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First-order ammo racks and automatic loaders

In War Thunder update 1.77 “Advancing Storm”, we present a new system for loading ammo in tanks during battle.

More and more tanks and SPGs with an automatic loading and mechanized ammo racks are coming to War Thunder. Previously, any reloading was based on the following principle: the player could fire all shells from a magazine with little interval between shots, after which they had to wait quite a long time waiting for the magazine to fully reload to be able to fire again. This logic does not reflect the real operating principles of automatic loaders and mechanized ammo racks, so we’ve decided to update this aspect of the game.

The maximum fire rate shown for a tank in the game will be achieved only when using a first-order ammo rack. If shells in the first-order ammo rack run out and are not restocked, then the reloading time will increase when other racks are used .

In War Thunder 1.77 Advancing Storm the maximum rate of fire shown in the vehicle's info card may only be reached if you use a first-order ammo rack (if it’s available). After the first-order ammo rack is emptied, a new shell from another rack will be loaded into the barrel immediately. After this, the mechanized ammo rack or automatic loader will begin reloading. In the process of reloading a first-order ammo rack, events can develop in different ways, depending on whether it is mechanized or not:

  • If the first-order ammo rack is mechanized (the vehicle is equipped with a loading mechanism or mechanized ammo rack) then the vehicle will reload only using this option. Thus, after the first-order ammo rack is spent, a new round from the other ammo racks will be first loaded into it and only then will be loaded into the barrel, then the shot can be fired. Meaning that there are two consequent loading cycles. In case the shot is not taken, then after a time-out the ammo rack is replenished using ammo from other racks. E.g. T-64B ammo  replenishment (after the first-order ammo rack is empty) will take 42 seconds instead of 7 (35 to replenish the rack + 7 to load the round)  
  • If the vehicle doesn’t have a mechanized first-order ammo rack, then after the first-order ammo rack is empty, a new round from the other ammo racks will be loaded directly into the barrel and the reloading time is increased. If there is no further shot fired, then after a time-out, the ammo rack is replenished by ammo from other racks. The time-out for both scenarios is the same. E.g Abrams M1 with an un-mechanized ammo rack reload time for one round from the first ammo rack takes  5 seconds, if all 25 rounds of the first-order ammo rack are fired then it will take 10 seconds for the reload.
  • If, during the process of  first-order ammo rack replenishment there is a shot fired (it doesn’t matter whether it’s mechanized or not), replenishment is interrupted and only ammo that is already in this ammo rack will be used for reloading. When the firing cycle ceases, replenishment will continue after the same time-out.

First-order ammo rack replenishment from other racks is shown as a special (picture on the right) on screen indicator . You can follow the reloading process and number of rounds whilst in battle - just press the “x-ray mode” key (“o” by default). Remember that ammo rack allocation is individual to each vehicle and may depend on the location and layout of the loading mechanism and crew.

Any first-order ammo rack has the highest priority for resupply, thus when the ammo rack is empty or almost empty, ammo will be stocked there first (when a player is on the cap zone) and then subsequently, to the other racks. Also as long as the ammo is not spent and any fire is ceased, remaining ammo will always be loaded in the first-order ammo rack.



The first vehicles that will receive first-order ammo rack functionality are:

Leopard 1, Leopard A1A1, M46/M46 Tiger, M47/mKPz.47, M48A1, MBT-70/KPz-70, M60/M60A1 (AOS)/M60A1 RISE (P), T95E1, STB, Type 74, Centurion Mk.10, Vickers MBT, Т-54 (all modifications), Т-55А, Т-62, IS-3, Object 906, FV4004, Conqueror, Object 268, Object 120, SU-122-54, AMX-30 (all modifications), Chieftain (all modifications).

These changes make any operation of automatic loaders and mechanized first-order ammo racks more logical, and tank commanders will have new options for battle tactics based on the reloading features of their vehicle and the enemy vehicles.

On some vehicles (basically vehicles of rank 5 and 6 in the game) there are no special recesses for convenient storage and subsequent shifting of shells (move the shell from one recess to another) other than to juggle the ammunition in the crew area which would be impractical . For such vehicles, charging ammunition location will not be possible.

Check our previous DevBlogs:

The War Thunder Team

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