A cannon that loads sideways and has four times as much explosive power in being delivered to the British Army.Dubbed the ’40mm Cased Telescoped Cannon’, it is the first system of its kind to be produced for Ministry of Defence for 50 years.The main difference in this design is that the ammunition is contained in a straight tube instead of the traditional bullet shape.
This, according to its creators BAE Systems, allows it to deliver a more explosive charge.Testing has seen it deliver up to four times the power of the 30mm rounds it replaces.The current types of ammunition developed for the cannon include armour piercing and training rounds.
An airburst round for engaging light vehicles, and a point detonating round which can penetrate thick concrete, are currently undergoing testing.CTAI, which is a formed by Nexter Systems of France and BAE, is also working on an anti-aerial airburst round for airborne targets.
The cannon uses a new rotating system, with ammunition loaded at a 90 degree angle to the barrel before being rotated into firing position.Loading the ammunition sideways saves a large amount of space in the vehicle, allowing this to be used to store more ammunition or other equipment.The new system has been in development since the 1990s.
BAE Systems says the delivery is the first of 515 40mm cannons will be the British Army’s Warrior and Ajax armoured fighting vehicles.Managing Director of CTAI, Craig Fennell, said: ‘We are the only group in the world who can design and manufacture this type of cannon and ammunition, giving us a unique product for export.’