2022 Zhuhai Airshow Land Systems


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if your in a BMP3 or any of the BMP family and a top attack Missile comes calling your dead anyway. BMP1 was among the first IFV but it made tremendous trade offs in protection and room for light weight. The infantry have to be contortionist. BMP2 fixed some issues but was mostly about replacing the poor 73mm gun with a 30mm.
The 100mm gun actually predated the ATGM on the BMP3, the design lineage starts with Object 685 an amphibious light tank meant to replace the PT76. From there it mutated into an IFV the gun changed to what we know today. This is Also why BMP3 and BMDs are the only IFV with a rear mounted engine. The dismounts have to climb over said engine to get out.

Why the Chinese chose to mount the same armament? I can only make my own conjecture. The Soviet and Chinese IFV 30mm auto cannon are more or less the same firing the 30x165mm shell and have an effective range of about 2KM. Once the First IFVs rolled out became clear these were going to at some point fight each other as the other side was going to try and take out the IFV chewing up your infantry. Western IFV quickly caught up to Soviet IFV in firepower with guns that had longer stand off. The 30x173mm Bushmaster II is 3km . The 100mm gun though is ranging out to 4km. With a beefy shell that will do a lot of damage to any IFV from just beyond its gun range and the HE payload would mess up infantry or open a substantial hole in breaching.
So the 100mm has had some logic.
The west however has moved to catch up with heavier IFV guns of its own the 35mm, 40mm Bufors, 40mm Super Shot, 40mm CTA and now 50mm guns all pushing 4km. We are in a bit of a arms race in IFVs and for a heavy IFV like VN20 you have the payload to mount just about whatever you like. So the combination if you are already a user of BMP3 isn’t a bad choice necessarily, but not a great choice overall. The Chinese have a bit of a mix some 30/100 some just 30mm we know Norinco has its own 40mm CTA in unmanned turret. The Russians seem to have dreams of mounting a 57mm turret on the T15 among others.

The Turkish Leopard 2A4 is the type you are describing, it’s failures though are primarily due to a compromise in how ammunition is stowed in the hull of the Leopard 2 series. That being that although yes it does stow some ammunition in a bustle rack with fire wall and blow out panels for the ready rack. The bulk of its ammunition is stowed in the hull on the A4 which is basically an open box with the ammunition tip housed in wet stowage. The German engineers focused more on preventative measures rather then responsive measures. Meaning that they focused additional armor and wet storage in hopes that a cook off wouldn’t happen. They were more focused on the idea of Tank on tank with Leopard 2 too boot.
As such from a tank shell perspective Leopard 2A4 should be fine assuming a Soviet tank of equivalent era frontal attack. However in Syria that’s not what happened. It either faced an under side bomb what managed to penetrate into the fighting compartment or an ATGM flanking attack that again penetrated into the fighting compartment where it likely killed the crew and then cooked off the ammunition.
Now later Leopard 2 would improve the hull stowage adding a fire wall door and blow out panel for the hull magazine as well as underbody mine protection. Top attack is still an issue.

Now as to Carousel loaders. They are a comprise. The Russians designed them to make the tank as small as possible, and then took short cuts because they also tried to squeeze in as large a gun as possible.
So T64 fits 28 rounds in the carousel… 28 out of 36. 8 rounds are stowed in the turret under the seats on the bulkheads just exposed waiting for something go wrong. Spark hits the wrong thing bye bye baboshka!
T72 22 rounds in the loader 22/39 again 17 rounds some are in wet stowage most are literally sitting under you and around you. Did I mention semi combustible charges? Yeah still smoldering embers get back into the tank tanker with a lit cigarette, electrical short… their is footage on YouTube of a T72 cooking off because the cooling system failed.
T80 basically the same as T64 28 out of 42 rounds. 14 rounds bolted to the bulkheads at least they are in canisters some of the time.
T90 same as T72 loader so 22 out of 42 eventually the Russians got a clue the T90M added a isolated bustle rack module with blow out panel where they moved the additional ammunition. Gee wonder where they got that idea.
This did a number of things first roomier compartment, second less instant death in the event of any fire aboard. Older models still stowed in the fighting compartment.
Type 99 pretty much same story as T90M.
In Ukraine both sides using Soviet tank versions will often only carry partial ammunition loads. Because of the size compromises you end up either your crew in a powder keg. Or having to copy the Abrams solution and move your extra ammunition out of the Turret. Unless you go unmanned turret.

Abrams TTB. Single test bed with large capacity carousel loader of get this 44 rounds!! How? The Turret was unmanned, They had all the space they could have wanted and the ammo was unitary stowed vertically. Based on Abrams without the compromises of the Soviet Tanks. It had both capacity and elevation /Depression. Wow!! Even T14 Armata has a smaller Autoloader capacity at 36 rounds, additional ammunition in the bustle. The problem here? Situational awareness is lost to varying degrees. Much of your Secondary weapons maintenance is complicated by having to have a crewman get out of the tank to get into another part of the tank.
Thanks for writing such a wordy reply. No need to explain the ammo layout to me, I already mentioned this in the type 15 thread, but people still firmly believe it's carousel loader's fault and are as morbidly religious that isolation plate is the be-all and end-all, while ignoring the pros and cons of each design.

Secondly I think you are being overly biased towards type99. type99 being a turn of the century design (99A prototype was around 2001) has a lot of obsolescence. Also PLA tank units have some traditions, and what could be called bad habits in this case actually make the type99 more prone to martyrdom.

Finally I don't really agree with you about the choice of IFV fire system. The BMP3 system was born when the mainstream western IFVs were equipped with 25mm machine guns (M2) with a level of defense that could withstand 14.5mm machine gun rounds, it's hard to say what their impact was on the BMP3 system during the development process. On the contrary, the BMP3 had a 100mm-gun solution and a 30mm-gun solution discussed during the development process, but in the end a combination of both was unexpectedly chosen. My guess is that it was influenced by the first Soviet IFV, as it had a 73mm gun that could be used against enemies behind cover. Meanwhile the BMP2 although good at killing light vehicles, exposed infantry targets lacked anti-tank capability and the ability to deal with enemies behind cover. So the Soviets combined them, with the 100mm gun available for assault and against heavily armored targets (MBT) and the 30mm gun for light carriers and exposed infantry.

The obsolescence of this system depended on the primary opponent of the country using it. For China, it would not really engage advanced Western IFVs, while the 100mm-gun charge is already sufficient to disable enemies inside buildings for short periods of time, suggesting that the weapon is still suitable.

For Russia it would be bad, the 100mm gun cannon-launched missile would not be able to penetrate the frontal armor of a modern western MBT, or even a 30 gun would not be able to penetrate the frontal armor of an advanced western IFV (like PUMA), then the BMP3's weapon system would be obsolete. If I remember correctly the Russians tested the 40mm gun in Syria and the results were not that good.
Then they finally gave the following answer: the original 2A72 was responsible for the target handed over to the 2A94 to deal with light and medium armor threats like IFVs. 57AP is relatively easy to hit those indicator resistant to 30 guns. On the other hand, the size of the 57mm gun is naturally exponentially larger than the 30mm gun, and at this point it is obviously impractical to juxtapose a large caliber gun, so the original 100mm gun function will have to be given to the missiles to deal with. The missile here further refined its function according to the target, as the original 100mm gun had two functions - assault and anti-armor. The original 100mm HEAT is responsible for the offensive function, but here it is left to the smaller multipurpose missile. Despite the smaller size, with the temperature and pressure/attack warhead, its offensive capability is still considerable; while the anti-armor piece, the original 100mm gun guide power is awkward, can not be heavy anti-armor task, this time the Russians directly replaced with four 9M113 heavy anti-tank missiles, the power can be considered sufficient.

Back to the VN20, as a foreign trade weapon, whether its weapon system is obsolete is determined by the purchasing country. If the enemy of the buying country is mainly equipped with various pickup trucks, then obviously there is no need for the 40mm guns.


Tyrant King
Okay 1) I hardly wrote a “Gushing” review of the Type 99. By response was “Pretty much the same story as T90 which is hardly a bias in its favor nor against it.
2) Only one nation in the west adopted the 25mm IFV gun. The US. Others might have mounted it in recon vehicles but it really doesn’t get in any other IFV until after BMP3 is first introduced but stagnated due to the collapse of the USSR. Then it catches on with wheeled and some tracked mostly in smaller nations with less of an armored threat concern but all after BMP3 was known and the Red Army was stunted by the fall.
most of its contemporaries were either older 20mm or 30mm guns with a small number of exceptions like the Japanese type 89 with a 35mm. The BMP3 started as far back as the 70s but didn’t enter service until the early 1990s at about that same time the west was openly working on 35mm/40mm/45mm/50mm gun systems for IFV. In the late 70s and early 80s the US Army had openly been developing a light tank packing a 75mm automatic cannon. They felt that wasn’t enough to take some more modern AFV so they moved up to a 90mm Automatic cannon!! Event
The Germans were working on the Marder II with a 35mm gun in 1987 with field trails slated for 1991. The US was involved and let’s put a pin in that.
However Reunification put the Kibash on that. The US army was working on the XM295 a 45mm CTA gun in joint with the British and French. That would form the basis of the work the UK and French would complete for the 40mm CTA.
Now remember I said the US was involved in the Marder II? Let’s pull that pin. The Marder II 35mm gun was developed as a joint with the US and was also capable of firing 50x228mm Super Shot.
in the post Soviet era much of this work was abandoned. A few stuck around. The CV90 adopted a modernization of the old Bufors the US looked at the 40mm super forty on its own the French and English completed 40cta.

That the 100mm the BMP3 fired isn’t able to punch through the front of an Abrams or Leopard2 or modern MBT isn’t important. It never could to begin with. That’s what the ATGMs are for. That it can wreck a ASCOD, or Puma or Bradley is. The Tank busting weapons of IFV are the ATGM. If however a BMP3 commander ever happened to find himself behind and Enemy MBT or to the side I am sure he wouldn’t complain.
IFV guns are not meant to take tanks if they find themselves having to then Shit has hit the fan. Now under the right circumstances, Shit hits the fan but luck has kicked in. The IFV find itself in a position where the Tank is vulnerable. 73 Eastings a Bradley claims to have taken a T72 with the 25mm. How? He was literally was shooting point blank into the turret from on top of him having rolled up on a T72 in a dug in position.
Just as most IFV are built with a front to take a 30mm hit well the sides only rate MG fire heavy MG at best so to is the Tank. A few well placed 25 or 30mm shells in the back of the T72 will kill it.

Now I have no idea what you are claiming that the Russians tested the 40mm in Syria because the western 40mm weren’t deployed there. The Chinese one is just starting and this far no evidence of export. Perhaps an old Bufors AA gun but the Russians should have those they date back to WW2.
Next. Well true the 57 vs 30mm is a sacrifice in capacity of ammunition capacity however vs the 100mm it’s reversed. The Bakal turret stores about 150 rounds (I have seen higher figures)of 57mm vs 40 rounds of 100mm. Since the 30mm capacity of most IFV isn’t that big to begin with which do you think is more effective? I mean if you feel you need the 30mm more than ditching the 100 would give you far more than 500 rounds of it after all the space of the 100mm shells not to mention the weight would by a substantially larger 30mm magazine. If you feel you need the extra HE than the 57mm is 150>100 at 40 plus it has plenty of KE. If you want the infantry to be happier the 30mm only buys them a better ride well trading reserve magazine space.

If your nation is only fighting enemies with trucks than VN20 no matter the configuration is overkill. The money could be better spent on lighter IFVs with 30mm guns. Or just 14.5mm MGs on turreted APCs or MRAPs.


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The 30mm round used in the Bushmaster II and 2A42 gun have different case lengths. The US round should have more space for propellant. So of course that translates to more muzzle velocity and range. But the tradeoff is lower rate of fire and higher recoil.

The Soviets used to have even longer cased 30mm rounds they used in their naval CIWS (AK-230) but they removed it from service. They prefer the higher fire rate of the shorter cased rounds. Also, the effective ammo range depends on the ammo type, the Russian 30mm rounds of APFSDS type have 3km effective range.


Tyrant King
Rate of fire if the Bushmaster II is about 100-200 rpm. Rate of fire for the Shipunov 300-400 round so yes partially true the cost is energy of the round. The M230LF or the M242 have similar rates of fire with also similar reduced power yet the range and HE trade offs have deemed them better suited to support or weight sensitive applications. M-SHORAD, Gunship helicopters.
Farther if raw volume of fire is your aim why only 500 rounds? Why no reserve magazine? why not use the space of the 100mm shells carousel to double if not triple the ammunition capacity? Or go down farther to a smaller caliber.
Bradley ready rounds are only 300 but it also stows 600 more.
the Bulgarian BMP23 had a 600 round capacity of 23mm shells.
The Soviets it seems chose to universalize around the 30x165mm for Light and heavy vehicles, Aircraft and Naval applications. It’s the same no matter if you are flying a Ka52, Driving a BMP2, on a naval ship or manning the Turret of a Typhoon L.


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The M2 Bradley is heavier than the BMP-3 and yet it can carry less troops total. You have to trade something for another.
More space for ammunition means less space for troops. But I agree with you that the Soviets went for the common caliber among all platforms and that is the main reason. The common caliber has obvious logistics advantages but it leads to mismatched performance in some cases.

The fact is the Russians should have switched to the Kurganets-25 IFV chassis years ago. The reason why they did not would take a long time to explain properly. But in this case it is proven there was a lot of corruption involved, including embezzlement at Kurganmashzavod, and people were arrested even. The private company it was part of was dismembered after it went bankrupt and the factory was put under the umbrella of Rostec in 2019.
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Tyrant King
Bradley is heavier but this isn’t just the ammunition space. It’s allow that the infantry isn’t folded in like some kind of human origami. Russian vehicles are notorious for their ergonomics or lack there in. In general the Bradley and BMP3 actually carry about the same infantry and crew load 7+3. Yet between the two vehicles you would feel more comfortable in a Bradley. Not luxury car comfort by any means but not folded into a box.


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