Montag, 28. Februar 2011

XM 29 project

The XM29 is a project by the US-Army and Heckler&Koch
Out of this projects is the well known Gun "XM 8" from Battlefield BC2
(the Kinetic part of the project)

The XM29 and its different parts/project-types

The XM8 and its variations

Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (KE) and 20x85mm (HE)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt (KE), unknown (HE)
Overall length: 890 mm
Barrel length: 250 mm (KE) 460 mm (HE)
Weight: ca 5.5 kg empty; ca 6.8 kg loaded
Magazine capacity: 20 or 30 rounds box (KE) and 6 rounds box (HE)

More detailed vew of the single parts

The history of the one of the most ambitious projects in the history of small arms, known as the OICW, short for "Objective Individual Combat Weapon", began late in the 1986, when the US Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning published a military paper, named "Small Arms System 2000" (SAS-2000). Despite the current trends towards the caseless and fleschette ammunition and appropriate weapons, researched and developed under the ACR program this paper stated that the conventional small arms already reached its technological peak, and the only way to increase the hit probability in the small arms is to introduce a weapon that will fire explosive and fragmentation warheads, combined with the smart fusing and sighting / aiming technologies. While the most small arms research during the late 1980s in the USA was conducted under the ACR program, the idea first developed in the SAS-2000 was supported by another US military paper, published in 1989 by the US Army TRADOC (Training & Doctrine) center. This paper, called "The Small Arms Master Plan" (SAMP), requested for a family of infantry "Objective" weapons, namely the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), Objective Personal Defense Weapon (OPDW), and the Objective Crew Served Weapon (OCSW). The SAMP stated that such weapons must utilize the latest developments in computers and visual technologies, as well as in the small arms, and combine both high explosive warheads and traditional bullets fire capabilities in a single weapon, that should be fielded circa 2000. Of cause, the timelines and most of the weight and cost requirements set in this paper looked unrealistic from the start, but the development of the Objective weapons began in the early 1990s.
During the early stages of research and development in the mid-1990 one out of the two teams was selected as a winner for further development contract. This team is lead by the US based Alliant Techsystems corporation (ATK), with the Heckler-Koch (Germany), Brashear and the Omega companies (both of USA) as the other team members. The ATK is responsible for system integration, and also develops the 20mm Air Burst munitions; HK is responsible for both the 5.56mm rifle and the 20mm grenade launcher; Brashear works on the sighting equipment and Omega provides the training means. The resulting weapon was type-classified by the US Army as the XM-29 circa 2002, and is scheduled to enter the service during the year 2008 in limited numbers. It will be then consequently upgraded with the new technologies then available. Present plans for fielding the M-29 are to issue four units per one infantry squad of 9 men. Early in the 2002 the XM-29 test weapons were successfully tested with the newest 20mm HEAB (High Explosive Air Bursting) munitions, which will be a major "kill factor" for the M-29 weapon. At the same time the "kinetic energy" part of the XM-29 was type-classified as the XM-8 light rifle, and, in the near future, could possibly  replace the current Colt M4 carbines as a standalone compact conventional small arms.
XM-29 OICW Description.
The XM-29 is a combination weapon, which has the 20mm semi-automatic, magazine fed grenade launcher as its primary part, and the 5.56mm compact assault rifle as its secondary part. Both parts are assembled into the single one-man portable unit, with the addition of the target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS), which is an essential part of the whole system. The XM-29 will become an integral part of the future Land Warrior system, capable of communicating with the other parts of this system, including the tactical computers and helmet-mounted displays. 
The grenade launcher is capable to fire in semi-automatic mode only, and is gas operated. It has a bullpup layout with the detachable box magazine located in the butt of the weapon. The rifled barrel is used to launch the 20mm grenades up to the 1000 meters range with good accuracy. In the standard configuration most of the fire controls for the grenade launcher part are located on the rifle part, including the single trigger for both firing modules. It is quite possible, however, that the separate stock will be developed for the grenade launcher part, so it will be possible to use it without the rifle part attached. The launcher has the provisions for the TA/FCS system to be mounted on its top, and the appropriate interfaces, so the data provided from the TA/FCS can be used to program the 20mm grenade fuses. These fuses, used for the 20mm HEAB ammunition, has multiple mode of detonation, including the direct impact mode and the Air Burst mode. In the latter mode the fuse is pre-programmed to explode the warhead at the preset range, which is calculated during the flight by counting the number of the grenade rotations.  This allows do defeat targets without the direct impact, using the blast and fragmentation effect of the high explosive warhead. This is a major advantage over the present small arms, which in most cases require the direct hit on the target to be effective, as it allows for greater aiming errors, and also makes possible to defeat targets in defilade, like the trenches and so. The high explosive warhead also has the advantage of not being dependent on its velocity to be effective, so unlike with the bullets, its effectiveness does not decreased with the increase of range. The disadvantages of this system is the extreme complexity of the electronic fuses, which results in the high price of a single round of ammunition. The present plans stated that the one HEAB round must cost about US $25, and it is still to be seen which will be an actual price when the M29 system will be fielded. It is interesting that the present design of the HEAB ammunition actually has two small HE warheads at the front and at the rear of the projectile, with the electronic fuse module located between them. While the HEAB is considered a primary round for the 20mm grenade launcher, it is entirely possible do develop a low cost, direct hit only anti-armour 20mm round with Shaped Charge warhead, which will be effective against lightly armored vehicles (APC, MICV and alike) and various hardened targets.
The rifle, or "kinetic energy" part of the XM-29 system, on the other hand, is a fairy conventional, short-barreled assault rifle, derived from the Heckler&Koch G36 assault rifle. The basic "rifle" part of the XM-29 has no buttstock and no own sights, and thus can be used separately from the whole system only as emergency, personal defense weapon. While being mounted to the whole system, it can be used for a close quarters work, both defensive or offensive (the 20mm grenade launcher has it minimum range of fire of about 50-100 meters), or as an low-cost, low intensity medium range offensive weapon. Most of the XM-29 system controls are built into the "rifle" part, around the trigger guard.
The target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS) is the most expensive and complicated unit of the whole system, since it must combine day and night vision capabilities, laser rangefinding unit, ballistic computer and various interfaces to the grenade launcher and external systems. It is used to find the targets in any light and weather conditions, determine the range to the target, calculate and display the aiming data, so the grenade or bullet could be fired to the desired point of impact, and then supply the data to the grenade launcher, so the range could be preset into the grenade fuse. In the case of damage to the TA/FCS the 20mm grenade launcher still can be used in the direct impact mode, as well as the rifle part of the system.
The current research and testing showed that the XM-29 can be up to 500% more effective than the present small arms, but it is still to be seen if all the requirements will be met in the resulting system, especially regarding to the reliability of electronic components, weight, and, at last but not at least, the unit price.

And here is a little video

Samstag, 19. Februar 2011

Something about the AK

During World War II , the Germans first pioneered the assault rifle concept, based upon research that showed that most firefights happen at close range, within approximately 300 meters. The power and range of contemporary rifle cartridges was excessive for most small arms firefights. As a result, armies sought a cartridge and rifle combining submachine gun features (large-capacity magazine, selective-fire) with an intermediate-power cartridge effective to 300 meters. To reduce manufacturing costs, the 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge case was shortened, the result of which was the lighter 7.92x33mm Kurz (kurz=german for "short")
The resultant rifle was the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG44). An earlier firearm, the Italian Cei-Rigotti combined similar features but suffered poor reliability and ejection mechanism, as well as inferior magazine capacity. Towards the end of the war, the Germans fielded the StG44 against the Soviets; the experience deeply influenced Soviet military doctrine in the post-war years.

this picture shows the different versions of the Stg.44

The main difference betwen the AK-47 and the Stg.44 is that the they have a different interlocking system.
The system of the AK-47 is much more effective than the system of the Stg.44.

Kalashnikov didn't simply just copy the Stg.44, he only gets inspired by this weapon to make his own, better weapon to protect his Land against every enemy who wants to conquer and destroy his land.

Some datas:
There were built more than 100 million AK-type rifles.

Weight with empty magazine: 4.3kg
Barrel length: 415mm
Cartridge: 7.62x39mm
Rate of fire: 600 rounds per minute
Effetive range:  ~300 meters (full-auto)
                       ~400 meters (semi-auto)

Donnerstag, 17. Februar 2011

Anti-Tank Rifle

An anti-tank rifle is a rifle designed to penetrate the armour of vehicles, particularly tanks. The usefulness of rifles for this purpose ran from the introduction of tanks in WW I and until the Korean War. While medium and heavy tank armour became too thick to be penetrated by rigid projectiles from rifles that could be carried by a single soldier, anti-tank rifles continued to be used against other targets, though shapped-charge weapons such as the bazooka were also introduced for infantry close-defense against tanks. Anti-material rifles of today, such as the Barett M82, are a development of the Second World War technology.

The first Anti-Tank Rifle was the German "Tankgewehr 1918" against the British Mark-tanks.
Their rifles was a new version of the big game hunting rifles of the 19th century.
cal 13.2x92mm 

At the beginning of the second World War the A-T Rifles were very effectively used by the Polish Army against the German tanks (lighter Tanktypes like the PzKpfW I,II and III).
They used their A-T Rifle, the "Wz. 35 Anti-Tank Rifle"
the cal was 7.92 x 107
Later as armour became thicker on the newer models, the effectiveness of a man-portable rifle lessened. A notable exception was against the light tanks employed by the Japanese in Malaya, where the British Boys rifle was used with some success.

After WW II the A-T Rifle was useless because of the thick armour of the newer tank models, so the military set their interesses on heavier ant-tank weapons like the upcoming shoulder firing rockets of the bazooka and "Panzerschreck".

Todays A-T Rifles are more used as Heavy Sniper Rifles.
Some well-known rifles are:

The "Barrett M82A1" of the U.S.A. (cal .50 BMG)

or the Hungarian "Gepard" (cal aslo .50 BMG)



Video of the Finnish "Lathi 20mm"
The Rifle with the biggest caliber in WW II which you can shoot "from the shoulder".
Even its magazine weighed almost ~7 kilogramms. The whole weapon weighed some 50 kilograms and it was usually towed by horses, but could be carried by several men.

Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2011

German Super-Battleship "Der Führer"

There is the battleship "Bismarck" for comparison.

The plans were awesome but many considered them fool hardy, but no one wanted to tell this to Hitler. He wanted the biggest battleship in the world and indeed the design was drawn up for this monster. It was to displace 122,000 tons, have eight 21 inch guns and travel at about 30 knots. The problem was that this ship would have been almost twice the size of the Yamato and no docking facility was big enough for it. It would also be very hard to maneuver. Worst of all was the fact that the steel it needed for its construction would have meant that nothing else could have been built during its construction. As the war neared its end, Hitler finally gave up on its construction

More about the details:
Displacement: (700,000 tons planned) 462,750 tons light; 484,920 tons standard; 560,057 tons normal service; 617,927 tons full load
Length: 2,000’ (609.60m)
Beam: 300’ (91.44m)
Draft: 55’ (16.75m)
Main: 8 – 31.5” (80cm) Gustav siege guns (4 x 2)
Secondary: 12 – 9.45”/73 (24cm) Long Range AA guns (12 x 1)
Tertiary: 24 – 5.04”/60 (12.8cm) AA guns (12 x 2)
Light: 5.5cm/77 Gerat 58, 30mm AA guns
(Broadside = 131,574 lbs/59,631 kg)
Aircraft: 15 aircraft
Belt: 14.96” (380mm) Deck: 14.96” (380mm)
Turrets: 25.96” (660mm) Conning tower: 24.8” (630mm)
Machinery: 8 shafts, (480,000 shp planned) 498,735 shp/372,057 kw
Performance: 28 knots; Range: 30,000 nm @ 20 knots
Complement: (5,000 planned) 10,236 – 13,307
Distribution of weights:
Armament: 16,425 tons = 2.9%
Armor: 158,660 tons = 28.3%
Machinery: 11,931 tons = 2.1%
Hull, fittings & equipment: 274,955 tons = 49.1%
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 97,307 tons = 17.4%
Miscellaneous weights: 750 tons = 0.1%

This is a 700,000 ton German battleship built to carry a battery of eight 80 cm/31.5 guns, the siege gun Gustav. This is strictly a flight of fancy taken from remarks made by Hitler that he wanted to mount 80 cm guns on the H-class. It was estimated that it would take a 700,000 ton ship to mount them.

Rate of fire for the main battery would be quite slow, one round per gun every five minutes or more while the AA defense would be much more rapid. The AP shell weighed over 15,000 lbs with 441 lbs of burster while the HC shell weighed over 10,000 lbs with 882 lbs of burster.

The 24 cm/73 AA armament was based upon a Kriegsmarine late war study to develop a land based high altitude gun firing a 300 plus pound shell up to 59,000 feet. It is possible that a 700,000 ton ship could carry twelve of these in single double purpose mounts, partly to make up for the slow rate of fire of the 80cm main battery and to engage cruisers.

The 5"/60 were probably Germany's best AA weapon at the end of the war and would have served this mastodon well.

There is no detail information regarding the ship’s power plant. The total SHP required for a ship of this size dictated at least 8 shafts. Based on the extended range of these ships it would appear that a portion of the power plant was diesel.

Eventhough Schwere Gustav and Dora had caliber lengths of 40 calibers.
The Fuhrer uses the naval standard 52cal 800mm guns.

Dienstag, 15. Februar 2011

The German Submarine Type XXI

The Birth of the Bazooka

Its a very nice picture about the long way from the beginnings to the bazooka we know today.
btw it's called "Panzerwurfmiene" (woithout an "ü")