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105mm Royal Ordnance L7



Overview


105mm L7A1

105mm L7A1 cannon on Centurion tank. Note the rifled barrel and thermal sleeve.
Source: Unknown author - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
United Kingdom
Type
Cannon
Entered service
1959
Status
In service
Development
Early to late 1950's
Developer
United Kingdom
Production
1959 - present
Producers
United Kingdom - Royal Ordnance Factories
United States
South Korea
Japan - Japan Steel Works
Turkey - MKEK
China - Norinco
South Africa - Denel
Designations
M68 (US military service)
KM68A1 (South Korean production)
Sharir (Israeli service)

Details


105mm M68 cannon

105mm M68 cannon on M60A1 Patton tank.
Source: US Army - © Public domain

Variants of the L7 cannon

L7A1
Standard UK service variant. Mainly used on Centurion tank.
L7A3
Variant modified for use on Leopard 1.
M68
US production model. Features a falling breech block. Used on early models of the M60 Patton.
M68A1
US production model. Improved variant as used on later models M60 Patton and M1 Abrams. Also used on Israeli Merkava I, II and various Magach variants.
M68A2
US production model. Variant for use on M1128 MGS.
KM68A1
South Korean production model of the M68A1
Bofors L74
Swedish variant for use on Strv 103 which is equipped with automatic loader.
Denel GT-7
South African production model with modified recoil assembly. Developed for use on Olifant Mk 1A tank.
M68T
Variant license produced in Turkey for upgunning the M48 Patton series of tanks.
JSW 105mm
Japanese license produced model for use on Type 74 tank. Indigenous breech and recoil system.
Type 81
Chinese production model. Used on Type 59-II tank. Type 79 and Type 81A variants also reported to exist.
Type 83
Chinese production model. Used on Type 79 tank. Type 83A or Type 83-I variant also reported.
Type 94
Chinese production model with slotted muzzle brake. Used on ZTS63A and ZTD05.
Facts L7A1
General
Origin
United Kingdom
Type
Cannon
Barrel
Caliber
105mm L/52
Ammunition
105mm NATO (105x607mmR, 105x617mmR)
Barrel length
5.46 m
Barrel type
Rifled
Fume extractor
Yes
Dimensions
Weight
1.287 kg
Length
5.59 m
Loading
Breechblock
Horizontal sliding breechblock
Loading mechanism
Manual loading
Automatic loader in Swedish Strv 103
Performance
Rate of fire
10 rpm, theoretical maximum
Barrel life
200 rounds of APDS
Range
1.8 km with APDS
4 km with HE