Royal Ordnance 2004 Light Tank (RO2004)

Would you like to see the RO2004 in-game?
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RO2004 Light Tank

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The RO2004 light tank was a vehicle designed by a Royal Ordnance PLC/BAE consortium in the late 80s as part of the FFLAV programme (Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles) conducted by the British government. The RO design was modular: the hull design remained the same across all 4 vehicles designed (2001-2004). It’s important however to note that the RO2004 never reached a full prototype stage. The hull was built, and the turret and armament were built and displayed separately, but they were never mated. This still constitutes a worthy suggestion by Gaijin’s criteria, which is why I’m writing this!

Hull

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The RO2000 hull was made of steel, and had a 320hp engine at the front. In total, the hull weighed 13.5 tonnes and was very small, measuring 6.2 x 2.8 metres (length x width). As seen in the image, the vehicle had 5 double road wheels on either side, with a torsion bar suspension. With the RO2004 turret, the vehicle weighed 21.5 tonnes and could reach a top speed of 55km/h.

Turret

The RO2004 turret had a standard shape, and housed a new version of the L7 105mm gun firing the standard British/NATO ammunition. The gun was called the Improved Weapon System (IWS). It has been seen tested on various Leopard 1s (German Leopard 1 and 1A5, and a Canadian Leopard C1) with its’ distinct muzzle-break, and comes with a new APFSDS round – named the ‘T-2-series’ – offering penetration of around 540mm at 2000m. According to Army Guide, the round “weighs a total of 19 kg and is 1.03 m long with a muzzle velocity of 1,420 m/s.” The RO2004 also housed a bustle-mounted autoloader, resulting in a presumed high ROF. The turret also had the option of installing thermal imagers for the gunner.

The RO2004 came with new Royal Ordnance dynamic armour, which was, essentially, a mix of a laminated plate and ERA, which would offer added protection from kinetic and chemical rounds. Conventional ERA would be added on top for even more protection. I would love to find some more information about the ERA, specifically what kind of protection it offers, so if anyone has anything it would be greatly appreciated!

Dynamic armour info:

Spoiler

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“…Royal Ordnance patent describing the Dynamic Armor system on a conceptual level. The ERA blocks are incorporated into recesses in a cast armor body applied outside the main body of the vehicle. Each ERA block has a layer of steel in front of it, and behind it is a “shock-attenuating” material or more steel. What this means is that the ERA would be more similar to Kontakt-5 or Relikt than something like ROMOR-A, as it offers protection against both chemical and kinetic energy penetrators. Then the penetrator has to be able to go through a layer of armor and its backing material which would dissipate any fragments before it could hit and enter the hull.”

– from @Headnaught in the old thread

Conclusion

After the addition of the Challenger 2E to the British tree with the update Sky Guardians, Britain has multiple capable top-tier MBTs. However, Britain does lack in other top tier vehicles, which is why I believe this should be added as an end-of-the-line tech tree light tank, as it is in all ways better than the VFM-5. I am advocating for its implementation with thermals and all bells and whistles, alongside an optional ERA module (increased weight and protection vs increased mobility), at a potential BR of 10.3/7, given its high penetration round (very similar penetration to the CV90120’s slpprj m/95 APFSDS round but with a 105mm damage model instead of a 120mm). Not much information is around for this vehicle, but I believe Gaijin could definitely get more information that I do not have access to. Hope you agree!

Specifications

Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.81 x 2.41 m
Weight: 21.5 tonnes
Engine: TV8-640, 320hp
Power/weight: 14.8 hp/tonne
Top speed: 55km/h
Primary Armament: 1x L7 105mm IWS
Muzzle Velocity: 1,420 m/s
Elevation/Depression: +20°/-10°
Secondary Armament: 1x 7.62mm
Ammo capacity: >30 rounds main gun, 2000 MG rounds
Extra: LRF, Thermals, Night Vision
Crew: 3 (Commander, gunner, driver)

Gallery

Spoiler

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RO2004 side-profile technical drawing

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RO2004 sales brochure

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RO2000 series hull side profile

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RO2003 on a Royal Ordnance brochure

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RO2003 built prototype

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105mm IWS mounted on a Leopard 1 (note the distinct muzzle break)

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Tank Encyclopedia’s render of the RO2004

Sources

Spoiler

RO2004 Light Tank - Tank Encyclopedia

RO2000 Platform - Tank Encyclopedia

RO2001 Self-Propelled Gun - Tank Encyclopedia

British-made Tanks not used by the British Army - British Tanks: 1945 to the Present Day

The Nineties - Think Defence

Army Guide - 105mm IWS

https://twitter.com/thinkdefence/status/1551685386606415872

US4869152A - Combined active and passive armor system - Google Patents - Dynamic Armour

5 Likes

Could go after the Vickers Mk.7. +1

1 Like

Introduction of things like the Yak-141 gives me hope for this +1

3 Likes

Interesting tank. Usually I’d like to think there was a working prototype for something to be added, but I don’t get too bothered when something is added where there wasn’t. We all like a good “What if?”

I would assume given the turret was built and displayed, it was tested. So the hull underwent trials (and full prototypes on the other RO200x variants) and likely the turret, just never mounted together. And in my eyes, that’s just as good as a full prototype

2 Likes

This thing was built and tested so as @ChieftainWarrior says it’s just as good as any full prototype and with the ENT would be a great change to the end of the tech tree and give people something to look forward to that doesn’t have the same play style as the Conqueror, Chieftains and Challengers.

3 Likes

New 105mm IWS pictures and details:


IWS

M60 IWS
T-2 APFSDS
T-2 APFSDS
All very kindly provided by someone over at SecretProjects: Royal Ordnance 105mm Improved Weapon System | Secret Projects Forum

Here are some stats for the T-2 APFSDS:
Material: Tungsten (Tungsten-Nickel-Iron)
Length (complete round): 1030mm
Length:diameter: 23:1
(from that, diameter: 44.78mm, ~45mm)
Weight (complete round): 19kg
Muzzle velocity: 1,420m/s
Penetrator mass: ‘40% greater than current 105mm APFSDS rounds’
Penetration: 540mm RHA at 2km, unknown angle

After some photo analysis of the pictures of the whole round and the (very blurry) image of the actual dart, I’ve got the following:
Penetrator length: 437mm
Frustum length: 37.75mm
Frustum diameter: ~2-3mm

I want to run the T-2 APFSDS through a penetration calculator but all I’m missing is the density now!

If anyone has any more information, it would be greatly appreciated!

1 Like

Working on a little something ;)

1 Like

Absolutely +1!! This would be a great 10.3 - 11.3 Light tank to diversify British Lineups, although I do wonder, would it go after the Vickers Mk.7 or the Striker?

1 Like

If I had my way, I would move the 2E, maybe Black Night, and future Chally 2 with Rheinmetall 130mm to the Vickers line as sort of prototype/export line, and then future light tanks and IFVs (like this) go in the Warrior/Striker branch

2 Likes