Iran Starts Mass-Production of Powerful Anti-Armor Munitions
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran on Saturday started mass-production of anti-armor ammunition in an official ceremony attended by the country's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.Article Continued at: http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9002310572
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the mass production of 125mm and 105mm shells for Saqeb Anti-Armor System here in Tehran today, Vahidi stated that production of the new ammunition is aimed at bolstering the Armed Forces' capability in ground battles and creating a wide range of anti-armor ammunitions.
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The "Saqeb anti-armor system" are gun-launched armor-piercing-fin-stabilized-discarding-sabot (APFSDS) tank shells that rely on kinetic rather then explosive/chemical energy to penetrate the target. They have replaced HEAT as the preferred anti-tank round in most nations inventory.
There are two different types of APFSDSs that can be seen during the factory innaguration. The first of these is the 125 mm BM-22 which can be identified by its ring-type sabot and five large bore-riding fins at the rear of the penetrator.This was the easiest to identify as there was a cutaway poster clearly displaying the round and it's name. The BM-22 was the predominant round in the Soviet Army during the 70s and 80s and was the best APFSDS round Iraq had access to when they fought the US in 1991 and 2003; though by this time it was far too weak to penetrate the frontal armor of Western tanks. It's fins produce high drag and it's sabot style is generally thought to be inferior to more modern designs. (1)
The second type of round is the 125 mm BM-42 which can be identified by it's black color, funnel sabot and overall greater length though it still retains the high-drag fins of earlier designs.
No 105 mm APFSDS rounds were displayed.
(1) Information about Soviet/Russian APFSDSs from: http://fofanov.armor.kiev.ua/Tanks/