ⓘ Rheinmetall Rh-120

Rheinmetall Rh-120

ⓘ Rheinmetall Rh-120

The Rheinmetall Rh-120 is a 120 mm smoothbore tank gun designed and produced by the West German Rheinmetall-DeTec AG company, developed in response to Soviet advances in armor technology and development of new armored threats. Production began in 1974, with the first version of the gun, known as the L/44 as it was 44 calibers long, used on the German Leopard 2 tank and soon produced under license for the American M1A1 Abrams and other tanks. The 120-millimeter gun has a length of 5.28 meters, and the gun system weighs approximately 3.317 kilograms.

By 1990 the L / 44 was not considered powerful enough to cope with the future Soviet armor, which stimulated the efforts of Rheinmetall better main armament. This is the first participation of 140 mm 5.5 in tank gun named Neue Panzerkanone 140 "new tank gun 140", but later turned into a compromise which led to the development of an advanced 120 mm gun L / 55, based on the same internal geometry as the L / 44 and installed in the same breech and mount. L / 55 is 1.32 meters 4.3 feet larger, giving an increased muzzle velocity of ammunition shot through it. As the L / 55 retains the same barrel geometry, it can shoot the same ammo as the L / 44.

This gun was mounted on German and Dutch Leopard 2S, and chosen as the main gun of the Spanish Leopard 2E and the Greek Leopard 2HEL. It has been tested on the British Challenger 2 as a potential replacement for current weapon, the rifled 30 pounds of the 120-mm cannon.

Various munitions were developed for use by tanks with guns based on Rheinmetalls original L / 44 design. This includes a number of kinetic energy penetrators, such as the American series М829 and high-explosive anti-tank warheads. Recent ammunition includes a number of anti-personnel ammunition and explosive charges. In lahat, developed in Israel, is a gun-Missile which has received interest from Germany and other Leopard 2 users, and is designed to defeat both land armor and combat helicopters. The Israelis also introduced a new anti-personnel munition which limits collateral damage by controlling the fragmentation of the projectile.

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