CTA 40mm Cannon Brochure

General Dynamics Scout SV

Information on the new CTA 40mm cased telescopic cannon that will be fitted to FRES SV Scout and Warrior

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

61 Responses

  1. Good to see this is an unmanned turret. Not so good to see it’s only protected against 7.62 AP :-(

  2. I read that in the Warrior upgrade from LM the CTAI40 gun will be “optimized” for 60 rounds/minute firing rate, and will have 72 ready-to-fire rounds.

  3. John – is it not ? Not any of it ? Because it’s a joint British_French corporate entity made of a British company and a French company. So is it only UK design and complete manufactured in France ??

  4. ooops, your right its in the second document, everyone in Bourges in France.

    I am sure if we were buying enough of them, it would make economic and commercial sense to have a UK production line, but as we aren’t, it doesn’t.

  5. Jed
    It looks ideal for an unmanned naval mount. The coalition talks of boosting UK manufacturing , but never does anything practical. I would like to see 40mm CTA ammo (& the fantasy naval mount) made in the UK.

  6. So far we are buying all of the weapon systems that will exist – the French have not yet committed to buying any.

    Gabriele, what’s your source on the 60 rpm? That’s really, really slow.

  7. Mr Fred
    Not really, AS-90 can only sustain 2 rounds per minute.

    Slow for an infantry rifle, but a that gun looks like it would do a lot of damage with 60 rounds…

  8. Hi DJ,

    AS-90 is not really meant to be shooting at something that is closing on you at great speed (by air, on land, whatever).

    But, if we ever decide to do the Braveheart upgrade, we can buy the turrets from Poland, the barrels from Nexter… and we already have the chassis in a great number of instances
    – so great that the whole thing could happen without the fielded strength even “noticing”
    – but then again, our “divisional” artillery (for the non-existent division) is catered for by GMLRS

  9. DominicJ,
    90 rpm on the RARDEN was considered slow, so 60rpm for its replacement would be worse, n’est pas? Plus the literature says up to 200 (which could legitimately include 1) so I was curious as to where Gabriele got his info.

    There’s a US government report on Case Telescoped weapons that is somewhat scathing about the whole thing, most critically that a CT system introduces complexity while offering no real advantages over conventional systems. Now it may be that there are inherent advantages to the CT concept, but by now conventional systems have a century of development behind them. That’s a hell of a catch-up for the CT stuff.

  10. mrFred
    40mm gives you a choice of ammo types, so use the right ammo & you do not need a lot of rounds. An airburst round above Taliban in a ditch or over a Somali pirate skiff, would do the job with one round.
    The advantage of CT is that it lets you put a 40mm gun in a turret that could only take a 25-30mm normal gun.
    Remember the Vickers Valkyr 4×4 amphib armoured vehicle? Given todays IED armour upgrade + a lightweight unmanned 40mm CT turret, you would have a fine vehicle to support Royal Marines & Paras.

  11. John Hartley,
    Most other calibres offer you a choice of ammo types. In fact many offer a wider range of ammunition due to a larger number of users. More usage also usually means cheaper.
    Doing the job with one round works only if that one rounds can hit.

  12. @ Jed re joint ventures with the French.

    I am surprised you are surprised.

    You have my full permission to invade Quebec next weekend.

  13. A further point:
    If you want a fire support vehicle, I would suggest that an autoloading 76 or 90mm gun would be better. These have been installed on small vehicles for several decades, With modern fire control and laser ranging, the problem of low velocity guns goes away and all the advantages of a larger payload comes into play.

    An alternative would be to go for missiles – the Thales Thor system would give a good combination of HE and KE firepower out to 7km. The standard HVM delivers three guided dart with a similar arrangement and KE to a 40mm APFSDS.

    If you are after greater staying power/duration of fire, then a 90mm would be better. Precision effect and range would favour missiles. The missiles could be supplemented by a HMG or GMG, or maybe even a 30mm M230 chaingun for suppressive fire

  14. How big could you go with telescoped ammunition? Does the principle scale up well, or do the case proportions quickly become unmanageable?

    Mr.fred, would the DoD have a downer on 40CTA just because it’s an Anglo-French, rather than American, standard? Maybe that’s being far to cynical.

  15. Brian Black,
    The US report is an evaluation of their own work on the CT concept: $213m over 41 years up to the mid 1990’s. It pre-dates the work in Bourges.

    AIUI, larger APFSDS rounds tend to be telescoped, at least partially. For CT technology to work, the chamber must be somewhat bigger than the projectile, so it is more easily applicable to sub-calibre projectiles.

  16. Mrfred
    Yes other calibres can do the job just as well, but my point was 40mm CTA lets you have a bigger calibre in a smaller vehicle.
    My ongoing rant, is that we need lighter deployable vehicles that are with our troops thousands of miles away, rather than 40-70 ton beasts that are hard to transport out of Britain.

  17. You can put a 90mm in a very small vehicle. The rate of fire is less, but the size of shell is so much bigger it’s a proper trade-off.
    In reality you have to define what it is that you want the vehicle to do. That then allows you to chose the gun.

  18. I think we have consistently missed a trick by not replacing the 76mm on Scorpion with a CMI 90mm

    Not too large so you can carry a decent number/variety of natures and not too small so you can deliver a big enough warhead to be useful.

    Have we not often used CVR(T) to provide fire support so instead of blatting off Javelins left right and centre we could use something much cheaper.

    Having said that though I also think there is still a role for a modern day WOMBAT or perhaps less mental, a semi automatic 40mm CTA, mounted on a WMIK, Jackal or Foxhound

  19. I would have thought that a Wombat less mental than a CT40. Recoil and all that.
    A cheap missile might make some kind of sense, but how that might be attained I don’t know.

  20. RE ” missed a trick by not replacing the 76mm on Scorpion with a CMI 90mm”
    – didn’t they put that on a “Universal carrier” in Belgium?

    And I love the Japanese (especially designed) carrier for a “double-Wombat”

  21. Why would a 90mm direct fire weapon be useful? Not going to penetrate a modern tank (Cockerill reckon 130 mm of RHA penetration is their best effort), the ballistic characteristics from a turreted platform will be inferior to mortars, rate of fire will be on a par with MBT but without the punch, and it’s a non-standard apart from the Belgiques and the Indonesians.

    I’m not saying a 90 mm wouldn’t be useful in some eventualities, but why wouldn’t other capabilities such as missiles or mortars be better?

  22. james
    its a bit chicken/egg
    one assumes 90 is better than 76 for lobbing he at buildings and earthworks.
    But it isnt going to knock out a tank.
    But does it need to?

    It all comes back to fulda or falklands :)

    i’ll sort the book when i’m back in work on tuesday, sorry about delay

  23. A 90mm weapon might not take out an MBT – but when facing a lesser armoured vehicle, might you find yourself in a situation where a 90mm weapon would give you a one-shot kill but your smaller caliber cannon requires half a dozen well placed hits?

  24. @ Dom J,

    mortars or artillery are better for taking out buildings and earthworks than DF weapons, mortars are more flexible, with greater reach, have a wider range of fillings, and do not require an AFV to dedicate itself to a task for several minutes.

    A Bradley M3-style turret with a 25/30mm cannon and a TOW-style co-mount is a more flexible and useful turret than a 90 mm gun.

  25. @ Brian Black,

    30 mm will take out most vehicles short of MBT, which requires a 105 or 120 mm gun or a missile. What sort of vehicles fit in between MBT and AFVs / IFVs in protection? I can’t think of any.

  26. james
    my understanding was through the window was easier than through the roof.
    But i could be wrong.

  27. What about a BMP3 style turret with an auto-cannon and a breech loading mortar? Best of both worlds.

    (Yes I know the other weapon in a BMP-3 is a gun not a mortar. That is why I said style……..)

  28. The blurb says the 40mm CTA can be fitted on any armoured vehicle above 8 tons, so updated Valkyr or Stormer are viable mounts.

  29. Hi James, while I agree with every word of your contribution:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm
    – I am looking forward to what the “shadow TD site” by Gabby will come in the article about mortar-guns (only in favour in the Russian army… there must be a reason)

  30. Hi James,

    – in-between there was the BMP3 comment (we can all think back to the 152mm and the Shillelagh, which did not work), so that was NOT what I meant with the gun-mortar study ( coming up soon? Go Gabby, go!)

    But RE ” What sort of vehicles fit in between MBT and AFVs / IFVs in protection? I can’t think of any”
    – Achary (T-55 derivative)
    – Merkava, turned into an IFV… btw, because the Merkava line is so busy, these are made in the good old USA (So, DJ? Where did you get the $ 3m figure for a Merkava from? Don’t believe that for a sec; and if it is true, will become a salesman on commission straight away)

  31. @ DominicJ,

    have you tried putting a ballistic shell through a window? It is possible, but not on a repeatable basis, and certainly not at all easy at over 1,000 metres. If you want to put something through a window, it is easier with a guided weapon.

  32. @ ACC,

    it’s hardly worth having a 90 mm gun for just a couple of types of vehicles. Smack ’em with 120, and have 30mm and GW for everything else.

  33. Hi JH,

    I always thought that the Stormer was a great one (passed by, not now, so much later). But where are the details for this other one you’ve mentioned a couple of times?
    – and up-armouring for/against IED obviously isn’t trivial

  34. Hi James, could not agree more:
    “@ ACC,

    it’s hardly worth having a 90 mm gun for just a couple of types of vehicles. Smack ‘em with 120, and have 30mm and GW for everything else.”
    – and make the 30mm supershot with a few, easy part changes

  35. Someone here was critical of the three-way feed for the 40mm on CV90
    – it is only a two-way feed, as far as I know
    – but for the rounds available, it is a wonderful system (for the effect, on target – and the versatility of one …family of… AFV)

    Having said that, the ergonomics within the turret are not ideal – so I am all for the CTA

  36. does it need to be through the window or in the general vicinity of the window?

    This is a good debate, will make a separate post on it

  37. @ TD / Dom J

    1. Beware of brochureware, especially from Defence manufacturers. The Challenger 2 fire control computer can only take local met and is unable to take account of gusting winds mid course.

    2. The through the window / near the window debate is all about fusing.

    3. ROE are probably a bigger constraint than anyone allows.

  38. Well, like I said, you have to define what you want to do.
    A light cannon and ATGW would probably be a better general purpose system, covering suppression and destruction of a wide range of targets.

    A 90mm gun, while somewhat eclectic (i.e. the US doesn’t use it), is a damn sight more common than the CT40. The 90mm weapon, with modern fire control, is somewhat more effective than light cannon against slow-moving target, but due to lower velocity and rate of fire would be less effective for suppression and fast-moving targets.
    Pair it with a long-range machine gun – a .50cal (the RLS powered one could be good) or a new .338 and you could have a useful weapons platform for infantry support against infantry in the open, structures, fortifications and light vehicles. Cost and bulk per round would be less than an ATGW so it would be better for a game of whack-a-mole than ATGW or indirect fire asset.

    An alternate version would be a 120mm mortar, although these tend to appear only on larger (20-30t class) vehicles, which would count against a lightweight vehicle.

  39. I thought the purpose behind the 40mm was because the protection on AIFV was reaching a level that challenged the ability of 25-30mm weapons to punch through it?

    On that note, James, what do you know for certain/have heard from reliable sources about the stories of Bradley’s popping T-55 etc out in Iraq? I ask only because we often here about this but no-one seems to be able to produce source data for this sort of thing.

    If a T-55 struggles to stop 25-30mm, then it’ll take a fair amount of armour to get an AIFV up to spec.

  40. Hi TD, would be interested to know how they decided?

    On the European side of things, I hear that you can fire only if the (wheeled) vehicle in in a certain position as for the line of fire??

    Also, now that the V-shaped hull is all the the craze, the fire support version is not “eligible”.

  41. chris b
    my understanding was tow missiles and shooting them in the back.
    Airborne istar located tanks and headings, bradleys then looped around, came up from behind, and had a fairly easy job of it.

  42. James, the point to my question was whether a weapon with more power but slower rate of fire and fewer shells is more/less appropriate than a less powerful weapon with a higher rate of fire and more ammunition.

    I’m not sure what sort of vehicle you’re refering to between an MBT and an IFV, but by a lesser armoured vehicle (than an MBT) I mean, for example, an IFV. Believing what I read, 40CTA can defeat the armour on any IFV out there. But will ‘a’ hit from a 30mm ‘take out’ a modern IFV – ie, both immobilized and unable to return fire. And a 90mm isn’t only effective against a narrow vehicle type, it’ll still f’k up a Nissan perfectly well.

  43. @ Chris B / Brian Black,

    we took out T-59 (i.e. Chinese variant T-55) with Scimitar in Gulf 1. OK, it took about 50 rounds, but after a while they cook off. Not a planned act of war, more a keep their heads down and there’s nothing else to be firing.

    Mobility kills against tracks are the preferred way for outgunned recce wagons, that’s if you have to fire at all. 30mm will comfortably rip off road wheels and split track pins.

  44. Mr Fred. 90mm being more common than 40mm CTA obviously means nothing as one of them is just going into production.

    France, Belgium and South Africa -all have used 90mm (I think) in Panhard armoured cars, Ratels etc, but they are also the worlds only users (?) Thomson-Brandt 81mm gun-mortars. Look at the fights they have had and examine the opposition; they decided what was the right tool for the right job.South Africa has now gone to a high velocity 76mm on the Rooikat I believe ? Has anyone else? No, probably not, but its right for them.

    Israel on the other hand has fielded only MBT and APC – no MICV/AIFV, no dedicated light armoured recce vehicle, just various tanks with 105 or 120’s plus a bunch of MG’s, and of course their under “under armour” 60mm mortar; plus M113’s with multiple MG’s. They have the most heavily armoured “protected mobility” in the world in the form of the Name, and its got a HMG. Does this mean they are right and everyone else is wrong – no, it just means it works for them.

  45. Oops sorry SA Eland had 60mm breach loading mortar in turret, not 81mm. In fact Denel have just developed the new M10 60mm breach loader from their M6 long range 60mm mortar, possibly in the hope of getting on a fire support version of their licence built AMV’s.

  46. ACC
    It started off as the Irish Timoney, became the Belgian BDX & ended up as the Vickers Valkyr. Crew 2+10, weight 10.7 tons, amphib. Google it, there is lots on the web.
    If the UK stays with rifled guns, what about standardizing on 120mm? So Chally 2 stays 120mm, but light artillery rebarrels from 105 to 120 & the RN rebarrels to allow a 120mm shell from a necked up 114mm.

  47. John

    Why would the UK stay with rifled guns and why would would we want the RN to going from being the only navy in the world with 114mm to the only navy in the world with 120mm ? Doesn’t seem a compelling argument (to me – obviously does to you)

    This discussion seems to have spawned a brand new thread:


    Plus we have also done it before here:


    and here


  48. Jed
    Its the shell production problem. 120mm rifled rounds unique to UK. When they reach their shelf life(soon), do we restart production just for C2 tanks, rebarrel to western standard smoothbore or plan JH where other parts of UK forces also go to 120mm rifled, making shell production viable.

  49. @ John Hartley,

    I may be misremembering a Shrivenham technical lecture from long ago, and please tell me if I have got it wrong, but are there not some poor tradeoffs if you try to use a direct fire optimised ammunition for multiple roles? I’m thinking in particular of naval guns being rebarrelled to 120mm as I believe you imply. I think the range and accuracy would suffer.

    Going the other way, I presume this isn’t the thread to raise a navalised GMLRS launcher? I once read a technical paper from an American naval officer who believed that ship roll/pitch could be equalled out by what he called a “dynamic hull mount” – presumably some form of quick reacting system of hydraulics based on those used in flight simulators.

  50. If you start with the idea that light field guns, tanks & naval guns are all to be 120mm, then general purpose HE shells can be produced in large numbers, cheaply. Specialist rounds will mainly be for one type of weapon, but even there a few rounds may be kept on non main weapons for exceptional circumstances.

  51. @James and the proponents of SIMMS
    Re: a “dynamic hull mount” – presumably some form of quick reacting system of hydraulics based on those used in flight simulators.
    I could see a gyro-stabilised platform capable of neutralising a ship’s movement in reasonably heavy sea states.
    How about:
    a) putting an IR seeker on the GMLRS missile for some handy Anti Ship capability at a pinch?
    b) making the platform robust enough for a Challenger II to drive up onto? Presto a shore bombardment capability.
    c) put it in an ISO container for ease of deployment.

    Just a thought.
    PS: Yes I know Challengers and GMLRS are not marinised

  52. PPS:
    d) Make that an AS90 155mm not Chaly II. It would also need GPS/IR guided ammunition.
    e) and a link to the ship’s tactical information system.
    f) and yes, this should probably be in another thread.

    Maybe too hard.
    I’ll go away now.

  53. Is Page 8 of the second brochure anything like accurate?

    How expensive are these things?

    To what extent could we use them on everything?

    I looks like it could fit on pretty much every vehicle in place of a GPMG/HMG?

    Could you stick these on our less well armed helicopters?
    How about as the secondary gun for Challenger2?

Comments are closed.