From a HDW Press Release of February 2003:
The 155 mm/52 (6.1") gun used on the PzH 2000 was developed by Rheinmetall Industrie AG and has a chromium-plated barrel. It uses a semi-automatic wedge-type breech mechanism with an integral 32-round primer magazine. Gun parameters such as chamber temperature are monitored automatically. The muzzle velocity is determined automatically by means of a radar sensor and is used in the fire control computation. Modular propellant charges are used, with up to six "bags" being used per shot, depending upon the range to the target. These modular charges are said to allow faster handling, cause less wear on the gun and have a lower sensitivity to ignition hazards.
The gun positioning and laying system is produced by Honeywell Maintal and is mounted on the gun cradle. The system automatically determines gun direction, position and elevation above sea level with a built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.
By the end of 2002, general contractor Krauss-Maffei Wegmann had supplied a total of 185 PzH 2000s to the German Army.
The MONARC turret was removed from Hamburg prior to her commissioning on 12 December 2004 and she now has a standard 76 mm Compact mounting as do her sisterships.
There was some possibility that the F125 class of frigates currently being designed would use MONARC. However, an article in the April 2007 issue of MarineForum said that adapting all of the equipment in the PzH 2000 turret for the corrosive naval environment proved more difficult than expected and that it appears that MONARC has been dropped from the F125 plans. A press release by Finmeccanica dated 04 April 2007 announced that OTO Melara had been awarded a contract to arm the F125 class with the more conventional OTO-Melara 127 mm/64 LW mounting. This announcement would seem to signal the end of the MONARC program.
155 mm/52 MONARC on German Frigate FGS
155 mm/52 MONARC prototype at Rheinmetall
proving range in Unterlüß in June 2003
|Designation||155 mm/52 (6.1") MONARC|
|Ship Class Used On||Prototype on FGS Hamburg F220
Planned for F125 Class
|Date Of Design||2003|
|Date In Service||about 2010|
|Gun Weight||about 6,600 lbs (3,000 kg)|
|Gun Length oa||N/A|
|Bore Length||about 317 in (8.060 m)|
|Rifling Length||270.2 in (6.864 m)|
|Twist||Uniform RH 1 in 20|
|Chamber Volume||1,403 in3 (23 dm3)|
|Rate Of Fire
(see Note 2)
|about 10 to 12 rounds per minute|
1) A key difference for MONARC is that it uses standard NATO modular charges. This allows compatibility with land 155 mm cannons, at the cost of a slower rate of fire. Almost all current naval gun systems use single-piece cartridges with less complex handling requirements in order to achieve higher rates of fire.
2) The automatic shell loading system has a pneumatically-driven flick rammer and automatic digital control, ammunition supply management and inductive fuze setting. This system can achieve rates of fire as fast as 3 rounds in less than 10 seconds. During firing tests in October 1997 with an improved autoloader, a PzH 2000 fired 12 rounds in 59.74 seconds and 20 rounds in 1 minute 47 seconds. As the barrel is not water-cooled, it would be expected that high rates of fire would significantly reduce barrel life.
|Projectile Types and Weights
(see Note 1)
|L15A1 HE - 98 lbs. (44.5 kg)|
5 modular charges: 2,690 fps (820 mps)
6 modular charges: 3,100 fps (945 mps)
5 modular charges: 14.9 tons/in² (2,300 kg/cm²)
6 modular charges: 22.0 tons/in² (3,400 kg/cm²)
Maximum: 26.9 tons/in² (4,158 kg/cm²)
|Approximate Barrel Life||5 modular charges: 5,000 rounds
6 modular charges: 2,500 rounds
|Ammunition stowage per gun
(see Note 2)
1) Standard NATO 155 mm (6.1") ammunition includes high-explosive projectiles, bomblets, smoke and illuminating rounds.
2) The automatic shell loading system used on the PzH 2000 can handle 60 rounds of 155 mm ammunition.
|Elevation||With Standard Projectiles using six Modular Charges|
|Range @ 45 degrees||M483A1 Cargo projectile: 24,060
yards (22,000 m)
M107 HE projectile: 28,430 yards (26,000 m)
L15A1 HE projectile: 33,465 yards (30,600 m)
|.||With rocket-assisted Projectile|
|N/A||43,750 yards (40,000 m)|
|Range @ 41 degrees||61,200 yards (56,000 meters) demonstrated in April 2006|
|Range @ 55 degrees||65,600+ yards (60,000+ meters) expected|
|Note: The Denel V-LAP (Velocity Enhanced Long Range Artillery Projectile) is a rocket assisted projectile that increases range by about 11,000 yards (10,000 m), depending upon the charges used. Dispersion is said to be similar to that for standard extended range, full bore (ERFB) rounds.|
PzH 2000 Turret by itself: 16.5 tons (18 mt)
|Gun recoil||27.56 in (70.0 cm) maximum|
|Note: Shipboard mounting only requires 24 Vdc.|
Video (wmv) of Installation of PzH 2000 Turret onto Hamburg
Video File in WMV format, playable with Windows Media Player
05 August 2007 - Benchmark
03 September 2011 - Added link to Italian 127 mm/64 datapage
22 May 2012 - Updated to latest template