|LIW, a division of Denel (Pty) Ltd
|Weapons & Weapon Systems
The EMAK 35 cannon has been developed by the LIW division of Denel in association with ARMSCOR and was shown for the first time late in 1996. The EMAK 35 technology demonstrator was successfully demonstrated at the end of firing trials in January 1998.
At the present time this is a technology demonstrator weapon system and builds on LIW's experience in development of the 35 mm GA 35 cannon which is covered in a separate entry.
The EMAK 35 main weapon subsystem is an externally powered cannon integrated with a feed mechanism and a Vektor SS77 7.62 mm coaxial mounted machine Qun.
Although the EMAK 35 has been developed to be a completely remote controlled externally mounted weapon system it can also be mounted internally with direct operation by the crew.
The design of the system is modular which makes it an ideal building block for incorporation into other turret designs.
The external interfaces are limited to the elevation trunnions, elevation drive (sector gear or actuator), weapon volume, ammunition feed chutes and simple electrical signals for weapon fire control.
The saddle is the platform to which the EMAK 35 can be mounted and on which numerous building blocks can be added to form the turret.
The first application is in the LIW Overhead Turret Technology Carrier (OTTC) split turret design with no penetration below the ring gear. The trunnion height is 600 mm and the weapon can be elevated between -10 and +60°.
For trial purposes this OTTC has been installed on the roof of a Reumech OMC Ratel (6 x 6) infantry combat vehicle.
In this configuration, the cannon and cradle forms an integral unit consisting of approximately 120 removable parts, motor and gearbox included. The cannon cycling is done by 32 relative moving parts, all keyed together and implying 100 per cent round control.
Because forces are balanced by optimum design of the drum cam, a long and inexpensive life cycle is projected by LIW. The positive holding of the round while being chambered allows for good control of the driving band engraving in the rifling to ensure higher accuracy.
The cannon can be fired from the open or closed breech position and thus increases first-round hit probability from the closed bolt position.
The EMAK 35 fires NATO standard 35 x 228 mm ammunition and can be upgraded to fire 50 mm ammunition with only the barrel being replaced.
The 35 mm ammunition is already manufactured in South Africa by the PMP (Pretoria Metal Pressings) division of Denel for the twin 35 mm Oerlikon Contraves GDF series towed anti-aircraft guns used in large numbers by the South African National Defence Force.
The EMAK 35 makes use of proven parts from the GA 35 cannon, typically the barrel and locking mechanism. Parts function in an open tolerance configuration that guarantees interchangeability and functionality in a harsh environment.
The feed systems are independent of the cannon and are fitted under the cradle as an interchangeable module. The design allows for different types of feed systems and a combination of these systems can be used to match the turret requirements. The ammunition is indexed out of the left-hand and right-hand linkless suppliers located under the cannon and thus allows for first-round selection of two types of ammunition.
On the right side the supplier is fed by a delinker system that is capable of pulling linked ammunition over a height of 1.5 m at 700 rds/min. This delinker system allows for a large amount of linked ready rounds (80 in the prototype system) to be carried thus negating the need for a complex secondary ammunition handling system.
The link that is used is a standard GA 35 type strip through link and can also be used for 50 mm ammunition. Links are discarded sideways and downwards out of the cradle and empty cases are ejected clear of the weapon forwards and on top of the cradle.
The second supplier on the left is fed by a mini-feeder that strips rounds out of a clip and that is refilled from the top. This holds 26 rounds. The design allows for changing the feed system to a complete linkless system by replacing the feed module connected underneath to the cradle. The Delinker feed module houses about 40 removable parts, motor and gearbox included. The feed system is independent of weapon functioning and does not need absolute synchronisation with the cannon. Double ramming of the rounds is impossible with positive holding of the cartridge case in the breech face.
All safety and control functions are already built into the EMAK 35 but allow controllable manual overrides for maintenance or training.
Premature activating of the firing pin is prevented by double locking of the firing pin and cocking of the firing pin is performed after the bolt is locked. Hangfire protection is built in through an automatic mechanism that must be deactivated by at least 20 mm of recoil. All control mechanisms are power safe that will stop the cannon operation in case of a partial power failure.
Prototype weapon. Not yet in production or service. Only local contender for a new generator infantry combat vehicle programme for SANDF.
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