ACRA (142 mm)

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Description

The ACRA missile (scale is approximate)


The Anti-Char Rapide Autopropulsé (Self-Propelled Rapid Anti Tank Missile) or ACRA for short is a 142 mm cannon utilized by the French AMX-30 ACRA. It was heavily inspired by the American 152 mm Gun / Launcher, utilized by the M551. It used a much superior muzzle velocity and the missile had a flight time of around 7 seconds. It was mounted on the AMX-30 but also on the AMX-10P but only a few prototypes were built, as the project was very expensive. This lead to abandonment of the project entirely.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

The Anti-Char Rapide Autopropulsé is a 142 mm Gun / Launcher, capable of firing both guided and unguided munitions, with the fire rate of 4 rounds per minute.

Available ammunition

  • MP ACRA
Fin-Stabilized MP ACRA

The MP ACRA is an ATGM that can reach the speed of around 500 m/s with the penetration force of up to 700 mm. The maximum range is roughly 3,300 m with a flight time of approximately 7 seconds. The projectile weighs up to 24 kg and the warhead itself is a 2 kg shaped charge of RDX.

  • MUC

The MUC is an unguided HE rocket that exits the barrel with the speed of around 550 m/s, but then deploys its fins and accelerates up to 700 m/s with the penetration force of up to 38 mm. The maximum theoretical range is roughly 8,000 m, but the elevation of the gun is insufficient for such a shot. The projectile weighs up to 20 kg and the warhead itself is 2 kg of TNT.

Comparison with analogues

Comparable cannons to ACRA
Name Date of Creation Rounds Per Minute Ammunition
M81 (152 mm) 29 July 1966 4 RPM 152 mm Shillelagh 

Usage in battles

The ACRA is a powerful 142 mm gun / launcher, capable of taking out most of the opposition with a single shot to the front if the MP ACRA shot is loaded. You should take note of the lengthy reload time as it leaves you vulnerable for 13.8 seconds. Always have some cover nearby that you can retreat to and reload safely. Treat it like a tank destroyer instead of a medium tank. Do not engage in direct firefights, but rather try to snipe your enemies down.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • MP ACRA is capable of annihilating most of the opposition with its 700 m of penetration power
  • Both shells can reach supersonic speeds allowing the user to snipe from a very far distance
  • Due to the ACRA being an ATGM, one does not need to worry about distance and therefore does not need to adjust for the drop

Cons:

  • User needs to maintain direct line of sight of the target to successfully hit
  • Because of its nature, the ACRA is far easier to spot and dodge than most common shells
  • Long reload time leaves the user vulnerable after firing
  • User cannot adjust their drop as the sight distance control does not work with the ACRA's optics, however it still adjusts the cannon normally
  • Gunner sight lacks vertical markings which makes the MUC inadequate to use at longer ranges

History

The ACRA program began in the year 1961 by the Atelier de construction de Puteaux or APX for short and it was created in 1971 by the Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres. It was heavily inspired and influenced by the American M551 and its MGM-51 Shillelagh missile. It had much superior muzzle velocity of 550 m/s with an effective range of about 3,300 m.

The initial guidance system was a beam projector that used xenon lamps but this was quickly changed into a laser guidance system.

At first, the testing started between 1970 -1974 with an AMX-30 MBT that carried the T142 ACRA turret, but the platform AMX-10 P was also used and two more prototypes were made. The biggest problems were the astronomical price of the missile, being 1,000,000 French francs per single shot, but also the fact that the ACRA could not be attached to helicopters. The project was abandoned in the 1972, although tests further continued up until the end of 1974. Together, roughly 500 missiles were fired. In the end, it was decided that the Euromissile HOT should take the ACRA's place and it would become the standard AGM for the French Army.

Media

ACRA mounted on the AMX-30

See also

  • M551 - An American tank uses a similar gun / launcher
  • M81 (152 mm) - Gun Launcher that the ACRA is heavily inspired by

External links


France tank cannons
20 mm  20F2
25 mm  SA34 L/72
37 mm  SA18 L/21 · SA38 L/33
47 mm  SA34 L/30 · SA35 L/32 · SA37
75 mm  APX · SA35 L/17 · SA44 · SA49 · SA50 L/57
90 mm  CN90 F3 · CN90 F4 · DEFA F1 · SA45
100 mm  SA47 L/58
105 mm  CN-105-F1 · Modele F2 · PzK M57
120 mm  GIAT CN120-25 G1 · GIAT CN120-26 F1 · SA46
142 mm  ACRA
155 mm  L'Obusier de 155 Modèle 1950
  Foreign:
15 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
20 mm  MG 151 (Germany)
37 mm  M6 (USA)
40 mm  QF 2-pounder (Britain)
75 mm  KwK42 (Germany) · M3 (USA) · M6 (USA)
76 mm  M7 (USA)
105 mm  M4 (USA)