Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR FEB 2016 Contents 41
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 17 | FEB 2016
the only one of these suppliers with a suitable turret currently
in service and available, but became a non-starter for Land 400
when the Boeing/CIO bid fell over in early 2015. The other three
turret suppliers have suitable turrets which will enter service in
the next several years but not soon enough for the Risk Mitiga-
tion Activity (RMA) scheduled to start in April.
Defence is understood to be disappointed by the absence of
a turret that is fitted with the 40mm Cased Telescoped Arma-
ment System (CTAS). The CTAS will soon be in service with the
French and British armies in turrets from Nexter and Lockheed
Martin UK respectively. CMI Defence has been very successful in
the market for larger calibre turrets, especially 90mm. It is now
entering the medium calibre market and contracted to supply a
range of turrets, including 30mm, to General Dynamics Land
Systems - Canada for the Royal Guard program in Saudi Arabia.
General Dynamics Land Systems - Australia (GDLS-A) might
have offered this 30mm turret for Phase 2 on the Piranha 5 but it
is still under development and would not have been ready for the
trial. Both vehicle and turret did not meet the military-off-the-
shelf criteria. The overall situation illustrates the impact of tim-
ing on the release of an RFT. If the Phase 2 RFT had been released
just a year later, the offerings might have been quite different.
The Four Options
As it is, four turret suppliers are involved: BAE Systems with the E35
turret, Rheinmetall with Lance, Elbit with the MT30 and GDLS-A
putting up the Kongsberg MCT-30. The four turrets have many
things in common but they have some significant differences too.
The differences reflect part of the strategy each company is using in
pursuit of the Land 400 prize.
The E35 turret is a bold choice from BAE Systems. It is the new-
est of the CV90 medium calibre turrets, although not exactly new
per se; the 40mm and 30mm turrets having been released some years
earlier. The E35-equipped CV9035 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) is
in service with Denmark and the Netherlands and is about to en-
ter service with Estonia. Although a 30mm cannon firing standard
30x173mm ammunition fulfils the Phase 2 lethality requirements,
BAE has plumped for a 35mm cannon. This is the Orbital-ATK
Bushmaster III weapon, the big sister of the M242 Bushmaster 25mm
cannon in ASLAV. The middle child is the 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster
II, which is fitted to Elbit’s MT30 and Kongsberg’s MCT-30 turrets.
An increase in calibre from 30mm to 35mm is more significant
than it seems. It might only be a 17 per cent increase in diameter
but it results in more than a 50 per cent increase in projectile vol-
ume. This, in turn, translates to more kinetic energy, a longer ef-
fective range and in the case of air burst munitions (ABM), more
sub-projectiles. On the downside, the ammunition is more expen-
sive (round-for-round but not necessarily kill-for-kill) and there
is room in the turret for only 70 ready-use rounds compared with
around 200 in most 30mm turrets. In addition, 35mm is not the
ideal ammunition calibre for suppressing fire.
The E35 turret was developed for an IFV, which indicates strongly
that BAE Systems will offer the CV9035 for Land 400 Phase 3, po-
tentially resulting in a common turret for both CRV (Phase 2) and
IFV (Phase 3).
Although the other three turrets (Lance, MT30 and MCT-30)
are not yet in service on tracked vehicles, it would be relatively
LEFT: Danish CV9035 IFVs, equipped with the E35 turret,
operating in Afghanistan. Image: Danish MoD
LEFT: The MT30 turret is the sharp end of
Elbit’s Sentinel II proposal. Image: Elbit
DEFENCE IS UNDERSTOOD TO
BE DISAPPOINTED BY THE
ABSENCE OF A TURRET THAT
IS FITTED WITH THE 40MM
CASED TELESCOPED ARMAMENT
straightforward to adapt them for installation on tracked vehicles
including candidate IFVs for Phase 3. The reverse is not true. Tur-
rets developed specifically for tracked vehicles tend to be larger and
heavier than turrets developed for wheeled vehicles. The size and
weight of the E35 turret might limit the performance and growth
potential of the AMV35.
The E35 is a conventional welded turret with optical sight paths.
ASLAV-25 crews will, therefore, feel right at home in it although the
commander is on the left-hand side rather than the right as in the
ASLAV-25. It is a comparatively large turret on a moderately-sized
vehicle. Army representatives are believed to have been very im-
pressed with the E35 when they inspected it in Europe recently.
The two-man Lance is distinctive for being the only modular tur-
ret on offer. Modular means that it is based on a number of sub-as -
semblies that can be readily removed and replaced, which is particu-
larly useful for battle damage repair and future upgrade. Modularity
has been achieved by eliminating optical sight paths. The command-
er’s and gunner’s sight pictures are displayed on individual monitors
rather than viewed directly through glass sights. The turret is built
around a small survivability cell which accommodates the crew, and
to which the other turret systems are mounted to the exterior.
Lance is already in service in small numbers with the Spanish
Marines on the Piranha IIIC 8x8. These turrets are fitted with the
Rheinmetall MK30-2/ABM cannon, which is gas-operated rather
than electrically-driven. This makes it heavier than equivalent elec-
tric cannons but more reliable in the event of battle damage. This
cannon also has a double belt feeder meaning that the next round
fired is the next round selected rather than the next round fired be-
ing the last round selected. Being modular, Lance can be fitted with
Links Archive DTR DECJAN 2016 DTR MAR 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page