152 mm XM150E5 Gun/Launcher

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Summary

The 152 mm XM150E5 Gun/Launcher is an American tank gun developed on the basis of the 152 mm Gun/Launcher M81. It, like the M81 Gun/Launcher preceding it, can fire both ATGMs and conventional tank shells, and is currently only featured on the MBT-70 and KPz-70.

Users

Ammunition

Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
XM578E1 380 370 360 345 330 315 APFSDS 1,500 3.7 N/A N/A N/A ° 14° 13° 12°
M409A1 354 354 354 354 354 354 HEAT 754 19 0.0 0.1 3,730 +0° 28° 21° 17°
MGM-51C 431 431 431 431 431 431 ATGM 323 28 0.0 0.01 4,720 +0°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
XM410E1 Smoke 754 19 25 5 30 50

History of creation and combat usage

The XM150 152 mm gun/launcher was developed specifically for the MBT-70, and in essence was a longer-barreled and improved variant of the M81 gun/launcher used in the M551 Sheridan and M60A2 "Starship". It had the distinction of being able to fire both conventional anti-tank rounds (i.e. APFSDS, HEAT & high explosive), but also the MGM-51 Shillelagh guided missile, which had nearly double the maximum range of the current western tank gun at the time, the Royal Ordnance L7 (1.8 km for the L7 vs. 3 km on the XM150 with the Shillelagh missile). The ammunition featured combustible cases, and was complimented with both a laser rangefinder and an auto-loader.

Despite being a supposed 'improvement' over the M81 gun/launcher on the Sheridan, the same problems persisted throughout it's development. The combustible-case ammunition, when exposed to water, could either expand and not fit into the gun barrel or leave nasty residues behind in the gun barrel. On top of this, during the process of the auto-loader loading a new round into the chamber, there was a chance the combustible cases could deform. Premature firing of shells due to heat build-up in the cannon barrel was also present.

Many of these issues failed to be remedied, and by 1969, West Germany backed out of the development to pursue the development of their own indigenous MBT (which would become the Leopard 2). US efforts to continue development of the project went on until 1970, a hopeless effort to continue development of an already doomed concept, when the project was terminated by the US government.

Images

MBT-70 undergoing a test firing phase with the MGM-51 Shillelagh missile.


Additional information (links)