind or a Havoc could hit the targets using 250kg or 500kg bombs... I just see the 203mm and 240mm as something you keep because there might be situations where they are the ideal tool for the job, but I don't think the job would come up all the time, or very much at all... certainly not enough to warrant introducing a new weapon type in to the inventory.
A rocket motor attached to the rear end of an aerial bomb could be another option if range is not an issue but the strength of the target is...
I am not saying Russia should not test them in Syria, I just don't think the Syrians need these (203mm guns) and would be better off with support and extra ammo for the Tulips and other weapons they already use.
Of course I could be wrong... that does happen...