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Talk:High-explosive anti-tank

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Shouldn't this be at high explosive anti-tank shell or something? It is just a string of adjectives looking for a noun. Rmhermen 22:04 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Actually High explosive anti-tank is more than enough on it's own, that's the common term.

Shouldn't you have renamed it and not deleted it and recreated it Maury? We lost the history and links havn't been updated... That's annoying, even if the page shouldn't have been renamed in the first place... JidGom 21:04, 25 Aug 2003 (UTC) sorry

WP:MILHIST Assessment[edit]

I guess I'm jumping the gun a little bit - there needs to be a references section, at least one source, before this can truly be considered B-class. However, in other respects, I think the length and level of detail and thoroughness, along with the pretty pictures, seem to warrant a B-rating. Many editors might have left out the History section all together, but here it's fairly well written and thorough. LordAmeth 01:00, 12 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Gentlemen and ladies

HEAT is a military term to denote this type of weapon I find this artical to be informative and well written, however 150 to 200 times diameter is a relative term. The ss gew panzergr 61 with a diameter of 61mm has a penetration of 90 mm and the panzerfaust 30 with a diameter of 100mm has a penetration of 140mm casts some doubt on those figures. ref.."deutsche panzerabwehr" p. chamberlin, h.doyle, and t.gander ref..."the encyclopedia of infintry weapons of world war two" ian v. hogg

How does this weapon actually kill?[edit]

The objective of any weapon is to neutralize the opposing threat. We are specifically talking about the anti-amour weaponry. They go about their various ways to achieve this penetrating power and is always well documented in the Wikipeda articles. All thou they always lack description of where the actual kill comes from. What does it do once it penetrates the amour? How does it disable? --Turbinator 18:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I'm no expert but I'd imagine that what penetrates is hot enough to light a few things on fire Adoggz 02:21, 30 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The heat of the jet will set components inside the vehicle on fire. Due to the resistance in the armour, the jet will "fan out" in a cone shape once it penetrates the armour. If it should penetrate without hitting anyone or something that can be set on fire, the vehicle and its occupants will be fine. This has happened in RL. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrimner (talkcontribs) 17:55, 22 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]
* First this is an excellent article. I have written dozens of articles on antitank weapons in the 1980s and early 1990s. I thought I would look up the article for HEAT and thought for sure I would get one stating "On exploding the HEAT warhead forms a hot jet that burns through the tanks armor." But you have to understand. If the official Marine Manual on the M72 LAW in 1965 stated that it "burns" through armor, why should persons doing articles not accept it.
But back to the subject. The high velocity partical(sp?) not only is very HOT (ie but it is not hot plasma jet as many state) it comes apart and bounces around inside the armored vehicle like a high powered slug and also causing spalding of the inside of the armor plating. But HEAT warheads can loose effectiveness if its penetration is not enough or the cone is to deep. A very deep copper cone will cause great penetration, but a very small diameter hole. That was why the earlier Russian RPG-2 was more effective against non-main battle tanks like the M113 armored personal carrier. The RPG-2 had a more shallow cone than the later RPG-7, but did not have the penetration of the RPG-7, but it had far more lethal behind the armor effect if it did penetrate. Also, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the 1954 IndChina war, some M-24 Chaffee light tanks were dismantled and flown in, and the Viet Minh hit one over seven times with the older 2.36 inch bazooka and it still continued to fight!!!! Last, the Swiss (ie Dragon) and the Swedes (ie AT-4) came up with the trumpet-style cone that is more resistant to reactive armor side forces on the penetration stream. The Swedes also constructed their AT-4 cone out of specialized aluminum material, that not only penetrates, but has devastating incendiary/flash effect after penetration.
Finally, below is a cut-away photo I was sent by Aerospatiale on the ERYX close range antitank missile. I was given permission to use it in articles, and to be honest the more it is posted and published the happier Aerospatiale and the firm that merged with would be. But I can't figure out how to get around WP policy on images. But for those that are interested it is a good example of tandem HEAT warheads to defeat reactive armor. A trivia: In the early 1980s a bunch of defense publications in the US were yelling "The Sky Is Falling" over Russian T-72 fitted with reactive armor. The US Army was forced to reveal that it had fitted the TOW-2 stand-off probe with a 40mm precursor HEAT warhead on the front end. They were not to happy, having to reveal that little secret.--Jackehammond (talk) 07:51, 11 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
According to the scientists on FOA (Försvarets Forskningsanstalt), the explosives form the metal lining into a rod, which moves up to 10 000 m/s. At those speeds the impact lining/armour becomes plastic, pretty much like when using a water-hose to send a stream of water into mud. The determining factor for penetration is if the liner "runs out" before the armour does.

Once through, the remaining liner will take the liquefied armour with it, sending the cone of death mentioned above inward. While the fragments certainly are hot enough to set things ablaze, impact alone is enough to kill. What isn't always known is that there is a lot of free space, meaning even penetrating hits can fail to hit anything sensitive. BP OMowe (talk) 01:20, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

So put it in the article! It's still not there. I tried to figure out the answer to the same question for the projectile used by the PIAT, because there was nothing in there either. I added in the comment of a WWII veteran from a memoir book he wrote while in his 80s, so maybe not the most scientific source imaginable. From your comments, I understand that he actually did get it partially wrong - hot metal, rather than hot gases, may - or may not - kill the crew. (My paraphrase to his description: "The PIAT projectile created a round hole about an inch in diametre in the tank's armour, through which hot gases penetrated the tank's interior ravaging the crew."[1]) So finish the job, if you really have the answer, and maybe add it in the PIAT article, too. Thanks, Arminden (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ [www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/piat.52191/ "PIAT - Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria'"]. ARRSE (Army Rumour Service) website, UK. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 4 December 2015. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)


" To illustrate this: a stationary Soviet T-62 tank, firing from (smoothbore) cannon at a range of 1000 meters against a target moving 19 km/h, was rated to have a first-round hit probability of 70% when firing a kinetic (APFSDS) projectile. Under the same conditions, it could expect 25% when firing HEAT round.[7] This affects combat on open battlefield with long lines of sight; the same T-62 could expect a 70% first-round hit probability using HEAT rounds on target at 500 meters."

Due all respect, this information is just guessing by editors of Jane's. I doubt that Jane´s had access to classified soviet documents. In fact, soviet HEAT shells of that era were more accurate than kinetic penetrators and even if their muzzle velocity was lower, this kind of difference in hit probability is impossible. Alos, I doubt that Soviets would rely on HEAT rounds if they were so inaccurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:07, 14 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You forget that the two main components in the statement are range and velocity. As the HEAT-round travels much slower than the solid penetrator, a non-stationary target will have more time and thus be able to travel a greater distance from the point it was when the projectile was fired. This will of course effect the hit-probability, just as the slow travelling AT-missiles of the Israeli war that allowed the IDF tank-crews to manoeuvre and use suppressing counter fire lowered the hit-rates of the Egyptian missile crews. BP OMowe (talk) 01:20, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Also note that the muzzle velocity of a HEAT round not merely could be lower than a kinetic round, when fired from the same MBT gun, but that many of them were also fired from guns that simply couldn't fire any projectile at kinetic velocities. Weapons like recoilless guns or just short armoured car guns could use a HEAT round's independence from high velocities to make a large calibre weapon lightweight, at the cost of velocity.
This low velocity also brought in a problem of ranging. As the velocity was low, the trajectory was high. Such a trajectory needs to judge range accurately, more so than the typical high velocity tank gun. This often required ranging guns, rather than just optical sights. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:42, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

HEAT Round[edit]

Yes a HEAT round does indeed burn through the armor plate. Your description is incorrect for a HEAT round, but is correct for an explosive formed penetrator (EFP) They are two different types of warheads. CAG0001 (talk) 05:17, 10 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

What does "burn" mean here? A HEAT round's jet will melt through the plate, but that's still not burning it (i.e. a chemical reaction) because that's a slower process. There will be some burning, but that's not what made the hole.
Yes, and EFP is different though. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:06, 10 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I'd like to know from the article more precisely how the "jet" makes its way through the armor. With "normal bullets" I imagine that upon contact the material in which the bullet enters gets pushed out of the way of the bullet and compressed (I have no clue if that is correct). But with the extremely long and tight hole that a HEAT jets causes it seems to me that it's not possible for the material of the jet to push the armor material "away", not the least because it should also be accelerating more and more armor in front of it and thus creating some sort of "moving armor" front in front of the jet. I have tried to find an explanation of how the physics of the HEAT jet in the armor actually work in various Wikipedia articles (for example in the "bullet" article) but have failed to find any. Asked more bluntly: where do the atoms of the armor go when the jet passes "through" them? Do the jet atoms get stripped of their electrons and just sail through the void between the armor atoms and their electrons (that would be a plasma then I guess which the HEAT jet apparently isn't)? TomasPospisek (talk) 19:52, 20 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

This may help. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA226401.pdf (Hohum @) 20:28, 20 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks @Hohum! TomasPospisek (talk) 20:47, 24 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Modern tanks are not 'invulnerable' to HEAT[edit]

The frontal armor is. No tank can be fully armored all the way around, thus side and rear and top protection levels are significantly lower than the front, which is what is always quote when people say 'it can defeat such and such projectile'. From the rear most tanks are still vulnerable to RPG rounds and the like, which is why the urban guerilla warfare in places like Iraq was so dangerous for them. There were several M1 Abrams killed by rear sector RPG attacks in Iraq (and of course the tracks are always a weak point, so to say they are 'invulnerable' is mistaken. Also, why does the text say HEAT has 'no incendiary effect' when the comments are filled with people saying the plasmacised metal jet will set things inside on fire? Even if it does not actually 'burn' or 'melt' through armor (and I have my doubts) that does not mean it does not have an incendiary effect. I would be surprised if things were not set on fire by HEAT rounds, which is an incendiary effect. A DU round does not use heat to penetrate, but it certainly has an incendiary effect. (talk) 02:03, 15 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

explosive and incendiary effects[edit]

"The jet's effect is purely kinetic in nature; the round has no explosive or incendiary effect on the target. " -- simply not true. Yes, they are not the primary effects, but still present, especially incendiary after armor penetration. Blast effect of kilos of the HE charge also is significant, will destroy external equipment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:41, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I have adjusted the wording. (Hohum @) 01:32, 25 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]