Military Review

Perspectives of towed artillery

27
Nowadays, a part of the barrel artillery of the ground forces of foreign countries includes towed and self-propelled guns, which are called "howitzers", since their main purpose is to conduct outboard shooting from remote closed positions. At the same time, most modern howitzers are able to shoot and direct fire at distances up to 2 kilometers, depending on the design features. It is this feature, as well as the length of the barrel of foreign howitzers, in some way change their purpose, defined in the Russian classification for the notion of a "howitzer" when dividing artillery guns into howitzers and cannons.


First of all, the correction in terminology is due to the development of artillery mounts, which are created taking into account possible rapid changes in the combat situation. In the conditions of the rapidity of modern combat, field artillery must correspond to the deployment capabilities and the level of mobility of the units and subunits supported by it. At the same time, their main task in providing fire support to artillery units can be solved only with a sufficiently high accuracy of shooting, as well as a small amount of time to prepare for opening fire and collapsing firing positions after solving all the tasks, in order not to fall under enemy counter-fire.

On the one hand, these requirements are fully met by self-propelled artillery (ACS), which theoretically has an advantage over towed guns. But at the same time, ACS have a number of weaknesses and weaknesses. For example, they have a much larger mass than towed howitzers. Recently, the fact that since the beginning of the 1980-s most of them are equipped with auxiliary propulsive devices, which allow the guns to be moved for short distances without using tractors and vehicles, is in favor of conventional towed howitzers.
Perspectives of towed artillery

Currently, in Russia, the full-scale state tests have been carried by the 125-mm cannon, which are self-propelled by the Sprut-B 2A45М and the lightweight Patn-B 152-mm howitzer, which has mechanized dropping of the projectile and variable recoil length, passed by the towed. These artillery systems mounted on three-sided gun carriages like D-2A howitzer provide circular firing at vertical guidance angles from -61 to + 30 degrees. At the same time on the carriage mounted mechanism dosyl shells, which provides howitzer rate of fire to 5 rounds per minute. On the top machine howitzer to protect the calculation of bullets and shrapnel installed light shield cover.

At the same time, the lightweight 152-mm howitzer “Pat-B” with weight in 4350 kg. it is two times more powerful than the 122-mm howitzer D-30A. The whole procedure of transferring this howitzer from the marching position to the combat position and back takes no more than 2 minutes. In addition to this, howitzer can be used 152-mm guided munitions "Krasnopol". Also on the basis of the light howitzer 2А61 "Pat-B", an experimental 155-mm sample was made for NATO ammunition.

The latest achievements in the field of technologies for the production of barrels with a length of 52 caliber allow firing at distances up to 40 km. Such a range, in turn, allows artillery batteries to equip firing positions much farther from the front line, which reduces the risk of destruction from artillery shell fragments and rifle fire. weapons enemy, reduces the need for armor protection calculations artillery guns.
152-mm howitzer "Pat-B"

Many foreign experts, analyzing self-propelled guns and towed artillery, in favor of the second include not only the combat capabilities of the howitzers, but also lower cash costs for military equipment and weapons of artillery units, for the maintenance and equipment of personnel. If we are guided by saving money, we can conclude that the 3 batteries of towed howitzers, which are equipped with conscripts, cost a little more than the 1 batteries of self-propelled howitzers, equipped with contract soldiers.

If we evaluate howitzers by the “cost / effectiveness” criterion, we can note the fact that for highly developed countries with a stable economy, it is preferable to have self-propelled howitzers in service. For developing countries, an unequivocal answer to this question is rather difficult to give. For this it is necessary to take into account a number of points: ensuring the performance of its functions during the entire battle, the ability to provide continuous fire support for troops over long distances; the ability to quickly change artillery positions.

In this case, towed and self-propelled howitzers today have the same range of fire. At the same time, the 3 battalion of the towed howitzers (BG) can be much more efficient (compared to the 1 battalion of the ACS) due to the numerical superiority of the gun barrels, as well as the greater number of shots fired. The survivability of the towed howitzers has also increased, since the 2-3 of the BG division represents a more complex goal. And the possibility of self-movement of weapons (due to the presence of an auxiliary propulsion unit) at a distance of up to 500 meters significantly increases the chances for the survival of weapons in combat. In addition, towed artillery is more difficult to detect using ground-based electronic reconnaissance equipment. According to these towed artillery still has some superiority over self-propelled.
122-mm howitzer D-30A

Basic development vectors

At present, Western experts believe that the ideal artillery gun should have a mass comparable to 105-mm guns, and the firing range and fire power at the level of 155-mm guns. Experts believe that modern advances in the field of metallurgy, in particular titanium and aluminum alloys, will help to make this wish a reality. Today, the insufficient range of firing light 105-mm howitzers (at the level of 20 km) limits the possibilities for their combat use, despite a number of their advantages. In addition, the impact on the targets fired 105-mm ammunition does not always meet the requirements of the combat situation. This disadvantage is due to the linear dimensions of the artillery shells and, accordingly, the difference in their volume. The growth of the caliber of shells from 105 to 155 mm is able to increase the power of the charge in the munition warhead immediately 4 times.

Today, most states are upgrading developed heavy 155-mm towed howitzers, which can not be transported on the external suspension of helicopters. The main efforts of designers are aimed at increasing the range and increasing the accuracy of fire, achieving partial autonomy (as in the Russian Pat-B) and reducing the time for preparation (readiness time) for firing.

So in South Korea during the modernization of the American 155-mm howitzer М114А1 was created howitzer КН179. As a result of the work carried out, the maximum range of high-explosive fragmentation ammunition was increased from 14 600 to 22 000 meters, and with active-reactive ammunition - to 30 000 meters. At the same time, as noted by Western experts, active-reactive ammunition is practically not used for firing from this howitzer. It was possible to increase the firing range by using a new barrel with a length of 39 caliber
155-mm howitzer KH179

The Swedish company "Bofors" to reduce the load on the calculation of heavy 155-mm howitzer FH-77B with a barrel length 39 caliber created a special crane for lifting projectiles. This crane is mounted on the right side of the breech howitzer. In addition, FH-77B differs in that the fire from it is carried out without lifting the wheels. At the same time, as with the South Korean howitzer KH179, active-projectiles are usually not used when firing.

In order to achieve even greater range of fire today artillery barrels with a length of 45 and 52 caliber were developed. However, one should take into account the fact that as the length of the barrel increases, the combat weight of the howitzers also increases. Currently, the South African G155 Mk5 with a barrel length 3 caliber is the most severe of the 45-mm howitzers. The mass of this howitzer is about 14 t, and the range of firing with active-reactive ammunition reaches 39 km. The carriage of this howitzer allows you to mount barrels of length 39 and 52 calibers. As well as the South African development, GH howitzers (Finland), TIG 2000 (Israel) and GH N (Austria, Belgium, Canada) can be equipped with barrels of various lengths if necessary. At the same time, the increase in the mass of the swinging part led to an increase in the load on the gun crew when converting from the traveling position to the combat position and back and when shooting.

To facilitate the maintenance process, modern heavy howitzers with 45 and 52 barrels of caliber are equipped with an auxiliary propulsor, which drives the mechanisms of loading (feeding) projectiles and charges and howitzer pointing drives. In addition, this propulsion unit allows the howitzer to be moved for a limited distance with an average speed of movement along the highway - 15-18 km / h, over rough terrain - 8-10 km / h. At the same time, a number of samples, for example, GH N-45, are also produced without auxiliary propulsion unit. This howitzer differs from its counterparts also in the fact that for driving on soft soils its wheels can be equipped with special tracks.
155-mm howitzer FH-77B

Equipping the towed howitzers with an auxiliary engine ensures their partial autonomy. At the same time, the development of automatic fire control systems is becoming increasingly important. For example, Denel from South Africa is developing and conducting tests on the basis of a laser ring gyro for a heavy 155-mm howitzer G5 Mk3. The African SLA allows you to shoot the first shot 2,5 minutes after the gun arrives at the position. The accuracy of pointing the trunk is 1 division of the protractor. However, this howitzer has the disadvantage of all heavy howitzers, the limited possibilities of transportation by air.

conclusions

To date, it can be concluded that the development of towed howitzers and artillery cannons traced 2-e main trends: the first concerns the reduction of the mass of artillery systems, the second - to improve the accuracy of fire. At the same time, the combat mass of howitzers has a direct impact on the possibility of operational transportation of artillery systems, including long range. Also, foreign experts in the field of design and development of artillery are paying considerable attention to economic issues. By reducing the combat mass of the artillery, the costs of transporting an 1 artillery gun are also reduced.

If we talk about improving the accuracy of fire, then this is one of the prerequisites of all modern military developments. This criterion is very important for quick strikes and timely withdrawal of units. The higher the accuracy of firing, the smaller the amount of expensive ammunition needed to hit the target. Reducing the use of ammunition, in turn, leads to cost savings, as well as reduces the load on the logistical support agencies and increases the speed of deployment of artillery units. The ability to deliver accurate artillery strikes is especially necessary during peacekeeping operations and operations at a significant distance from the main ground forces.

Information sources:
-http: //otvaga2004.ru/kaleydoskop/kaleydoskop-art/buksiruemye-gaubicy
-http://old.redstar.ru/2002/10/18_10/3_01.html
-http: //ru-artillery.livejournal.com/98236.html
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27 comments
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  1. svp67
    svp67 April 22 2013 08: 09 New
    +4
    Interesting. He was always a supporter of self-propelled guns, since he believed that in a modern war only they could survive longer on the battlefield. But the author’s thought about the prospects and "self-propelled" guns, I also think is true ...
    1. Nayhas
      Nayhas April 22 2013 09: 13 New
      +8
      Self-propelled artillery has its significant disadvantages. Mass, if towed artillery can be moved on the external suspension of the helicopter (not all models are of course), then self-propelled guns are even the lightest in any way, only with the help of BTA. Depending on the chassis, towed artillery in case of damage / breakdown of the towing vehicle does not lose its significance, it is enough to replace the tractor, or to adapt civil transport, tractors, and tractors for this. If, on a self-propelled automated control system, let's jam the engine, then it will be disabled for a rather long time while the rear services will replace / repair the engine.
      1. Lord of the Sith
        Lord of the Sith April 22 2013 15: 21 New
        0
        Yes, your arguments are true, but you must admit that the self-propelled guns, for example, Msta-S, shot at the target for a minute - it was about 8 shots and she herself moved to the reserve prepared position. Yes, she didn’t even need to prepare a position. And the towed artillery changes its position for a very long time, and then, even if it has managed to move to a new position from counter-battery fire or attack aircraft, it will be put into a firing position longer in a new position.
        Although I agree much easier and the range of fire many times further.
        1. Nayhas
          Nayhas April 22 2013 20: 35 New
          +1
          Yes of course. And cross-country ability, unlike self-propelled guns, is worse, but not often the enemy has equipment at hand capable of organizing counter-battery combat. And if the sky is in the hands of the enemy, then the stability of the self-propelled guns is not better than that of a towed one. It is necessary to urgently transfer howitzers to a dangerous area, the American M777 is carried by Chinook on an external sling, i.e. for example, a transfer of 100 km. it will take no more than an hour, it can take two to three hours under its own power, if there are roads, and if the terrain is very rough with water obstacles, then more.
          1. Lord of the Sith
            Lord of the Sith April 22 2013 22: 21 New
            +1
            Even in favor of the towed one, I would post camouflage. Indeed, for example, a reconnaissance aircraft or helicopter will see self-propelled guns during the day, and also at night if the engine is not turned off. And the howitzer under the net is easier to mask and it’s smaller in profile.
        2. QW4238
          QW4238 April 22 2013 23: 14 New
          +1
          A towed (airborne) artillery installation, the helicopter can quickly deliver to any place (position in the mountains) inaccessible for self-propelled artillery, where the self-propelled guns cannot reach, self-propelled guns speed 20..25 km / h, by helicopter 100..150 km / hours The use of artillery in the North Caucasus in Afghanistan, Afghanistan, showed the need to create an air transport howitzer, the M777A2 appeared in the United States, unfortunately, we have nothing.

          Another important issue is artillery spotters and artillery fire control. It seems like in the USA of spotters, the monitoring device is linked to GPS, and the data goes to the computer center via satellite, and then the calculated data for firing at the battery, which allows to accelerate the opening of fire. I think it would not hurt for us to develop a similar system, so that the accuracy of the fire depended less on the skill of spotters and calculators, to exclude the human factor.
          1. Prohor
            Prohor April 23 2013 09: 59 New
            +1
            Of course, you need to use GPS and GLONASS, but the “skill of spotters and calculators” is also essential, in the event of a global war, satellite navigators will quickly get a cord, and the batteries in the “navigator” can lol
        3. Scythian 35
          Scythian 35 April 22 2013 23: 49 New
          0
          You are absolutely right!!! The author deliberately did not name such a plus as the rate of self-propelled guns and the rapid abandonment of firing positions. I think these two indicators are the main criteria for artillery in modern warfare. The author also intentionally calls an untruthful figure about the supposedly identical firing range. This is a direct lie. Name at least one modern self-propelled guns with a maximum firing range of 22 km. These mammoths became extinct some thirty or forty years ago.
      2. Denis
        Denis April 23 2013 03: 02 New
        +1
        Quote: Nayhas
        Self-propelled artillery has its significant disadvantages.
        Another price, which is very important
        If a tractor, often an ordinary off-road truck or MTLB, can perform many more other tasks, then self-propelled guns only
  2. smart ass
    smart ass April 22 2013 08: 13 New
    +3
    Artillery is always relevant ... Cheaper and more cheerful
    1. Genady1976
      Genady1976 April 22 2013 15: 59 New
      +1
      Msta-S long-barreled 152 mm howitzer. This weapon destroys targets at a distance of over 40 km and is capable of performing complex operational-tactical tasks. Msta-S is considered one of the most effective and reliable guns in the world. A special computer system is used to control the fire, and the process of loading the gun is carried out automatically.
  3. mojohed
    mojohed April 22 2013 09: 09 New
    +3
    does not matter. The future belongs to self-propelled art. installations. Maneuverability is above all, especially on the flat mountainous terrain of Russia.
    1. avt
      avt April 22 2013 09: 59 New
      +4
      Quote: mojohed
      does not matter. The future belongs to self-propelled art. installations. Maneuverability is above all, especially on the flat mountainous terrain of Russia.

      request Contrasting one with another is simply stupid. Especially in the light of the presence of the highlands expressed by you. Just at least look at the picture of moving the gun on the external suspension of the helicopter.
  4. Canep
    Canep April 22 2013 09: 12 New
    +3
    Which is better depends on strategic objectives, in offensive combat - self-propelled guns, in defense - cheaper towed. Money is not an unimportant factor. I think that both are needed, but of the same caliber.
    1. Civil
      Civil April 22 2013 09: 45 New
      +3
      Quote: Canep
      Which is better depends on strategic objectives, in offensive combat - self-propelled guns, in defense - cheaper towed. Money is not an unimportant factor. I think that both are needed, but of the same caliber.


      one caliber and it is mandatory so that you can carry it by helicopter
    2. Rakti-kali
      Rakti-kali April 22 2013 13: 40 New
      +4
      Quote: Canep
      in offensive combat - self-propelled guns, in defense - cheaper towed.

      I beg to differ. In defense, self-propelled artillery is much more practical, it allows you to respond more quickly to emerging crises due to its greater mobility and autonomy. In the offensive, under the condition of ownership of the initiative, the towed one will also come down.
  5. RPG_
    RPG_ April 22 2013 09: 27 New
    +3
    The towed artillery will not lose its relevance because only it provides the best ratio of the number of guns per unit area for a certain amount.
  6. VohaAhov
    VohaAhov April 22 2013 10: 00 New
    +3
    Towed artillery is relevant for the Airborne Forces, DShB, units and units operating in the mountains, for special operations forces. Maybe I missed something.
  7. abc_alex
    abc_alex April 22 2013 12: 12 New
    +1
    The article is very informative, but the conclusion is somehow strange. What kind of weight reduction does the author say if the "self-propelled" towed howitzers are practically tanks? Does the same 155-mm howitzer FH-77B weigh more than 11 tons? And if the trend of equipping towed howitzers with servos continues, it is unlikely that this will lead to a decrease in weight to at least 3-5 tons. Rather, we need to talk about the tendency to separate the towed howitzers class into subclasses of light and heavy systems.
    1. Lee
      Lee April 22 2013 17: 17 New
      -1
      Quote: abc_alex
      What kind of weight reduction does the author say if the "self-propelled" towed howitzers are practically tanks? Does the same 155-mm howitzer FH-77B weigh more than 11 tons?

      “Almost tanks” are self-propelled guns. The mass of 2S19 Msta-S is 42 tons, not the most record, in general.
  8. kind
    kind April 22 2013 12: 16 New
    +1
    Howitzer D-30 is just a song! Sorry removed from service.
  9. Simple
    Simple April 22 2013 12: 18 New
    +3
    Swedish Xnumx howitzer


    1. wk
      wk April 22 2013 14: 19 New
      +5
      Quote: Simple
      Swedish Xnumx howitzer

      yes drill training Indians (in the video) speaks in favor of a version of their alien origin .....
      1. AK-47
        AK-47 April 23 2013 00: 03 New
        +2
        Quote: Simple
        Swedish Xnumx howitzer
        Quote: wk
        yes drill training Indians (in the video) speaks in favor of a version of their alien origin ...

        More like a ballet, thanks, I enjoyed the video.
        1. Argon
          Argon April 23 2013 02: 29 New
          -1
          I hope that they do not force them to squat and scream, “KUuu”, in accordance with the charter.
  10. runway
    runway April 22 2013 13: 24 New
    0
    Guys! Fear God! You can’t write such nonsense! Well, if you yourself have not figured it out, then do not mislead the people: "At the same time, most modern howitzers are able to shoot and direct fire at a distance of up to 2 kilometers, depending on the design features." If for the author direct and semi direct fire is the same thing, then with this "gunner" everything is clear. Well, at least consulted previously with someone who was learning the alphabet. And such "mistakes" throughout the article. For some reason, the author believes that only howitzers can be towed?
    The artillery system is a very complicated engineering development, which takes into account the latest achievements in design, sopromat and ergonomics. Recently, there has been observed the design and adoption of artillery systems with the qualities of guns and howitzers - gun-howitzers and howitzers-guns. The main caliber of the systems is 152 - 155mm. Today, basically, all artillery is self-propelled. Smaller artillery is part of airmobile and mountain compounds.
  11. runway
    runway April 22 2013 13: 28 New
    +1
    Guys! Fear God! Well, you can’t write such nonsense! If you yourself did not figure it out, then do not mislead the people: "At the same time, most modern howitzers are able to shoot and direct fire at a distance of up to 2 kilometers, depending on the design features." If for the author direct and semi direct fire is the same thing, then with this "gunner" everything is clear. Well, at least consulted previously with someone who was learning the alphabet. And such "mistakes" throughout the article. For some reason, the author believes that only howitzers can be towed?
    The artillery system is a very complicated engineering development, which takes into account the latest achievements in design, sopromat and ergonomics. Recently, there has been observed the design and adoption of artillery systems with the qualities of guns and howitzers - gun-howitzers and howitzers-guns. The main caliber of the systems is 152 - 155mm. Today, basically, all artillery is self-propelled. Smaller artillery is part of airmobile and mountain compounds.
    1. Argon
      Argon April 23 2013 02: 21 New
      -1
      Dear piston, do not offend the author in vain, just re-read the article in no hurry.
      1. Prohor
        Prohor April 23 2013 10: 06 New
        +2
        As for the direct fire, piston is right, it’s shooting at which the line of fire does not exceed the height of the target, and a 2-kilometer direct fire is the destiny of tank BPS, and not howitzers.
  12. xan
    xan April 22 2013 13: 33 New
    +1
    Pat B cute howitzer
    Towed artillery will always be needed because of its cheapness and much lower weight
  13. roial
    roial April 22 2013 14: 01 New
    +1
    The Indians run cool)))
  14. Simple
    Simple April 22 2013 14: 51 New
    +2
    Quote: wk
    yes drill training Indians (in the video) speaks in favor of a version of their alien origin



    When I first watched this video, the same thought came to me. good
  15. Marek Rozny
    Marek Rozny April 22 2013 18: 13 New
    +5
    SAU "Semser", Kazakhstan. D-30 + KamAZ + electronics.
    Armed with 180 units, plus about a hundred more will arrive in the near future.
    (video 4 years ago)





    Development was conducted in conjunction with the Israelis. The first samples were with certain "jambs" that have already been fixed.

    Z.Y. The journalist blundered about the rate of fire. The actual rate of self-propelled guns "Semser" - 6 rounds per minute.
  16. bublic82009
    bublic82009 April 23 2013 00: 05 New
    +1
    3 divisions of towed guns with conscripts will not replace 1 division with contract soldiers. to 3 divisions how many vehicles do you need to transport ammunition? it means unmasking. store them. collapse deploy guns time is needed. ACS in this regard are safer and more mobile. on the march the column of towed guns will be longer than self-propelled guns. and self-propelled guns on tracks of passable wheeled vehicles.
  17. barbiturate
    barbiturate April 23 2013 16: 32 New
    0
    Quote: bublic82009
    3 divisions of towed guns with conscripts will not replace 1 division with contract soldiers. to 3 divisions how many vehicles do you need to transport ammunition? it means unmasking. store them. collapse deploy guns time is needed. ACS in this regard are safer and more mobile. on the march the column of towed guns will be longer than self-propelled guns. and self-propelled guns on tracks of passable wheeled vehicles.


    The 3 divisions of towed guns have greater firepower and will have better combat stability, you won’t hide the convoys of trucks anywhere and you don’t hide them, they alone will not fight, there will be infantry and tanks ahead, and many other units, all need to be equipped and to ensure that you need to cover it all the same way. By your logic, it’s better to have nothing and do not need to be supplied, complete disguise) If you spot a self-propelled column and strike it, it will burn just like simple towed guns. In general, the argument is stupid, we need both those and these
  18. Andrey77
    Andrey77 April 24 2013 13: 12 New
    0
    Why so far, no one has raised the issue of product value? How much are self-propelled guns (rubles, dollars, pounds) more expensive than a towed gun?