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M256

Summary

The Rheinmetall 120mm gun is a smoothbore tank gun designed and produced by the West German Rheinmetall-DeTec AG company, developed in response to Soviet advances in armor technology and development of new armored threats. Production began in 1974, with the first version of the gun, known as the L/44 as it was 44 calibers long, used on the German Leopard 2 tank and soon produced under license for the American M1A1 Abrams and other tanks. The 120-millimeter gun has a length of 5.28 meters, and the gun system weighs approximately 3,317 kilograms. A variety of ammunition has been developed for use by tanks with guns based on Rheinmetall's original L/44 design. This includes a series of kinetic energy penetrators, such as the American M829 series, and high explosive anti-tank warhead warheads. Recent ammunition includes a wide range of new anti-personnel rounds and demolition munitions, giving tanks armed with the L/44 and its derivatives greater versatility on the modern battlefield. The LAHAT, developed in Israel, is a gun-launched missile which has received interest from Germany and other Leopard 2 users, and is designed to defeat both land armor and combat helicopters. The Israelis also introduced a new anti-personnel munition which limits collateral damage by controlling the fragmentation of the projectile.

Powers and Stats

Tier: 9-B to 9-A

Name: Rheinmetall 120mm Main Gun (license-built in the USA as the M256 by General Dynamics Land Systems)

Origin: Real Life

Age: 1979–present

Classification: Smoothbore tank gun

Wielders: American, Australian, Austrian, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, Kuwaiti, Saudi Arabian, South Korean, Spanish, Swedish, and Swiss armed forces

Powers and Abilities: Launches 120mm shells at supersonic velocities

Attack Potency: Wall level+ with AP and Anti-personnel ammunition (11.33–16.22 megajoules), can critically damage and destroy load-bearing walls of large buildings; up to 10–12 rounds per minute rate of fire. Small Building Level (DM11 round has around 6.6 lbs of RDX which is 1.6x as explosive as TNT. M908 similar effect).

Speed: Supersonic+

Lifting Strength: At least Class 5+ (given a mass of 3317 kilograms and impulse of over 31137.5 Newton-seconds, the gun's recoil should be able to noticeably move objects like 5-ton trucks)

Striking Strength: Wall Class+ (shells hit as hard as 16+ megajoules, and the gun's recoil energy should be over 150 kilojoules).

Durability: At least Wall level (built to withstand firing over 1000 rounds with a peak chamber pressure of 662 megapascals without needing serious maintenance), at most Small Building level in terms of total destruction (comprised of up to 3317 kilograms of steel with a fragmentation energy of over 88.45 megajoules)

Range: About 4 kilometers with armor piercing discarding sabot shells, 2.5 kilometers with high explosive shells, up to 0.75 kilometer with anti-personnel shells

Note: Generally speaking, other tank guns of similar bore (120mm) and period (like the L30, IMI 120mm, CN120-26/52, and 2A46 D-81) generally have performance equivalent to this one.

Gallery

Ultra Powerful M1 Abrams 120mm Smoothbore Cannon in Action01:58

Ultra Powerful M1 Abrams 120mm Smoothbore Cannon in Action

M1 Abrams firing 120mm guns downrange during training