|Manufacturer:||Fairey Hydraulics Limited (FHL) A Claverham division|
|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
Some years ago FHL (then Fairey Hydraulics) was awarded a contract by what is now the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency for the design, development and construction of a prototype 120 mm automatic loader.
The FHL design was of the bustle-mounted electromechanical type and held a total of 20 complete Explosive Squash Head (HESH) and Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS).
The 120 mm ammunition could be replenished from the front (internal) or from the rear (external) with ammunition selection being automatic on command with the selected round then being transported to the load position using a bidirectional conveyor mechanism.
The ammunition was clamped in position in its tube to prevent damage and a tubular sleeve supports the round between the tube and the breech for reliable ramming on the move, the rammer being of the ribbon.
Provision was also made for full emergency manual reversion with control being by microprocessor for ease of use and principal actuation by rare earth brushless DC motors.
Cycle time for a single round was 8 seconds while cycle time for a three-round burst was 21 seconds.
This system successfully completed its static trials but was never fitted into a vehicle for firing trials.