Gerhard Heiming

As western Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) are not known to be capable of safely eliminating all potential threats such as the T14 ARMATA, one way to counter such vehicles is to increase the calibre of the MBT’s cannon. Following the first hardware presentation of a 130 mm/L51 cannon at Eurosatory 2016, Rheinmetall released a video on 31st July 2020 showing the weapon integrated into a current MBT. It weighs three tons, 1.4 of which is for the 6.63 m barrel and thanks to the larger calibre and design improvements, a higher initial velocity can be achieved, which in the case of kinetic projectiles is a decisive factor in determining the penetration capability, while new types of ammunition have also been developed to take full advantage of this.

The 130 mm gun is not only suitable for retrofitting existing MBTs but also as the primary weapon for the Main Ground Combat System, on which development work has begun with Franco-German studies.