40mm Cased Telescopic Cannon Goes into Production


Great news, the production contract has been awarded to CTA International for the 40mm Cased Telescopic Cannon

The Specialist Vehicle Cannon Project Team, part of the UK Ministry of Defence, intends to award a Contract for the supply and initial support of the 40MM Cased Telescoped Cannon (CTC) to CTA International through a single source contract CCAP/001. This CTC will be provided to Prime Contractors for integration into the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) and the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP).

The contract is for Euro 75 million but with no indication of quantity.


Read more

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/05/the-ct40/”]





newest oldest most voted
Notify of



maybe we will be able to out a vehicle to mount it on into production as well.


The Warrior upgrade contract included gvmnt furbished guns (i.e. the published cost is without them) so this must mean that the one-year breather with that prgrm is over.

Would be interesting to know if the 70 or so upgraded for A-stan go thru first, or last?



Actually you’re the best old mucker I can think of for this question, given your way with technical explication and the fact my eyes tend to glaze with ammo-talk much more than they should.

Talk me (and anyone else in a similar position) through the definable advantages of 40mm CTA again?

I mean, I’m all in favor of mounting these lovelies on Warrior. And as far into the believably “recce” role of the cavalry as possible — well, maybe it’s better to give my hypothetical as a framework (I’ll put variations of this out there in other, applicable threads as well):

If there are to be a trio of armoured brigades (and I think that’s wise, ever more so these days) then I would rather see a single Royal Armoured Corps regiment with each, not just with the 56 Challys but also a full-on squadron of FRES Scout and associated hulls rather than just a recce troop (basically the 44-14 Chally/Scimitar armoured regiment model on steroids) and recce troops of 8 FRES SV in each of the three infantry battalions (the two Warrior and the mechanized/heavy protected/whatthehellever one as well.) And in each of those cases the standardised turret and 40mm CTA seems to make sense not merely for the properties of the round but as a horses-for-courses matter.

When you switch gears to lighter deployable forces — not merely the hot mess of the “Adaptable” Force as it is but any efforts to turn it into a workable set of brigades for swifter, less-heavy-metal combat — it feels more like the full-on cavalry role would be better suited to something where you take the FRES SV hull type already to hand and plonk something like the CMI xc-8 105mm on it.** Still low profile (and slim, too, by heavy gun turret standards), loads of shell types already on a vast commercial market for 105mm barrels without having to fund development, and some tasty items like the quasi-exotic Falarick out there too.

There would be pressure to buy more 40mm turrets of course, because quotas have to be made to reassure the shareholders — every defence ministry in the world should post a huge sign that says “THE DEFENCE BUDGET IS A SPOILS SYSTEM. THAT IS ALL” over the door. But are there plausible, technical reasons why a 40mm CTA round would be comparable, and because of the planned logistics/existing contracts preferable, to a 105mm solution in that instance?

**= Remembering that the MBTs are with the armoured brigades. These aren’t meant to be “light tanks” in a pure sense of charging in amongst T-62s or the like and setting-to. But they should, like the French AMX-10RCs, be heavier guns available to the cavalry, serving in a sort of modern dragoon role (mounted rifles) to help cover the relatively light infantry formations and their own lighter recce scouts.


The new armd bde org includes an armoured recce regiment.

The basic advantage of CTA is that it frees you from the tyranny of conventionally configured ammo, and enables the very compact rotating chamber arrangement of CTA. This reduces the inboard space requirement for the gun and gives either more turret space or a smaller turret volume.

Its all rather obvious when you think about it.


@ Jack staff

Don’t see the point in a 105mm rece vehicle or tank. Too big to be transportable and too small to duke it out with armour.

The 40mm CTA seems to provide a good mix of ammo and decent penetrating capability in a relatively small package.


Hi Jackstaff

OK I think I see what your getting at.

1. CTA, the ammo design not the gun company, gives s fairly big bang for total size of round, plus the other benefits ref in turret volume etc
2. Because of 1 above the point detonating HE is going to be highly lethal to soft skin and potentially even light armour in the direct infantry support role
3. Air bursting HE with a good amount of filling and frag is meant to be particularly nasty for Opfor peeps in the open or in defIlade

So do you need to introduce a new weapon system and logistics system to get a bigger bang in infantry / cavalry support ?

4. 40mm CTA PD HE has been shown to perpetrate reinforced concrete but won’t make a breach big enough for a squad to enter through like 105 would, but maybe a burst of 40 will ?
5. 105 HE will be overkill in many situations (think restricted ROE) and yet not enough in others – it won’t kill highi end MBT and probably neither will it’s APDSFS. Oh and we ar not buying Falarick, it’s Ukrainian.
6. We don’t have the money to.replicate French capabilities but on medium tracked platform – you buy a FRES 105 then what are we not buying ?

Personally I think we could possibly just about get away with turreted 120 mm mortars and using them in direct fire support role BUT let’s face it we are on 81 mm tunes and that ain’t changing any time soon!

So Chally 2 120 mm HESH and 40 mm HE plus 40 mm GMG is where it’s at.

Personally I would put 40 mm CTA on Her Magesties sleek grey bringers of death and hang it under Apache too, repeating TD’s mantra of standardization. ….

The Other Chris

One for NaB then. Would the RN be interested in a 40mm weapon system in place of the 30mm Oerlikon’s?


Combine the 40mm CTC on a Seahwak Sigma style mount with LMM launchers, mix in a Thales RAPIDFire style system and bake:




Jed, TOC, you beat me to it. I’m sure the RN would be interested; some of those HE rounds will be a sight more effective than 30mm FMPDS but as always, who’s paying? Also will be worth finding out if the gun has anything exotic that will react badly with salt water. Of course, we could just stop making up our own crap and buy something that bloody works.

The Other Chris

I believe the phrase we’re looking at here is “bish bash bosh”. Job done. Type 26 close in firepower needs properly solved. Off for a brew in the shed and to think about Hexapod form “Droideka” tanks…


TOC, FYI the weapons are ATK Bushmasters, not Oerlikons in the ASCG mounts.

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural

Nobody has yet discovered whether the ammo handling system has been modified since Point-Detonation & Airburst rounds were split into two seperate natures. My gut feeling is that it hasn’t, and the fact that gunners will have to pick which two out of the three they want to carry (HE-PD, HE-AB or APFSDS) is being swept under the carpet. One would hope that they are redesigning the system for 3 or 4 natures (would be perfect for a Naval or AA platform, as there is now a dedicated Anti-Air Air burst round too), but i’m not holding my breath.

@Jed, a little big to be hanging off Apache, no? I think it could be a perfect match for war canoes though, very versatile vs 2/30mm (in my layman’s view).

The Other Chris

Ah yes, my mistake, thanks TAS. The Oerlikons were in very early documentation.


Slightly – as I understand it the two UK turrets have dual feed each single nature. But this isn’t a function of the gun itself, rather the ammunition handling system that feeds it. I was aware of the increasing number of round natures and therefore selected a feed system that has a single magazine of mixed nature capability for inclusion in my turrets. I have no information on the LM turret feed system but suspect the mixed nature magazine I used might have fewer ready rounds. The magazine is quite compact.

Of course, if the separation of the HE round into PD and AB is a temporary measure and a composite fuse/round is to be reintroduced, the dual feed system will be just right.


Not to be cynical, but I do not understand the emphasis on air bursting HE rounds from direct fire canon. The oft quoted justification is to service enemy troops in trenches, or behind a wall. Although the tactical need is valid, direct fire airburst seems to be a questionable means to that end.

I am all for giving the troops the best kit, but after seeing the quoted price per 57mm AHEAD ammunition as $1,200 per round, I began to develop doubts about the air bursting concept.

81mm mortar ammunition like the M821 delivers about 1 kg of high explosive for about $500 per round.

A 40mm shell is going to deliver about 0.07 kg of HE, and even with a less sophisticated fuse, is still going to be expensive.

Given that a single 81mm mortar round is likely to be much more effective than even ten 40mm rounds, and for less expense; why is there not more emphasis on developing an 81mm weapon that can be fired as a direct fire gun, or a mortar? Surely such a weapon paired with a good heavy machinegun would address most infantry support needs, and do so very cheaply?

Didn’t the French have such a weapon?


Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural

@GAB – That seems very expensive, although isn’t 57mm is physically quite large?
Serial production for the cousin’s 25mm airburst grenades is apparently $55 per round and that has all the fancy smart-programmable gubbins in it. They were ~$1000 when they were hand-tooled before that though.
Warhead on the CT 40mm HE-AB can’t be much different, so airburst can’t be adding that much cost to the round? The marketing spiel is that the round is so effective you won’t need as many to achieve the desired affect anyway…

I’ve played in the Warrior Gunnery simulators and lasing targets is pretty easy, programming the AB won’t add much to the engagement sequence. If your enemy isn’t obliging by standing in the open I can see how it could be seriously effective.

You make a good point though. Sometimes the tried and true simple methods (like lobbing an 81mm at it) are still the best vs the latest shiny technology. See: .50 M2, GPMG etc.

81m as-is wouldn’t be a good fit as some kind of vehicle DF weapon – fuzing and adding the propellant charges is done by hand. You’re basically re-inventing the wheel if you changed it to work, and losing commonality too.


So what has confused me is that document TD links to says the AB fuse is the PD fuse with a timer added, so why cant it act dual mode ?

Anyway, GAB – the French did indeed have an 81mm breach loading gun / mortar, used on various Panhard armoured cars etc. Various 120mm versions exist, but the French one in 81mm is no longer made (?). And to SA’s point, I think there was some special ammo that basically put the mortar propellant charges into a combustible cartridge case, making a single piece round for ease of handling in the vehicle.

Dont forget we also have 40mm grenade launchers in direct fire, fire support, either from RWS or from ring mounts on vehicles. These two can be fitted with Air bursting kits.

The desire to airburst HE in the direct fire mode is the same as dropping HE from above, a better dispersal of frags against humans, rather than a point detonating round going off against a tree, a wall, a roof, a road, soaking up blast and frag / channeling frag. Why not use mortars full stop ? Why because you need to call for fires etc instead of hosing down the bad guys yourself.

In the days of restricted ROE, and based on those lovely Afghan videos of UK forces “wasting” an expensive Javelin ATGW on 2 Terry’s sneaking about in the dark, just because it has a good thermal sight, I suspect there are plenty of potential roles for a single round, air burst 40mm CTA with 0.07Kg of bang.


Jed, SA,

Thanks for the comments – you raise some good points.

The physics are always going to favor an air burst 6 or 8cm mortar over a direct fire weapon for fragmentation dispersion and velocity provided there is a clear trajectory (and there isn’t always).

I also forgot about the use of a roof mounted 6cm mortar in the Merkava tank. 120mm, .50 cal, 7.62mm, and small mortar seem to cover all requirements!



‘Dont forget we also have 40mm grenade launchers in direct fire, fire support, either from RWS or from ring mounts on vehicles. These two can be fitted with Air bursting kits.’

Didn’t someone mention a few months back that post Herrick the GMG’s are only going to be used by the Para’s and RM?


I rather suspect that the time fuse for the air bursting shell adds to the cost, so while you could use it for PD work, it would be more expensive.

As for Apache, comparing the CT40 to the M230 it seems to be a rule of five. The French gun is five times the weight, fires a cartridge five times the volume and at one-third the rate. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cartridge weight was five times too. I doubt that Apache could sustain the weight or the recoil and the low rate of fire would make effect at range more difficult.

Meanwhile, what’s wrong with the Bushmasters? They’re installed, they work. If commonality is desired, why not can the CT40 and make the bushmaster common?


Some confusion here… i like Jed’s point about hosing them yourself, rather than calling for fires. That has mortars covered as they are an integral infantry weapon and arty is not.

Next, all the GMGs and lighter alternatives are just hand grenades being dropped further and further out. It is great that the CT40 is now getting the AB. However,it only has a dual feed to switch between. The early Bofors 40 mm airbursting was a specialist round and I think they built 3 feeds to switch between in their own CV IFV. Setting the fuse (timer) was fully automated, though, so no delay. Then with this
You can go to two feeds (cheap HE or a full-on armour piercing round in the other… If 150 mm is not enough), but in all of these cases we are talking several kilometers with
Accurate, and


My link is about Bushmaster, just saw mr. Fred’s comment, so thought that better add the clarification.
– btw, the 35mm pieces in service are upgradable to 40

paul g

As I’m a fanboy of the CMI can I just clarify I wouldn’t want it as a “tank” I would use it for the role that CMI state which is arty support. It has an angle of elevation of +42 degrees, at the moment UK armed forces has for arty support the 105mm light gun and then it jumps to a choice of 155mm AS90 or GMLRS!! by placing it in the warrior orbat, utilising surplus hulls you get an inbetween system on a common chassis

BV Buster

@DavidNiven: Yup, all GMGs are off to Para / marines, just leaving .50 for vehicle mount.

I think someone mentioned earlier but it didn’t get answered (if it has I’m just being ignorant) why can’t the AB round fulfill the role of the PD round? Hence you just need 2 feeds?

Another niggling point, will there be a dedicated anti air mode to do away with them there pesky micro/tactical UAVs? Shouldn’t be hard to implement.



BV Buster,
The AB round will probably cost more than a plain PD HE

How would a AA mode be different from any other mode?

BV Buster

Mr.fred: So in a war time situation you would just load up with AB and Fin? No need for a tripple feed when it can do both.

Ref anti air mode, from a gunners point of view the engagement is slightly different to a ground target, by the time you have lased and checked you have a realistic range the air target could have moved somewhat during the few seconds so the round would airburst behind the target. I know some FCSs let you pulse lase the target and the computer works out the target speed for you and essentially counts down the range, negating the need to keep re-lasing. I would be surprised if scout doesn’t have this feature.



BV, medium calibre in AA role is hardly a new idea, I remember years back that the middle vehicles of an ABG would be allocated to AA role, and this is without the newfangled AB, tracers only, direct hit needed, assisted traverse but manual laying on target. Getting it computerized is a huge improvement. The idea is not any real expectation of killing the helicopter, but to harass it until it goes off somewhere else to find easier prey. Of course you might get lucky, but don’t count on it.

“Aim 2 aircraft lengths ahead and hold down the trigger.” :) With luck, he’ll fly into the stream of rounds.


I would hazard (that’s in quotation marks) a guess that if you are able to laze a helo/ UAV at 1 km distance, you will use 17 conventional rounds to every proximity fused one, to achieve the same probability of kill
_ now on a small UAV it might be more challenging, but then again it would be likely to move more slowly and less erratically than a helo (in contact)


BV Buster,
The engagement process you describe would also be required to engage any moving target or if the firing vehicle is moving. The burst radius from a 40mm shell won’t be huge so you need to make sure it goes in the right place.
I would be very surprised if any of the turrets fitted with the CT40 don’t have that capability.

BV Buster

@ observer: along the lines of gepard AAA, keep the aircraft of the battlegroups and try to push it’s altitude up into more sophisticated missile systems killing area.

Mr. Fred: static to static targets would be fine without , lase and fire as normal but if Ivan is closing in on you at a rapid rate of knots and your flat out in his direction also, the closing speeds could mean a miss with AB. It would be interesting to see how they have overcome this problem.



BV Buster,
I would assume that the solution would be the same as your anti-air solution – a series of ranges determined by laser, traverse and elevation speeds would allow you to predict where any moving target will be in the next second or so. It works for any moving object and is necessary to compensate for movement of your own vehicle, so I can only assume that such a system would have to be incorporated for ground targets. Hence, there would be no need for a separate mode for anti-air.

BV Buster

Mr. Fred : The problem is to get the pulse lase system to work you need to fire a series of lases to achieve the correct range reduction, now that takes time which is why the technique is only used for targets with a very high closing speed. Every other target type is engaged with the standard lase and fire technique to speed things up. Now that is my experience with full system tank gunnery, it will be interesting to see if it gets dragged over to scout or if we end up with the ability to engage static to static targets in AB only.