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120mm AP Shell

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Standard

M830A1HEAT-0

A 120mm M830A1 Armor-Piercing round in real-life

The 120mm Armor-Piercing Shell is an armor piercing variant of Tank Cannon ammunition.

Battlefield 3 Edit

AP Shell
AP Shell BF3
Vehicle

M1A2 Abrams, T-90A, M1128, SPRUT-SD, AC-130 Gunship

Vehicle Type

Main Battle Tank
Tank Destroyer
AC-130 Gunship

Unlock Cost

0 (Default)

Magazine size

1

Reserve ammunition

Maximum ammunition

1 (∞ reserve)

Reload/Cool-down

• 3 seconds (MBT)
• 2.5 seconds (AC-130)

Alternate reload/Cool-down

2.5 seconds (MBT Only)

Rate of fire

≈ 20 RPM

Special Feature(s)

• General purpose, high-explosive armor-piercing shell

Unlocked At

Default

Customization Slot

Primary Weapon

The AP Shell vehicle specialization appears in Battlefield 3 as the default Primary weapon for Main Battle Tanks, Tank Destroyers and AC-130 Gunships.

Like similar ammunition such as Rocket Pods and 25mm HE Shells, the AP Shell is an unguided munition which has the capability of damaging and destroying structures such as walls and levelling some buildings. The shell has an acceptable and predictable trajectory and shell velocity which allows the vehicle operator to engage both ground and aerial targets effectively at close to mid-range with ease. The AC-130's 100mm AP Shell has no drop, but a more powerful splash damage, almost rivaling or even mirroring the HE Shell.

The AP Shell carries a small amount of explosive, enabling it to generate light splash damage within a limited radius upon impact that can damage or kill nearby infantry, but its blast power and radius is not as powerful as the HE Shell. In game modes such as Hardcore where friendly-fire is enabled, operators of this weapon must take greater precaution as not accidentally team-kill, especially when operating in close-quarters situations such as through narrow corridors, tunnels, streets or alleyways.

The Auto Loader vehicle Specialization reduces the time taken to reload between shots. All shots of the shell are negated when impacting Reactive Armor.

To operate, the vehicle operator must select the primary weapon of the Main Battle Tank. The triangular (Russian Ground Forces) and circular (United States Marine Corp) HUD icon and text display on the bottom left-hand side of the screen will indicate when or whether the primary weapon and shell is equipped, ready to fire, or reloading. Once selected, the operator must aim and fire at the target with the primary fire button. Depending on the range and movement, the operator of the AP Shell must also compensate by either leading the target or adjusting cannon elevation. Striking armored targets directly at a 90 degree angle either at the front, side or rear can produce different results with varying damage. Striking most light-armored targets at a 90 degree angle at any side of the vehicle will usually result in the vehicle becoming disabled and on fire, especially when Reactive Armor is not present while impacts other than 90 degrees will often deal less damage. For action against Main Battle Tanks, 90 degree impacts at the front deals the weakest amount of damage and no disables regardless of angle and presence of Reactive Armor. 90 degree impacts against the side armor deals medium damage and a disable depending on presence of Reactive Armor. Direct impacts towards the rear of all MBT at a 90 degree angle deals the most damage. All MBTs can be dispatched with as little as 2 AP round to the rear with this method.

When focusing on a more anti-vehicle, anti-armor-orientated combat role, the operator may choose to equip Guided Shells for ease of engagement of vehicles at longer ranges out of the effectiveness or the AP Shell, with the specialization able to lock-on to laser-designated targets for a damage boost, or to combat against aerial threats more effectively. To compensate for the lack of infantry-orientated weapons, the vehicle operator can choose to employ a secondary gunner, or in more convenient (or desperate) situations, switch to the secondary gunner position themselves temporarily to dispatch hostile infantry before switching back to the driver seat or to employ the AP shell itself as a last resort. When targeting hostile vehicles head on, the presence of Reactive Armor, either equipped by the vehicle operator or the enemy vehicle can mean the difference between victory or defeat. The driver or secondary gunner can also, if equipped, choose to exit the vehicle quickly, select a dumb-fire rocket launcher (preferably an RPG-7V2 or similar), fire at the target then re-enter the vehicle as quickly as possible before the enemy armor completes their reload/attack phase. When executed correctly, this can deal an extra damage boost between primary weapon reload of the cannon, with the next or second shot of the AP shell usually resulting in target destruction.

For a more infantry-orientated role, the operator of the vehicle and shell can choose to equip an assortment of Coaxial weapons, enabling to dispatch pockets of infantry resistance with relative ease while the main cannon is reloading. The Canister Shell specialization can also be employed for similar situations however, it is effected by the primary reload of the AP Shell.

Damage statistics & effects Edit

The following is a list of effects and damage to specific vehicle types from impacts by the AP Shell. Vehicles not listed are vehicles which are instantly destroyed upon shell impact at any angle. Such includes Jets of all types, Quad Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Scout and Attack Helicopters and RHIB Boats.

Damage resulting from impacts at an angle other than 90 degrees are not listed due to slight variations of damage at different angles of degrees of shell impact.

Vehicle Type Rear Sides Front
Main Battle Tank 74, Disabled 48 28
Infantry Fighting Vehicle 47, Disabled 44, Disabled 44, Disabled
Mobile Anti-Air 47, Disabled 44, Disabled 44, Disabled
Tank Destroyers 47 47 44
Light Jeeps 81, Disabled 81, Disabled 81, Disabled
MRAP Jeeps 44, Disabled 44, Disabled 44, Disabled
Transport Helicopter 91, Disabled 91, Disabled 91, Disabled
Mobile Artillery 64, Disabled 64, Disabled 64, Disabled
Rhino 50, Disabled 50, Disabled 50, Disabled

GalleryEdit

Battlefield 4Edit

AP Shell
120mmAPShellLoadout2
HE Shell
Vehicle

M1A2 Abrams, T-90A, Type 99 MBT, AC-130 Gunship.

Vehicle Type

Main Battle Tank
AC-130 Gunship

Unlock Cost

0 (Default)

Magazine size

1

Reserve ammunition

4

Maximum ammunition

5

Reload/Cool-down

3 seconds

Reserve reload time

8 seconds

Alternate reload/Cool-down

2.5 seconds

Rate of fire

≈ 20 RPM

Special Feature(s)

• General purpose, high-explosive armor-piercing shell

Unlocked At

Default

Customization Slot

Primary Weapon

"A 120mm shell dealing high damage to light, medium and heavy armor."
— In-game description

The 120mm AP Shell vehicle specialization appears in Battlefield 4 as the default primary weapon for Main Battle Tanks. By comparison, the AP shell is a well-balanced tank round.

Like all other tank shells, unguided rockets and rocket/missile launchers, it has the capability of damaging and destroying structures such as walls and levelling some buildings. The shell has an acceptable and predictable trajectory and shell velocity which allows the vehicle operator to engage both ground and aerial targets effectively at close to mid-range with ease. The AP shell deals moderate damage upon impact with heavy and light-armored targets, dealing roughly the same amount of damage as Sabot shell. After the recent Battlefield 4: Community Operations update, the AP Shell's direct-damage output now supersedes the HE Shell.

Unlike the Sabot Shell, the AP Shell carries a small amount of explosive, enabling it to generate light splash damage within a limited radius upon impact that can damage or kill nearby infantry, but its blast power and radius is not as powerful as the 120mm HE Shell. In game modes such as Hardcore where friendly-fire is enabled, operators of this weapon must take greater precaution as not accidentally team-kill, especially when operating in close-quarters situations such as through narrow corridors, tunnels, streets or alleyways.

The Auto Loader vehicle Specialization reduces the time taken to reload between shots. All shots of the shell are negated upon activation of Active Protection systems of the targeted vehicle, while Reactive Armor requires impacts to deal higher damage to to count as critical, retain mobility.

To operate, the vehicle operator must select the primary weapon of the Main Battle Tank. The circular HUD icon and text display on the bottom left-hand side of the screen will indicate when or whether the primary weapon and shell is equipped, ready to fire, or reloading. Once selected, the operator must aim and fire at the target with the primary fire button. Depending on the range and movement, the operator of the AP Shell must also compensate by either leading the target or adjusting cannon elevation. Striking armored targets directly at a 90 degree angle either at the front, side or rear can produce different results with varying damage. Striking most light-armored targets at a 90 degree angle at any side of the vehicle usually produces a critical hit, especially when Reactive Armor is not present while impacts other than 90 degrees will often deal less damage. For action against Main Battle Tanks, 90 degree impacts at the front deals the weakest amount of damage and no critical hits regardless of angle and presence of Reactive Armor. 90 degree impacts against the side armor deals medium damage and critical hit depending on presence of Reactive Armor. Direct impacts towards the rear of all MBT at a 90 degree angle deals the most damage and will result in a Mobility Kill regardless of presence of Reactive Armor. All MBTs can be dispatched with as little as 2 AP round to the rear with this method.

When focusing on a more anti-vehicle, anti-armor-orientated combat role, the operator may choose to equip STAFF Shells or Guided Shells for ease of engagement of vehicles at longer ranges out of the effectiveness or the AP Shell, with the later specialization able to lock-on to laser-designated targets for a damage boost, or to combat against aerial threats more effectively. To compensate for the lack of infantry-orientated weapons, the vehicle operator can choose to employ a secondary gunner, or in more convenient (or desperate) situations, switch to the secondary gunner position themselves temporarily to dispatch hostile infantry before switching back to the driver seat or to employ the AP shell itself as a last resort. When targeting hostile vehicles head on, activate Active Protection systems (if equipped) at the right moment can mean the difference between victory or defeat. The driver or secondary gunner can also, if equipped, choose to exit the vehicle quickly, select a dumb-fire rocket launcher (preferably an RPG-7V2 or similar), fire at the target then re-enter the vehicle as quickly as possible before the enemy armor completes their reload/attack phase. When executed correctly, this can deal an extra damage boost between primary weapon reload of the cannon, with the next or second shot of the AP shell usually resulting in target destruction.

After the introduction of the Battlefield 4: Community operations update, a direct hit against Helicopters of all types will no longer result in instant target destruction however, will result in a Mobility Kill and critical disable of the target. A short burst of the driver's Coaxial Heavy Machine Gun or secondary gunner's machine gun will ensure target destruction.

For a more infantry-orientated role, the operator of the vehicle and shell can choose to equip an assortment of Coaxial weapons, enabling to dispatch pockets of infantry resistance with relative ease while the main cannon is reloading. The Canister Shell specialization can also be employed for similar situations however, it is effected by the primary reload of the AP Shell. The 120mm AP Shell's light splash damage, which is lacking on the Sabot Shell counterpart, also eases the difficulty of engaging hostile infantry head on with the AP Shell. All in all, the 120mm AP Shell is a well-balanced and versatile weapon, able to be utilised and adapt both quickly and well for almost any situation and thus, has proven itself to be a popular choice for many MBT operators over other available selection of tank shells.

Damage Statistics and Effects Edit

The following is a list of effects and damage to specific vehicle types from impacts by the 120mm AP Shell. Vehicles not listed are vehicles which are instantly destroyed upon shell impact at any angle. Such includes Jets of all Types, Quad Bikes, and PWCs

Damage resulting from impacts at an angle other than 90 degrees are not listed due to slight variations of damage at different angles of degrees of shell impact.

Damage results are gathered post-2015 Battlefield 4: Community Operations update and are subject to change without notice by game developers from time to time. 

Vehicle Type Rear Sides Front
Main Battle Tank 52, Critical Hit Disable 32, Critical Hit 28
Infantry Fighting Vehicle 42, Critical Hit 43, Critical Hit 43, Critical Hit
Light Jeeps 55, Critical Hit 65, Critical Hit 65, Critical Hit
MRAP Jeeps 43, Critical Hit 41, Critical Hit 43, Critical Hit
Mobile Anti-Air 42, Critical Hit 41, Critical Hit 58, Critical Hit
M142 HIMARS 43 43 61, Critical Hit
Transport Helicopter 61, Critical Hit 61, Critical Hit 61, Critical Hit
Attack Boat 29 49, Critical Hit 29
RHIB Boat 43 43 43
Attack Helicopter 91, Critical Disable 91, Critical Disable 91, Critical Disable
Scout Helicopter 91, Critical Disable 91, Critical Disable 91, Critical Disable

Patch Notes Edit

  • Originally, the AP, HE Shell and Sabot Shell were capable of destroying a Transport Helicopter in one direct hit. Following the release of Battlefield 4: Night Operations and the Summer patch in September 2015, the 120mm AP Shell can no longer instantly destroy Transport Helicopters due to balancing reasons.
  • Post-2015 Battlefield 4: Community Operations update, the 120mm AP Shell can now longer instantly destroy Helicopters of all types with a single shot. The damage output of the 120mm AP Shell is also slightly more powerful, and now excels the 120mm HE Shell in terms of direct damage output against armored vehicles (the HE Shell's damage has been purposely reduced).

Gallery Edit

Video Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The load-out image of the 120mm AP Shell resembles the real-life North American 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) round commonly utilised aboard U.S Military M1A2 Abrams, self propelled guns and other compatible artillery pieces.

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

Military Analysis Network - 120mm AP Shell

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