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Date: 02 August 2014
Weapons for Tanks 120 mm L55 Tank Gun  
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Weapons for Tanks 120 mm L55 Tank Gun

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Weapons for Tanks 120 mm L55 Tank Gun

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Product Description

The Leopard 2 is the world’s most advanced main battle tank. Its main armament is Rheinmetall’s high-performance 120mm smoothbore gun, which, thanks to constant improvements and performance upgrades continues to be a match for the most advanced armour concepts. The latest version, the 120mm L55, significantly enhances the firepower of the Leopard 2.

By lengthening the barrel from 44 to 55 calibre lengths (i.e. an extension of 1.30 metres) a greater proportion of the energy remaining in the barrel during firing can be transformed into higher projectile velocity. The new weapon endows the tank with superior firepower even at long ranges of engagement.

Designed for total system compatibility, the L55 can be integrated into the Leopard 2 without significant alterations. Apart from being 1,300 mm longer than the standard 120mm L44 gun, the external geometry of the L55’s barrel has been optimized, as have the production sequences. Moreover, it creates excellent potential for future developments in ammunition that rely on higher gas pressure.

Other improvements in the weapon’s design include an optimized barrel cover, aiming mirror mounting and metal aiming mirror, as well as the use of a steel case base box with reinforcing elements, balancing mass and various other new components.

The L55 gun can fire any standard 120mm round. Especially with the sixth generation of KE ammunition – the DM 53/DM 63 – the L55 results in substantially improved KE performance. Thanks to the longer barrel, it attains a muzzle velocity of over 1,750 m/s with the DM 53/DM 63; this ensures that the Leopard 2 will remain effective against future tanks. 

Development of the L55, optimization of its ammunition, extension of the barrel, as well as the technical and field trials, were brought to a successful conclusion in 1998. Since 2000, a growing number of Leopard 2 A5 tanks has been retrofitted with the new gun. Because the design adheres to internationally agreed interfaces, the L55 120mm can also be used as the main armament for other tanks.
Main features
Greater range due to longer barrel 
High first-shot kill probability 
Comprehensive range of advanced ammunition available 
Compatible with the Leopard 2 weapon system and its ammunition 
Future developments in ammunition technology offer potential for improved performance
Technical data
Barrel length:    6,600 mm
Barrel weight:    1,340 kg
Weight of barrel attachments:    65 kg
Weight of weapon system:    4,160 kg
Product variants
120 mm L44 Tank Gun

Company Details

1889

The German Ministry of War awards the mining and foundry concern Hörder Bergwerks- und Hüttenverein (HBH) a major ammunition contract for a new rifle for the German Army. Lacking the capacity to execute the order itself,... more

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