The TR40 Heavy Direct Fire Support Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Under the ZMDF 14th review it was taken that the ZMDF armoured Calvary required a unit with the fire-power of a super heavy tank, the speed of an MBT and the survivability of an HBT in a hull that must mass at most 350 metric tons. A secondary consideration was that the unit in question have the effective electrical generating capacity to be retrofitted in the future with a EM Mass driver /Rail Driver weapon.
The TR40 fills all of these requirements to the satisfaction of the ZMDF and today has begun to be embedded throughout the armoured Calvary units.
The TR40 was designed to take advantage of the proven off the shelf technologies and its design incorporates many systems that have shared parts throughout the ZMDF ground forces. This concentration on the use of pre-existing tested systems allowed the TR40 project to go ahead rapidly to full prototype stage within 8 months of the initial start of project tender. The effective passing of all field trials namely the requirements for a weapons system capable of defeating the SHBT threat and providing extreme fire support, while also keeping up with the advance rate of the armoured Calvary proved intensely tempting to the ZMDF, coupled with the TR40s ability to carry a naval grade quad CIWS module and the payload capacity to feed such a weapons system the TR40 platform now provided yet another link in the defensive chain the ZMDF wished embedded within there front-line units.
The TR40 is equipped a few unique features with two internally articulated drive trains under a static "war hull" which contains all primary systems which the gas pneumatic suspension can act to lower or raise. The articulation is in the form of adapted civil engineering hardware taken from conventional earth movers. The forward and rear drive train sets can articulate up to 15 Degrees in relation to each other when the war hull is at full ground clearance height.
Variants of the TR40 include a high capacity bridge layer unit capable of creating an 80 metre span and a number of systems test beds.
The primary powerpack of the the TR40 is a set of 4 VRN20 V12 (Direct Injection) turbo diesel engines. This powerpack was developed for the MULE tractor unit. A secondary emergency electric whisper drive is available for retrofitting upon the urban combat modification where its downward facing high density batteries effectivly act to increase the hull down armour.
The primary weapons system of the TR40 is the 406.4mm (16 inch) Stormhammer Battle howitzer. The extreme lethality of the Storm hammer battle howitzer weapons system in direct engagement mode was the primary reason for its acquisition for the project.
The Stormhammer (HA-46) is a 406.4mm towed howitzer developed by the Sorrenson Caprelli Amiere, Prestwick and Anderson Heavy Industries Combine. (SCAPA) together with the main sub-contractor Tactical Weapons (a sub section of TIW) for the ZMDF. SCAPA received a contract for production of 1,350 units. The first system was delivered one year later and deliveries for this batch are complete. SCAPA mobile systems (formerly the state owned armored command ) delivers the complete chassis for all series vehicles. Total ZMDF requirement is expected to be around 4,800 units.
In year 2, during test firings for the ZMDF, the Storm hammer fired 20 rounds all to ranges exceeding 110km (143.7km theoretical maximum). The ranges were achieved using VN80 RAM jet semi guided shells from Samson Incorporated, in combination with the SCAPA D90 modular charge system. In November of that year, in live firings in the ZMI artic territories in Haven a similar range was achieved also fired with the modular charge system.
Stormhammer has been mounted in the combat bunker combat system of 3 homeland coastal defence Tor's, as a demonstration of the feasibility of the system for coastal defence applications.
The electrical gun control system, supplied by Megacity Aerospace Systems (MAS) comprises the automatic elevating and traversing drives with semi-automatic back-up, direct laying with electrical instrument control and manual control. While usually with a gun of this scale pneumatics are used the choice of electricity driving the system was made given its mating to the high power output of the MULE unit.
The 406.4mm gun of the Stormhammer was developed by the Rockford Development Systems corporation. The gun has a chromium-plated barrel and semi-automatic lifting breech block with integrated 18 -round standard primer magazine. Gun parameters such as chamber temperature are monitored automatically. The Stormhammer is equipped with a full automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system.
The chromium-plated barrel is 12m long and is fitted with a slotted muzzle brake which gives increased muzzle velocity and reduces the level of muzzle flash. The wedge type breech block is integrated with an exchangeable primer magazine fitted with an endless conveyer for automatic primer transportation, loading and unloading.
MAS also developed the modular Propelling Charge System (MTLS), the D90 which provides for faster handling, less wear on the gun, lower sensitivity to ignition hazards and improved range. In the Stormhammer, up to four D90 modules can form the propelling charge. The maximum range of the 406.4mm gun using the maximum D90 charges is 110km.
The gun positioning and laying system is produced by GDT and mounted on the gun cradle. The system automatically determines gun direction, position and elevation above sea level. The integrated Deep Sky Positioning System (DSPS) receiver and the vehicle's motor sensors form the hybrid navigation system of the Stormhammer.
AUTOMATIC SHELL LOADING SYSTEM
The Stormhammer automatic shell loading system can handle 18 rounds of 406.4mm ammunition in system. A further 24 rounds are stored in the primary magazine.
The shell loading system is driven by brushless electric servo motors supplied by MAS. The automatic shell loading system has pneumatically driven flick rammer and automatic digital control, ammunition supply management and inductive fuze setting. This provides rates of fire of 3 rounds in less than 30 seconds and loading of 35 shells by two operators within 12 minutes, including the collation of ammunition data. The firing rate of the Stormhammer was 8 rounds in 48.29 seconds, and 18 rounds in 2 minute 23 seconds, during live firing tests with an improved autoloader. The muzzle velocity is determined automatically by means of a hybrid GDT radar/lidar sensor and is used in the fire control computation.
FIRE CONTROL AND OBSERVATION
The Stormhammer can use an automatic mode of operation including the data radio link, laser link, satellite com or ground based sonic thumper with an external command and control system. The autonomous fire control functions are controlled by an on-board 320HON (Hardened Optic Network, A system dispersed in four nodes) computer supplied by GDT. Using the automatic mode, target engagements can be carried out by a crew of two. Using the fire control data provided by the ballistics computer, the gun is automatically laid and relayed during the mission.
Various backup modes are available which guarantee system sustainability in case of a component failure. As the lowest backup mode, an optical mechanical backup system is available. The gunner has a panoramic periscope, which is used in under-armor operations and for target designation in direct laying engagements. In this role Stormhammer can effectively engage and destroy even the heaviest surface combatants serving as a mobile and effective deterrent to SHBT deployments. The TIW unit has integrated day and night vision channels and a laser rangefinder with a self contained emergency battery system.
TR40 SECONDARY WEAPONS SYSTEMS
The secondary weapon of the standard layout TR40 is the Hopeworthy (SM-66) is a 125mm smoothbore Electro thermally ignited cannon developed by the Sorrenson, Caprelli, Amiere, Prestwick and Anderson Heavy Industries Combine. (SCAPA) together with the main sub-contractor Tactical Weapons (a sub section of TIW) for the ZMDF primarily for the TR25 Caprelli Main Battle Tank.
The electrical detonator system is supplied by Megacity Aerospace Systems (MAS) comprises of a ring electrode sparking system linked to a 6 kw capacitor.
The SM-66 is equipped with an automatic MAS elevating and traversing drive with manual back-ups operable by one crewman, with electrical instrument control and manual control.
The Hopeworthy 125mm gun was developed by the Rockford Development Systems Labs of SCAPA. The gun has a chromium-plated barrel and semiautomatic lifting breech block with integrated 6 round revolver and a magazine mounted in the rear of the turret. Gun parameters such as chamber temperature and distortion are monitored automatically but fouling of in barrel sensors has been a repeated fault. The Hopeworthy is equipped with a full automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system.
The chromium-plated barrel is 5.5 metres long and is fitted with a slotted muzzle brake which gives increased muzzle velocity and reduces the level of muzzle flash. The wedge type breech block is integrated with the jettisonable magazine and the Hopeworthy auto loader is fitted with an endless conveyer for automatic shell transportation, loading and unloading from the main body.
The gun positioning and laying system is produced by GDT and mounted below the gun cradle. The system automatically determines gun direction, position and elevation above sea level. The integrated Deep Sky Positioning System (DSPS) receiver and the vehicle's motor sensors form the hybrid navigation system of the TR25.
The TIW IOGC(II) 60mm Caseless Single Barrelled electrically fired Chain Gun
The development of the International Operations Ground Combat Chain Gun (II) was a controversial one in the ZMDF, with a long series of failed round make ups, barrel fouling issues and catastrophic misfires and the constant pressure to use existing conventional auto cannons. None the less the ZMDF persevered to produce the IOGC.
Unlike most firearms, the IOGC II does not depend on recoil to actuate its firing system. Instead, it uses a 5 HP brushless DC motor, positioned in the receiver, to drive the chain and a Triple-Feed system. The weapon consists of 4 modules and the DC motor is designed for very quick removal and replacement with a "push, lock and click" mechanism.
The Triple-feed system uses sprockets to feed, load, and fire the weapons 60 x 140 mm caseless ammunition. A system of clutches allows sprockets to engage and feed from any of the three magazines with the flick of a switch. The IOGC by its nature requires no ejection systems or action.
Ammunition cook-off (ignition of the ammunition by heat in the firing chamber) was a major problem with early prototypes; the brass (or steel) case of conventional ammunition plays a major role in absorbing heat and preventing the propellant from igniting prematurely. This huge defect showed up in the early trials with disastrous results, and the IOGC I subsequently had to be withdrawn from trials for safety reasons.
TIW redesigned the cartridge to use a new High Temperature Electrically Ignited Propellant (HTEIP). The cook-off problem was supposedly solved, or at least reduced with a special binder and coating for the ammunition that increased the spontaneous ignition temperature to 100 °C above that of standard, nitro-cellulose propellant. Unfortunately given the intense use environments the IOGC was expected to serve trials proved that the binding agent though vaporised still left minor residues within the barrel and the excess heat generated adversely effected the feeder and receiver assembly systems. This was mitigated by a
urge cycle of pressurised refrigerated air every 250 rounds, this not only lowers the IOGC temperature (a system that can be linked to any ZMDF GDT HON (hardened optic network) based FCS systems to lower overall platform IR output and given it is rarely equipped with a thermal sleeve) and the inclusion of a simple fan based air cooling system operated by the primary drive chain.
An interesting feature of the new round that it shared with its smaller infantry brethern was its unconventional shape. The redesigned IOGC II round was moulded into a squared, box-like shape. This allowed a percentage increase in carrying capacity and ease of storage.
The IOGCII featured in the TR29 has a chrome plated 4 metre long barrel 2.3 of which are within the bulk of the turret. The effective range is 3.6 kilometres with a maximum range of 8.3 kilometres. The maximum rate of fire is 420 rounds per minute. System weight is 185 kilograms.
The IOGCII weapon system has both electrical and manual fire control. In doing so, the gunner can choose from three rates of fire: (1) Single Shot Semi-Automatic. The gunner can shoot as fast as he can squeeze the trigger. (2) Low Rate Fully Automatic. The weapon fires 200 rounds a minute, plus or minus 25 rounds. (3) High Rate Fully Automatic. The weapon fires 420 rounds a minute, plus or minus 25 rounds.
Rounds presently in use are:
Armour Piercing Fin Discarding Sabot: 1575 m/s
Thermobaric Anti Personnel: 980 m/s
Fragmentary Anti personnel :1180 m/s
High Explosive Squash Head : 1100m/s
Weight : 339.7
Length: 18.85 metres
Width: 7.5 metres
Top Speed: 53 Km/H
Cruise: 45 Km/H
Suspension: Gas Hydraulic
Power plant: 4 VRN20 V12 (Direct Injection) Turbo diesels, VVVV form
3,360 horsepower each total 13,440 HP
Crew: 6 (Commander, 3 gunners, 1 Sysop tech, and 1 driver)
Armour: ZMDF Honeycomb, selective reactive, battle skin synthetic.
STANDARD ARMAMENT LAYOUT
Primary armament: HA-46 406.4mm Howitzer (A turret)
Cheops Quad HARP CIWS System(A turret)
SM-66 125mm smooth bore (B turret)
CCH TIW 60mm Auto Mortar (coaxial A turret x2)
Pintle Servo Operated Drummer Boy Mounted Dual Barrel TIW .50 cal USMG (B turret)
30.cal TIW USMG (Universal Standard Machine Gun) (Pintle, drivers hatch)
8 X SCAPA standard 5 Cell 60mm capable grenade launcher brackets (hull)
2 blocks of 9 angled MAS ViStar 180mm Defence Missile Tubes (hull)
2 x 30.cal TIW USMG (Universal Standard Machine Gun) (hull)
HA-46 406.4mm StormHammer Howitzer (A turret)
HM-12 450mm Thunderaxe Mortar (A turret)
HVG-5 88mm FlashSword EM Rail Driver Assisted Liquid propellant High Velocity Gun (A turret test bed only)
Co Axial Primary
CCH TIW 60mm Auto Mortar (coaxial A turret x2)
TIW IOGC(II) 60mm Caseless Single Barrelled electrically fired Chain Gun
A Turret Top Modular Area Defence Mount
Cheops Quad HARP CIWS System
X4 MAS Fang II SAM System
Remote Turreted Single 200mm Recoilless Rifle (SCAPA Oxen system)
Remote Turreted 10.5mm Mercury Raven Surface to Air Hyper velocity Rail Gun (TEST BED ONLY)
Ra 15Mw Quantum Cascade UV pulse laser (TEST BED ONLY)
Pintle Servo Operated Drummer Boy Mounted Dual Barrel TIW .50 cal MGSV
X2 25mm TIW Ravenor Flechette Rifle
TIW Vendor III burst fire 25mm Grenade Machine Gun Launcher
TIW .50 cal MGSV
25mm TIW Ravenor Flechette Rifle
Remotely operated Sponson Bubbles:
25mm TIW Ravenor Flechette Rifle
40mm Auto Grenade Launcher
TIW 50. cal MGSV
30.cal TIW USMG (Universal Standard Machine Gun)
Fixed Grenade Launchers
16 X SCAPA standard 5 Cell 60mm capable grenade launcher brackets (urban combat)
8 X SCAPA standard 5 Cell 60mm capable grenade launcher brackets