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KNDS Tests of ASCALON 140mm Gun Going Further

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KNDS Tests of ASCALON 140mm Gun Going Further
KNDS Tests of ASCALON 140mm Gun Going Further
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KNDS has made a new successful firing campaign of the ASCALON 140mm gun. KNDS has demonstrated an easy and quick change of the barrel caliber from 120 to 140mm in less than one hour. KNDS prepares the ASCALON (“Autoloaded and SCALable Outperforming guN”) concept within the framework of the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). KNDS is actively working to demonstrate the maturity of ASCALON 140mm gun and its ammunition. The last firing campaign in May 2024 has shown the excellent capacities of the 140 and 120mm barrels as well as the APFSDS rounds maturity. The ASCALON program includes several hundreds of firings of 120 and 140mm barrels from May 2022 to December 2025. The next important step is firing tests from a main battle tank in 2025.

KNDS demonstration included shooting with a 140mm ASCALON barrel followed by a quick change to a 120mm ASCALON barrel before new firing of 120mm ammunition. This campaign shows the possibility offered by the ASCALON concept to fit any barrel from 120 mm to 140 mm on a sole carriage in less than one hour.  The innovative concept ASCALON delivers performance levels that current technologies do not offer. It also proposes a significant growth potential. As the innovation leader of heavy caliber gun and ammunition, KNDS designed ASCALON with an open architecture to serve as a basis for cooperative development of a combat gun platform within the framework of the Franco-German MGCS program, laying the foundations for the future standard of European tank gun and ammunition.

ASCALON 140mm Gun
ASCALON 140mm Gun. (Photo by KDNS)

The Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is a project launched in 2017 by Germany and France, aiming to replace their current Leopard 2 and Leclerc main battle tanks. Coordinated by Germany, in contrast to the other major Franco-German program launched in 2018 (the Future Combat Air System implemented under French lead), the MGCS will not be a single armoured fighting vehicle but a series of systems conceived around said vehicle. Next generation large-calibre weapons will have to be able to guarantee the armed forces tactical superiority not only tomorrow (2035), but also for the following decades. In order to meet this ambitious objective, Nexter is developing an innovative concept that has the potential to evolve and deliver performance that current technologies no longer offer.

Taking advantage of its long experience with the 120mm smoothbore gun of the Leclerc tank, its mastery of telescoped ammunition as well as the maturity achieved during firing campaigns with a 140mm calibre, Nexter is proposing the ASCALON concept (“Autoloaded and SCALable Outperforming guN”) designed to cope with the latest generation of heavy armour while staying ahead of the threats of the next half-century. Based on technical solutions that will be fully mature by 2025, ASCALON offers an open architecture designed to serve as the basis for cooperative development under the Franco-German MGCS programme. This concept lays the foundations for the future European battle tank gun and ammunition standard.

ASCALON 140mm Gun. (Photo by KDNS)
ASCALON 140mm Gun. (Photo by KDNS)
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