LONDON, March 22 (UPI) -- A new production standard 40mm cannon system by CTA International has been delivered to Britain's Ministry of Defense, the first of 515 systems on order.
The Cased Telescoped Cannon System uses a rotating breech system. Ammunition is loaded at a 90-degree angle to the barrel before being rotated into firing position, saving space within the vehicle on which it is used.
The ammunition, manufactured by BAE Systems for the British Army, is contained in a straight tube instead of the traditional bullet-shape casing and can deliver an explosive charge as much as four times the power of 30mm rounds.
Four types of ammunition have been developed for the system: armor piercing and training rounds, an airburst round for engaging light vehicles and infantry spread over a large area, and a point detonating round which can penetrate thick concrete.
CTAI is also working on an anti-aerial airburst round for airborne targets, BAE Systems reported.
"This next-generation cannon has been developed through close Anglo-French collaboration and adds significantly to the capability of the U.K. and our NATO allies," said Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Defense Procurement. The delivery of the first cannon on our Ajax vehicles is another example of how our £178 billion [nearly $256.7 billion] investment in U.K. defense is ensuring our Armed Forces have the equipment they need."
Added Craig Fennell, managing director of CTAI: "This is a significant milestone for CTAI and a proud moment to see our cannon being handed over to the British Army. We are the only group in the world who can design and manufacture this type of cannon and ammunition, giving us a unique product for export."
Britain has ordered the CTCS for its Ajax and Warrior armored vehicles.
CTA International is a 50/50 joint venture between BAE Systems and Nexter Systems.