Developer Diary: Trouble with HEAT


We’re hard at work overhauling the SPGs to a direct fire vehicle class as we announced earlier. Much of the work is “boring” backend stuff but we’ve run into several rather interesting issues and obstacles.


In the article, we have mentioned that the overhauled artillery vehicles would fire powerful HEAT shells. That will be their primary “tank-fighting” round with HE shells used against lighter target. We approached this with the knowledge of Soviet era HEAT rounds for 152mm cannons (such as the 2VBP2 or 2VBP5). Surely such a round must exist for 155mm NATO guns as well.

Naturally, it doesn’t. The best known (and practically the only used) such round for the 155mm caliber is the M712 Copperhead, which requires laser guiding from a spotter to even function and 155mm guns in the game begin on Tier 5 and it would just be weird to have the Copperhead starting this low. And then there’s the matter of guidance, which we mentioned in the AS90 article.

  • On one hand, players will expect the round to be guided – that’s pretty much its whole shtick
  • On the other hand, the guidance is pretty unrealistic because the Copperhead is not an ATGM, it just sort falls to its target, correcting its trajectory using fins

And, last but not least, 155mm gun-launched ATGMs (albeit without a tandem warhead) with amazing accuracy may not be the best thing ever. For this reason, we will do the following thing for the AS90:

  • Remove the Copperhead
  • Add the L/52 gun (from AS90 “Braveheart”) as an upgrade with higher accuracy and muzzle velocity


But that still doesn’t solve the issue with baseline HEAT rounds which our NATO guns need. Here’s what we did.

As the first step, we opened Hunnicutt and went through various artillery systems. As it turns out, an experimental HEAT round existed in the 1950s – it was called T267 but it wasn’t for an artillery system. It was to be used by a prototype heavy tank called T58 (155mm T180 gun). But maybe it could be compatible with artillery?


Aside from a ton of World of Tanks references (a common and annoying problem when researching older military stuff), the only other document mentioning this round is a detailed 1954 briefing regarding the development progress of the said tank. Again, not very useful, except for one bit.


The briefing also mentions another shell for the tank, a 155mm HESH round called T152. Perhaps we can find more info about that one?


Bingo. The T152 round was tested by firing it from the 155mm M1 howitzer along with the HE M107 shell. Those of you interested in artillery probably already know where this is going.


The M107 shell is a very common artillery shell from the 1950s, fired from all sorts of 155mm howitzers. The abovementioned test proves that the T152 HEP (HESH) shell is compatible with standard howitzers, which means the T267 HEAT shell is as well since both were used in the same (tank) gun. Long story short, we now have a realistic (if anachronistic) HEAT shell for our artillery to use (and also a HESH shell as a bonus).

Right now, we’re considering what to do with mid-to-high level progression SPG upgrades. We’re leaning towards the following setup:

  • 155mm caliber with unguided HEAT and guided HEAT (Copperhead) or guided top attack HE (SMArt 155) as high-Tier upgrades
  • 152mm caliber with unguided HEAT and guided HE (something like Krasnopol) as upgrades

Either way, more testing is required but we hope to introduce the artillery overhaul in August. Until then:

See you on the battlefield!

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