Monday, October 20, 2014

Upgunned Bradley 35mm Bushmaster III.

The US Army actually tested a 35mm Bushmaster III Cannon on the Bradley?  Who knew!  Apparently Warfare Technology.  Check out his piece here.

Sidenote:  With the recent interest in 40mm cannons and the inevitable arms race this will produce, you know we're heading back to the future of a past Israeli effort.  A 60mm hyper velocity cannon they tried out on their Sherman's back in the day.


  1. Very interesting. It says you have 180 round of 30mm in the turret with that system. As I recall the CT40 turret has about 60 rounds. The natural question then comes which one would you rather have?

    1. i'd be satisfied currently with the 30mm. ammo tech is the equation thats usually left out. the real question should be for MBTs which would you rather have. a 75mm hyper velocity gun with twice as many shells that can still melt through the armor of an enemy MBT or 120 that can do the same but with less?

    2. 120/125's obviously. Better high explosive rounds.

    3. Question of small caliber hyper velocity round vs large caliber is obsolete as modern APFSDS rounds are small calibre(20-30mm) and hyper velocity. Those experiments were ok before APDS rounds became mainstream but are irelevant now.

      There is no posibility for a 75mm or 90mm round to equal a 120mm APFSDS round ,as larger the bore size more you can accelerate the sabot with similar pressure. Even if you have the same case volume just necked down to 75mm or 90mm you could hardly approach the speeds same sabot and powder charge could achieve in 120mm gun.

      If tanks go for more penetration that will come from longer barrel and/or larger calibre. But it seems that armor weight kind of reached practical limits so there is probably no need for a gun larger than 120mm

  2. Back when I was studying the CV90, one comparison that was brought up was that 25mm and 30mm ammo, while capable of penetrating reinforced concrete walls, they did not pack enough explosive punch to make a door. Something to think about in urban conflict. Programmable airburst is the other perk to larger rounds.

    1. Yes programmable ammunition is definitely a significant advantage to larger rounds, it allows the rounds to be used in different ways depending on circumstances (i.e. air-burst, burst on impact, burst after impact) which allows the system to achieve the same effects that otherwise would have required several different types of munitions. This greatly improves the lethality (there is a very good video of this with the CV9040 for those that have not seen it!).

      At this stage it is not that hard to further improve the munitions such as adding active guidance through radar/lasers and control surfaces on the munition, both of these having actual concepts. The end result is that far less rounds are needed to defeat the target, thus mitigating some of the drawbacks of less rounds. keeping in mind too, that modern-day firecontrol systems are vastly better, and caseless munitions allow for decreased munition sizes.

    2. I question the utility of programmable 40mm rounds.
      Doing it, and doing it in battle are rather different things
      A timed fuse that detonates a shell above a trench is great, how do you do it in practice when the trench is shooting back?

      Anti aircraft guns have a radar feeding them that data.
      Will an ifv?

    3. "Will an ifv?"

      A laser rangefinder will probably be used, such as in the case with the XM25 CDTE.

    4. Below are two videos showing the sort of thing you can achieve with smart munitions, notice on the second video that the round detonating within the softskin vehicle is particularly effective, and airburst is very effective against infrantry.

      It is not that complex either, in reality you only need two types of munitions, a dedicated armour piercing round, and a general purpose explosive round with a proximity fuse on it. You then have the ability to have the explosive round:
      -Explode on proximity


      -Before the target
      -On contact with the target/or at the predetermined distance against an area target (default)
      -After penetrating the target
      [or a combination of all 3]

      So you switch between two types of munitions, two types of targets (aerial, point/area targets) one of which has 3 modes. In reality you would be sitting on HE Single-round mode 99% of the time, except for aerial targets (which can be automated to switch target types and firing modes), area targets and armoured targets. Its still quiet complex, but hey people are trained for that stuff.

  3. Replies
    1. where am i? getting my ass kicked on an ongoing basis.

    2. i went the American line. started down the mediums, saw someone play the T69 then started down that line to the T57, got my behind handed to me by the gorilla waffles and then started down the american heavy line and i'm saving up credits to buy the M103....its already unlocked but i keep playing the T69 and up and you burn thru alot of gold rounds to be even remotely competitive.

      i see which way the wind blows on WOT though and i'm going either German or Russian line next. i like what i see in the E75, its the most balanced tank out there but the IS7 is a brute too.

      i rush into combat so i need armor and the TD play style bores me to tears so no baby, momma and gorilla waffles for me...although they score monster damage.

      kinda intrigued by the AMX 50 but then again the batchat seems like a little beast. hate the chinese line except for the 112 and i finally got the M41 but haven't played it much...

      but have no fear. i'm working on posting "real guy" videos of WOT play to show the frustration that the average guy faces when not playing the game on a high end gaming rig like quicky baby, jingles and sircon have.

    3. lol, that's awesome, man. I've got the T-57 Heavy, the T-62A, and I finally got the Batchat. I can tell you for certain that the Batchat is a fun tank to play with and it's very effective.

      In spite of all this the most fun tank I have found is still the T-44. Fastest thing with decent armor and firepower.

      The IS-7 has a good mix of bouncy/super tough armor. Gun is good too as I'm sure you already know. I have yet to get one. I kill E-75s all the time so I don't seem to mind them too much.

      Look forward to seeing your videos!

  4. As I have said on here long ago, 35mm+ dual munition (HE-Frag (airburst), APFDS) be the new base standard, with I suspect munitions converging around the 60mm caliber due to advancements made in caseless munitions and gunnery by the like of CTA.

    I will also add that 76mm is used in the draco ADS, the RAPIDfire ADS uses the CTA40mm, and the skyranger uses what is pretty much the standard Oerlikon 35mm, furthermore the 57mm cannon from the russian Atom came from a soviet era anti-air cannon. Such cannons would be very well suited to hard and soft ground targets, as well as aerial targets.

    1. Isn't the 57mm supposed to be IFV standard? supplementing the 30mm?

      The thought is rather uncomfortable to think about.

    2. I mean that pretty much all serious IFVs will be armed with 35mm+ cannons eqiupped with smart-munitions as a minimum, increasing in calibre from there. There is definitely a trade-off between the quantity of munition and the size of the calliber. I think 40mm will be very popular, it is a good balance of firepower and munition levels.

      If you look at what CTA have managed to do with their 40mm cannon (make it much smaller, without internal space to pivot) and the caseless rounds, I think we may get upto 60-80 on IFVs, these would definitely punch straight through anything less than a tank, although the 80 is probably on the extreme side, and perhaps the larger cannons would be mounted on IFVs derived from tank chasis (which is becoming an actual thing).

      As for 57mm, I believe only one nation really has a cannon of that calibre, everyone else (us,fra,uk) are currently going for bigger guns than they had previously, but not anything like that, and they would definitely need new vehicles for a gun like that).

  5. can bradley resist RPG and IED ? anyone familiar with bradley's performance in iraq and afghanistan ? granted they are not designed for urban combat but still im curious

    1. Do a search for M2 Bradley melted and you can get your answer.

      It has an atrocious record against IEDs and RPGs. Read "the Pentagon Wars" by James Burton and you'll see that it was always thus.

    2. The Bradley was never deployed to Afghanistan. That is very telling itself.

      They can resist RPGs, provided the RPGs conveniently hit their ERA modules on the bradleys that do have them. Otherwise, their resistance to RPGs is very poor and this is against shaped charges from RPG7s (the 7 is low on the totem pole of RPG development).

      IEDs? even worse.

      But I wont hold that against the bradley too much. It is a IFV intended for high intensity combat (supposedly), not counter insurgency operations, where MRAPs have demonstrated their superiority against everything. Niche specific vehicles. The wheeled LAVs and Strykers have performed *worse*.

      Arguably, other IFVs, such as the CV90, have performed quite well in Afghanistan. Especially the 35mm variant. So have the wheeled Patria.

  6. By the way, the 180 ea ready rounds given are for 30mm gun variant. I dont know how many rounds the 35mm Bush III variant carried, but it wouldnt be so many, probably around 70-80, given the size of the turret did not change.

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  8. The US supposedly tested a 75mm hypervelocity cannon, called Ares. It could fire 1 round per second, and was loaded on a 60 round carousel. Mike Sparks sourced it from a former DARPA chief in some of his articles, although "Popular Mechanics" even wrote a article about it.

    It wouldnt surprise me if it was somehow resurrected in the near future, as a remedy to increasing sophistication and firepower to adversary IFVs.

  9. M2A3 Bradley with MK44 30/40mm cannon

    M2A2 Bradley with Bushmaster III

    The turret of the Bradley was from the beginning ready for bigger caliber cannons. The vehicle was destined to accept cannons up to 40mm. With today’s technology’s the existing turret can accommodate 50mm cannons like the Bushmaster III.

    The problem with the existing turret is that it is manned. The basket that accommodates the operators of the turret, takes valuable space.

    Resent wars proved that 6-7 man squad is adequate. So the Army is looking to increase the squad number to 9. The existing turret can be turned to unmanned. The technology demonstrator proved that. The US army leadership wants to install an unmanned turret to the Stryker Fleet also. So the want a common turret for both vehicles. I don't know if the unmanned version of the M2A3 turret can be mounted on the Stryker. Weigh problems perhaps. But from the other side, you only pay for the modification of the turret, the installation and the new gun. The IBAS and CIV remain the same and you make good use for the spare turrets you get from the AMPV program or from excess Bradleys.

  10. I would say it would be a real challenge to convert the existing 2-Men Turret of the Bradley to an unmanned configuration. The main purpose and gain from an unmanned turret would be no intrusion of the turret structure inside the vehicle. This is performed by deleting the basket structure and freeing the swept volume of the basket from the vehicle. Although you would still need a location for the commander and gunner and their control consoles in the vehicle.

    Anyway, deleting the basket structure means everything the turret needs to operate should be crammed inside the turret hull above the vehicle roof line. In case of bradley, especially in the A3 variant, the already cramped turret interior would be even more crammed. The largest volume required inside the turret hull would be the ammunition boxes. The current bradley turret houses the ammunition in the basket in front of the crew. So I think it would be a real challenge to squeeze 160 rounds of 30mm in the turret structure in order to delete the basket.
    At this point the turret they demonstrated on the bradley is the Kongsberg's MCT30 unmanned turret which is designed to be an unmanned system from scratch. It uses a linkless feed system for the 30mm ammunition on both sides of the main gun inside the rotor structure. And you can see that the turret is quite wide to fit the linkless storage system to house 75 rounds on each side.

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    2. Maybe you are not familiar with Bradley Technology Demonstrator. From the pictures we can see that they modified the rear section of the turret.

      2 pics from XM-813 with a different loading system. This configuration is probably installed in the unmanned turret, of the Bradley Technology Demonstrator.

      Interior of the Bradley Technology Demonstrator. With this configuration, the vehicle is capable to transport 9 infantry man 3 man crew.


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