Rheinmetall’s 130mm tank gun. Note the difference in the size of the ammunition, at left, compared to a standard 120mm round., Rheinmetall

Many had predicted the demise of tank warfare due to the ongoing war in Ukraine but almost after 3 months into the war many reversals are already happening and such a brute stockpile of the Russian Army’s Tank reserves is proving why tanks might be vulnerable to modern weapons their is nothing that can take on brute force in numbers as shown by Russia. for nearly 40 years 120mm gun seems to have been the stable caliber of the main gun seen on all tanks that were manufactured but a drastic shift towards higher caliber of the main gun is starting to take place as Germany’s Rheinmetall company today unveiled its latest main battle tank, the KF51 Panther, armed with a huge 130mm caliber main gun.

The tank reportedly weighs around 65 tons which makes it lighter by 5 tons when compared to its predecessor which was armed with a 120mm caliber main gun. Switching to a 130mm smoothbore caliber main gun reflects a broader interest in moving to increased-caliber tank armament. The company claims that projectiles fired from a 130mm will be 50 percent more effective than the 120mm gun and will also offer a much longer range.

French company Nexter is also upping the game and has started testing a massive 140mm main gun as part of the development of a future tank program. Nexter claims the weapon is 70 percent more effective than existing NATO-standard 120mm tank guns.

The driving force behind this demand appears to be, at least in part, the appearance of Russia’s T-14 Armata tank, which features an improved 125mm 2A82-1M main gun with more capable ammunition. so it’s not just Europeans even Russians are planning to ditch their tried and tested 120mm tank guns for their future tanks.

Upgunning of the caliber of the main tank gun seems to be done so has to improve its armor penetration and range capabilities. India is among a few countries that are also planning to develop a new tank to replace its aging T-72/B Main Battle Tanks that can sit above current T-90S MBTs in the Tank hierarchy in the present Indian Army tank regiments.

DRDO has in past developed a 120 mm rifled gun for the MBT Arjun program and it is not clear if Army will shift to the 120mm smoothbore tank gun that it wanted for some years now. 130mm rifled or smoothbore tank gun can be developed locally for the Next Generation Main Battle Tank (NGMBT) program if requested but the Army that wants to start induction of NGMBT from 2030 onwards needs to decide on the caliber of the main gun now so that there is adequate time for development and testing of the new gun.

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Article by SATYAJEET KUMAR ,  cannot be republished Partially or Full without consent from Writer or