Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The British defense industry no longer knows how to build high-performance artillery guns

When we present a battle tank, or an artillery system, it is common to highlight the operation of its automatic loading system giving it a high rate of fire, here the aiming or pointing system of new generation offering enhanced precision, or even the ammunition itself, capable of piercing the best armor or striking its target with precision from several tens of kilometers.

Yet one of the most advanced and complex components of these weapon systems to design and build is none other than the artillery tube itself.

Indeed, the more efficient the artillery systems are, whether it is tense firing as for tanks, or bell firing for howitzers and artillery guns, the more they must withstand thermal and mechanical constraints. high, a reality with which the American teams working on the ERCA program are today severely confronted .

In fact, the design and manufacture of an artillery tube requires high-tech skills and know-how, both in terms of metallurgy and engineering. And like all advanced technologies and know-how, it is essential for the industrialists who own them to exercise and develop their skills, to keep them operational.

This harsh rule has just appeared on the public stage across the Channel. Indeed, while London sent Challenger 2 tanks and AS90 155mm artillery systems to Ukraine to support the ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive, it appeared that the British Army was going to have to cannibalize its own tanks and systems. remaining artillery, when it comes to replacing the tubes of these two pieces of equipment in Ukraine. Indeed, British industry no longer has the competence to produce new artillery tubes beyond small calibers.

AS90 British Army

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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