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ST3 105mm Wheeled Assault Gun

In February 2019 new wheeled assault gun quickly attracted the attention of netizens as soon as it was exposed because of its special position. According to common sense, if it enters the army's cold test field for testing, then this type of vehicle is at least in a state that is about to enter the army's equipment sequence. Only a few years after the ZTL-11 wheeled tank was equipped with the army, another brand new "wheeled assault gun" will soon be equipped with the army.

At the beginning of the development of the ZTL-11, the army established the concept of an all-wheeled vehicle family based on 8X8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicles. The earliest 8-round assault guns used a rear-mounted combat room and a front-powered layout. However, serious problems were discovered during the test. Because the turret is at the back and the chassis is longer, the long rear seat 105-line artillery retractor is just above the front of the vehicle. When the gun is fired, the high-pressure gas ejected by the guns retreat will have a serious impact on the front of the car. If the driver is in the car, it will be very uncomfortable. It feels like putting a person in a big bell, and then violently ringing the bell.

In order to solve this problem, 8 rounds 105 revised the plan drastically. So this has the layout of the power rear and the middle position in the battle. After the turret was moved forward, the muzzle brake went far beyond the front of the vehicle, and the problem of "ring the bell" was solved. In addition, after the battle room is placed in the middle, it is also very helpful to improve the stability of its shooting.

The newly designed chassis is much more compact than the previous 8-wheel chassis, so that a lot of weight can be saved for enhanced protection. It can not only add thicker additional armor, but also add a certain performance lightning protection component to the bottom of the car. However, although the new wheeled 105 assault gun looks much thicker than the previous ZTL-11, its maximum weight is still within the upper limit of 24 tons. This can be seen from the fact that it still retains the water propeller and has the ability to float on water.

The new generation long recoil low recoil gun, which is born out of the new light tank 105mm tank gun, makes it unnecessary for the muzzle brake on the new wheeled assault gun. This makes the new wheeled assault gun even use the rear layout of the fighting room, no longer need to be afraid of "ring the bell" to the driver. Of course, there are actually two prototype vehicles currently being tested in the middle of the battle room and the rear of the battle room. The middle of the battle room is good for shooting stability, and the shorter length of the whole vehicle at the back of the battle room is good for maneuvering.

Due to the limitation of chassis carrying capacity and floating ferry, the new wheel tank can only improve its combat effectiveness by increasing the firepower and strengthening the sight while squeezing the weight and protecting it. Therefore, the turret of the new wheel tank is not only equipped with a tail compartment automatic loader similar to the new light tank, but also equipped with a luxurious gunner and commander's sight. In addition, automatic weapon stations and a variety of soft countermeasures have been added.

The problem of poor cross-country maneuverability that emerged during use of the ZTL-11 will also be perfectly solved in the new wheel base. It is reported that the new wheel base uses a 132 series engine that is the same as the new light vehicle. The engine with twice the power of the original ensures that the new wheel base has strong maneuverability. In addition, my country's new generation of armored vehicles generally begin to pay attention to high altitude maneuverability. This twice the original power is likely to use two-stage turbocharged shooting like the new light tank engine, and the new wheel tank can also walk fast on the plateau.

The tail tank structure is similar to the 15-type light tank and the VT-30 foreign trade light tank; the fighting room is located at the rear, and the muzzle is just beyond the front of the vehicle; the muzzle has no brakes, and there are three thermal sheaths before the smoke device of the artillery; there is water propulsion device soe the vehicle can float. Because the new wheel tank can float, its total combat weight must not be greater than 24 tons, which is an insurmountable red line. To improve the wheel base under the condition of limited weight, everyone hopes to save weight through various means to increase protection and improve maneuverability.

Whether it is a Type 15 light tank, a VT-30 foreign trade light tank or the so-called "new wheel tank", they all have a tail tank structure of the same size, and there is a similar armored hatch in the middle of the tail tank. Judging from this point, there can be inferences, because the first two are equipped with a tail tank automatic loader, so the "new wheel tank" should also be equipped with a tail tank automatic loader. We cannot draw an exact conclusion about the caliber of the main gun of the "New Wheel Tank" solely from the characteristics of the tail tank autoloader. Because whether it is 105, 120, or 125 shells, their shell length is basically the same, and they can be about 1100 mm. Although the classic tail compartment loader is only suitable for loading fixed ammunition, it can be used to load 125 sub-load ammunition with small improvements.

It is not possible to obtain the geometric dimensions of the "new wheel tank" and further judge the length of the artillery through it. However, through the overall dimensions of armored vehicles and artillery, we can still draw some conclusions. Low recoil 105mm barrel length 5250mm (50 times diameter); 125 barrel length 6000mm (48 times diameter); 120 barrel length 6240mm (52 times diameter). The early battle room rear plan of the eight-wheeled wheel is basically similar to the "new wheel tank", and the gun muzzle of both is close to the front of the vehicle. If the main gun of the "New Wheel Tank" is 125 or 120, the position of the turret should be more rearward. Obviously, the photos of the "New Wheel Tank" do not support the conclusion that the main gun is longer than 125 or 120. So is it possible to shorten the body tube? Everyone knows that the purpose of increasing the caliber is to increase the power, and the most critical indicator of power is the initial velocity of the projectile. Shortening the 125 and 120 barrels will reduce the initial velocity. Doesnt this go against the original intention of increasing the caliber?

In China the 120 caliber has always belonged to the artillery anti-tank category, and the emergence of the ZTL-11 type wheel tank has blocked the artillery anti-tank artillery. The restoration is possible, and the large-caliber wheeled assault guns are directly incorporated into the command system of the armored forces. In the newly synthesized troops after the military reform, the wheel tanks directly commanded by the armored units can be better integrated with other front-line wheeled combat vehicles. In this context, equipping the artillery force with 120-wheeled anti-tank guns is simply a reversal of the army's organization and command system.

he biggest feature of the "Xinluntan" gun is that it has no muzzle brake, and the barrel before the smoking device has three thermal sheaths. The 105/120/125 artillery generally used on the 20-ton chassis must increase the recoil and increase the muzzle brake to reduce the recoil of the artillery to a tolerable range. The artillery of the "New Wheel Tank" does not have a muzzle brake, so it can only rely on increasing the recoil to reduce recoil. Since the recoil force of the normal 120/125 is much greater than 105, it is much more difficult for the first two to reduce recoil by increasing the length of the rear seat than the latter, so it is more reasonable to continue to use 105 on the "new wheel platform". In addition, based on the characteristics of the three-section thermal jacket before the smoking device, we can know that it must not be 120 (two thermal jackets), nor 125 (normal 125 two sections, extended 125 three sections).

In May 2021, the domestically-made new ST3 105mm wheeled assault gun was officially unveiled. There are only a few photographs attributed to this vehicle, all of which exhibit differences in details. The most evident identification key that differentiates the ST-3 from the ST-1 is that the front of the ST-1 turret is aligned between the first and second wheels, whereas the ST-3 turret is didplaced to the rear, with the front aligned between the second and third wheels. The biggest highlight of this equipment is that it inherits a large number of traditional artillery technical features and integrates them. For example, tank guns, mortars, cannons, howitzers, and even anti-aircraft anti-aircraft guns are capable of performing tasks. This new type of 105mm main gun is capable of performing various types of ammunition. The battlefield situation can be dealt with. It is a versatile piece of equipment that can not only fight tanks but also be used for air defense.

The Chinese Army is one of the largest in the world today. It has advanced weapons and equipment among the best in the world, including wheeled assault guns with powerful firepower and high-speed maneuverability. The Chinese Army has been developing towards a fully integrated and coordinated multi-arms cooperation direction. An excellent multi-purpose equipment can play an important role in a multi-arms, multi-equipment unit. The ST3 105mm wheeled assault gun is an excellent equipment that can meet this need. Initially, this new assault gun is only a foreign trade equipment, but this does not mean that the PLA will not be equipped with self-use models to strengthen combat power. The ST3 105mm wheeled assault gun for export is for small and medium-sized countries that require multi-functional and multi-purpose equipment. These countries do not have much disposable military expenditures. Multi-purpose high-quality and low-cost equipment is the best choice for these countries. This is in the foreign trade models that China previously exported that can be used as trainers and light fighters.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:06:47 ZULU