The Army’s Futuristic New Tank Design
A cannon that can fire up to 200 rounds per minute!
The Army nixed some features of its future Ground Combat Vehicle, but some of the features they are keeping are pretty nifty. For instance, the new tank may use a 30mm cannon weapon called the ATK-built XM813. The weapon is computer-controlled and electronically driven and can fire up to 200 rounds per minute. It uses a dual-recoil firing system and a semi-closed bolt firing mode. The new tank is not expected to emerge into reality until sometime in the 2020s.
According to Army developmental papers, the XM813 can fire both armor-piercing rounds and air-burst rounds which detonate in the air.
The new weapon is planned to be based on electrothermal-chemical technology, which is supposed to increase accuracy and the muzzle energy of the tank, artillery and close-in weapons systems. ETC doesn’t require as much energy input to operate as other systems. According to the article’s statistics, tests have shown that energy output by the propellant is higher than energy input from outside sources on ETC guns. For example, a railgun, by comparison, currently cannot achieve a higher muzzle velocity than the amount of energy input. Even at 50% efficiency a rail gun launching a projectile with a kinetic energy of 20 MJ would require an energy input into the rails of 40 MJ, and 50% efficiency has not yet been achieved.
Other plans for the new tank include a better use of space inside the vehicle along with a greater source of electrical power. It is also expected to be more fuel efficient and provide greater protection to its crew inside.