Chinese self-propelled gun mount SH1 155 mm / 52 caliber
Currently, there is an increasingly clear trend associated with the design, development and production of wheeled rather than tracked self-propelled artillery mounts (ACS). Consider the key players and systems in this area.
As in the case of other armored vehicles, the defenders of wheeled ACS name their best advantages over tracked systems to better strategic mobility and fast, simplified self-deployment without the need to use heavy weapons transporters.
They also have lower operating and maintenance costs compared with tracked counterparts and in many cases are based on well-tested and widely used off-road chassis, which are also the basis for many other vehicles, which allows significant savings (including on parts).
But wheel self-propelled guns have their drawbacks. As a rule, they have less portable ammunition, worse protection, and cannot move with tracked armored fighting vehicles over very difficult rugged terrain. As always, operators facing a choice need to find a compromise in their requirements.
Many of the newly developed wheeled self-propelled guns use the off-road 6x6 off-road trucks as a chassis, which usually has a towed artillery system installed on the rear platform. As a consequence, the calculation must leave the cabin in order to aim and load the gun and open fire from it, which makes it vulnerable to small-arms fire. weapons and shell splinters. However, since most modern ammunition makes it possible to deploy these artillery systems deep in the rear, this may not be the case for the main drawbacks.
Some of the wheeled ACSs have a fully protected cabin, while others are designed to accept an additional protection kit that can be installed just before deployment. This is especially important when participating in counterinsurgency operations, when the threat may arise from any direction. Such functional flexibility is more and more approved by operators and economists, therefore wheel SAUs are currently replacing fully tracked SAU and traditional towed systems.
Although the caterpillars win the wheels where the ACS permeability is necessary, the wheels, in turn, are more mobile than towed systems that can be put into battle and withdrawn from it faster in order to avoid counter-battery fire. (However, there is a need for traditional towed artillery systems, especially for airborne troops, marines and rapid reaction forces.)
While the article describes the platforms themselves, users are also very interested in target designation systems, fire control, projectiles, charges and fuses.
SAX SH1 155 mm / 52 caliber from China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO)
The People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) has traditionally been armed with a combination of tracked self-propelled guns and towed systems, but, like an increasing number of armies in the world, the PLA is currently moving to a more balanced fleet of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles.
The Chinese industry has developed a complete line of wheeled SAUs for the PLA and the export market, among them the most advanced system is the SH1 155 mm / 52 caliber ACS from China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).
It has a fully protected cockpit for the calculation of six people and an 155 mm / 52 caliber implement with vertical and horizontal targeting power drives installed at the rear of the chassis. The installation also has an on-board computer fire control system (LMS), which allows you to perform independent fire missions.
NORINCO also developed 122-mm SH2 and 105-mm SH5 6-XXNXX self-propelled artillery systems with at least the pre-cervical sample stage.
The SH2 has a combat weight of about 11,5 tons with the 122-mm cannon mounted behind the protected four-door cab. The installation is serviced by a crew of five and carries a total of 24 122-mm ammunition. SH5 is designed for the export market, it has the same 6x6 chassis as the SH2, but it has an 105 mm / 37 caliber gun with 40 rounds of ammunition.
The PLA is also equipped with the Russian X-NUMX-mm D-122 cannon mounted on a truck (known as Type 30 or PL86 in the export configuration of Poly Technologies), which is rather outdated, but meets the criteria for wheeled ACS. The gun is mounted on the rear platform of the 86x6 chassis with cab without bonded layout; it shoots in the rear arc with limited angles in azimuth 6 ° to the left and to the right. Stabilizers provide better stability when shooting.
Poly Technologies has developed an even simpler wheeled system consisting of a truck chassis with a bonnetless layout of the 4x4 and 105-mm cannon firing on the rear arc.
SAU of the French Army CAESAR 155 mm / 52 caliber has a protected cabin
The CAESAR 155 mm / 52 artillery system of caliber was originally developed by Nexter Systems at its own expense, but “the end justified the funds” and this ACS was purchased by four countries.
The French army accepted the delivery of 5 + 72 SAES CAESAR, all based on Renault Trucks Defense Sherpa 6x6 off-road chassis, which can be installed with a modular protection kit. These CAESAR SAUs participated in the operations of the French contingent in Afghanistan, Lebanon and, most recently, in Mali.
The long-term goal of the French army is to replace all of the remaining 155-mm SAU AUF1-TA tracked and towed 155-mm TR1 artillery systems from the new CAESAR SAU, but due to financial constraints this will not happen at least in the next five years.
CAESAR has a combat mass of about 17,7 tons and is serviced by a calculation of five people. When taking up a firing position at the rear, a large coulter with a hydraulic drive, which has enough power to lift four rear wheels, falls to the ground.
The ammunition is 18 155-mm shots and the corresponding charges, while the maximum range 42 km is achieved by shooting 155-mm high-explosive fragmentation projectile with a bottom gas generator.
SAES CAESAR has already been sold to Saudi Arabian National Guard (136 systems on the German UNIMOG 6x6 chassis) and to Thailand (six systems on the Sherpa chassis).
37 systems are being manufactured for Indonesia. Here the biggest change is that the gun is installed on the Sherpa chassis, but, like on all previous CAESAR ACSs, the SAGEM Sigma 30 navigation and positioning system will be installed on them.
For the Indian market, Ashok Leyland Defense 6x6 local chassis was used as a base vehicle, and Nexter Systems is also exploring the possibility of using Tatra 8xXNNXX chassis, which has a very high level of off-road terrain.
There are also various OMS options for CAESAR SAUs. France and Saudi Arabia have adopted the ATLAS Thales OMS, which is not installed on the Indonesian and Malaysian systems.
The Artillery Gun Module (AGM) artillery system was developed in the order of its own initiative by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which is the main contractor for tracked ACS PzH 2000 155 mm / 52 caliber. Currently it is in service with Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, and also ordered by Qatar.
For the initial firing tests, the AGM gun was originally installed on the tracked chassis of the Multiple Launch Rocket System rocket launcher system, but was later transferred to the new tracked chassis developed by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Barbara Sistemas, which resulted in the Donar tracked ACS (photo down below).
The AGM can be used in a separate configuration to protect advanced operational bases, or mounted on a trailer or wheeled chassis. The system has a mass of about 12 tons and can be controlled by remote control directly from the cab.
The Rheinmetall 155 mm / 52 artillery gun is the same caliber as the PzH 2000 self-propelled gun, which has a combat mass of more than 53 tons. The PzH 2000 tracked vehicle hosts a total of 60 155-mm shots and related charges compared to 30 155-mm shots and AGM gun charges.
The first copy of the Iranian SAU 155 mm / 39 caliber based on the bonnetless chassis 6x6 with unprotected cab
Ironically, Iran has always bought its SAU from foreign suppliers, but international sanctions have prompted the organization of the defense industry to develop and manufacture two tracked SAU: 122 mm Raad 1 and 155 mm Raad 2.
Recently, they developed, at least up to the prototype stage, a wheeled ACS based on the truck chassis of the bonnet layout 6x6 on which the upper part of the towed HM42 155 mm / 39 caliber from the Hadid Armament Industries Group was installed. This new ACS lowers a large emphasis on the rear, lifting the four rear wheels and stabilizing the platform. The space in the back of the cabin is intended for additional members of the calculation and an unknown number of ready-made shots.
While the first copy of the Iranian wheeled ACS has an unprotected cabin, it is possible that serial systems will have a protected cabin.
On the other side of the Middle East - geographically and metaphorically - Elbit Soltam Systems developed the ATMOS modular wheeled ACS (Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System - autonomous truck-mounted howitzer), which can be installed on different 6XX6 and 8XXNNXX chassis with optional protected cab and computerized CO.
This artillery system can accept 155 mm guns of caliber 39 / 45 / 52 with mechanical drives of vertical and horizontal guidance, hydraulic (impulse) rammer to reduce the load on the calculation and increase the rate of fire.
However, Soltam Systems confirmed that all ATMOS export orders today were in the 155 mm / 52 caliber version. As a rule, the company does not disclose the details of any export transactions, but there appear to be Uganda among the buyers.
Elbit has teamed up with Aerostar to offer the Romanian Army 155 mm / 52 caliber system installed on the ROMAN 6x6 truck chassis, and Soltam offers Kazakhstan an SAU based on the 63502 6X6 KamAZ, on which the 122-mm D-XNNXX-mm N-30 XNUMX-XNUMX KAMAZ Kazakhstan-based gun has been installed.
SAU ATMOS 155 mm / 39 caliber mounted on the 6x6 truck chassis with bonded layout and protected cabin
The 155-mm Ultra Light Weight Self-Propelled Wheeled Howitzer ULWSPWH Ultra Light Self-Propelled Howitzer concept in a marching configuration. In the photo we see that the gun has an ejector (for purging the barrel bore) device and a slit-type muzzle brake
The Italian became the first NATO country to start a movement towards a balanced fleet of tracked and wheeled armored vehicles. The wheel systems include the Centauro 105 mm MGS and Freccia BMP artillery.
These 8x8 machines were developed for the Italian army by the CIO consortium, and Oto Melara is currently working on an Ultra Light Weight Propelled Wheeled Howitzer (ULWSPWH) ultra light self-propelled wheel howitzer to support them. The model of the latter was shown in the middle of 2012 on the basis of the Centauro MGS 105-mm artillery system, in which the 155 mm / 39 caliber gun was installed in the middle of the hull. Calculation ULWSPWH consists of a driver, commander and calculator.
The armament corresponds to a joint memorandum on ballistics (JBMoU) and is equipped with an ejection device and a slit-type muzzle brake. The gun is pointed, charged and fired by remote control; Ammunition in the car is 15 155-mm projectiles and the same amount of modular charges.
According to Oto Melara, the system has a maximum rate of fire up to 18 shots / min and the possibility of firing in the MRSI mode (Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact - simultaneous strikes of several projectiles. The angle of inclination of the barrel changes and all the projectiles fired at a certain time) .
Serbia has also developed a complete family of wheeled self-propelled guns, which are mainly intended for sale abroad.
The Yugoimport NORA B-52 155 mm / 52 self-propelled artillery system of caliber has recently been upgraded. Previously, it was an unprotected 8x8 chassis, and now the crew is housed in a secure cabin with a bonnet layout, behind which a secure tower with weapons is installed. The system, as a rule, is shooting with the gun and the openers-stabilizers turned to the ground, turned back.
NORA seems to have been sold to at least two foreign buyers, but Yugoimport refused to name them. One of them nevertheless became known - this is Bangladesh. This country ordered the 18 ACS, equipped with Sage Xigm 30 inertial navigation and targeting system from Sagem.
Yugoimport has also developed and tested the SOKO SP RR SAU, which also has a secure cabin. This ACS can accept 100-mm, 105-mm or 122-mm gun.
The simpler systems include the M09 ACS, which has a protected cockpit and an open-top tower, onto which the Yugoslav 105-mm towed howitzer M56 is installed.
The newest fully protected 155-mm M03 artillery system (NORA K-1). In the photo in the marching configuration with the tower turned forward
Singapore is fully self-sufficient in 155-mm artillery systems. The Singapore Army is armed with a local company Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) towed guns FH-77 155 mm / 39 caliber and FH-2000 155 mm / 52 caliber; both are equipped with an auxiliary power unit.
Singapore also replaced its 37 105-mm LG1 light guns from Nexter Systems with lightweight 155 mm / 39 howitzers of the Pegasus caliber, equipped with a power plant.
STK, meanwhile, conducted a feasibility study for the 155-mm modern mobile artillery system, which is a remote-controlled turret with a 155 mm / 52 caliber gun with a 8X8 chassis with a secure cabin for three people, and four hydraulic stabilizers.
The self-propelled gun houses 26 rounds of shells (projectiles and corresponding charges); the declared rate of fire is three shots in 20 seconds and 6 shots / min for three minutes.
Former Czechoslovakia became the first country to produce a full range of wheeled self-propelled guns. At the beginning of the 80s, she developed and manufactured the Dana 155-mm systems based on Tatra's 8x8 chassis.
About 750 SAU Dana was manufactured for the Czechoslovak army and for export to Libya and Poland.
Further development led to the creation of the Zuzana ACS at the end of the 90s. This is a similar solution, armed with an 155 mm / 45 caliber cannon, which can fire Western-style ammunition (ammunition in the 40 machine for projectiles and charges). Cyprus received 24 ACS Zuzana, and Slovakia itself adopted the 16 installations.
The main contractor for the Zuzana project is Kerametal, and it is still promoting this system in the hope of further orders. The latest version of the system is equipped with a new 155 mm / 52 turret caliber corresponding to the ballistics memorandum.
The system has a computer MSA, an inertial navigation system and a radar measuring the initial velocity on the gun itself. The ACS can fire at direct fire (a thermal imager and a laser rangefinder are installed for this) or in MRSI mode.
The 155-mm projectile and the corresponding projectile ammunition are loaded automatically. Kerametal claims a maximum rate of fire of 6 shots / min and a constant rate of fire of 2 shots per minute.
The turret can rotate all the 360 °, but in the shooting position the angles of horizontal guidance are limited 60 ° to the left and right.
In the 155 mm / 52 caliber configuration, the machine’s combat weight is 32 tons, the maximum speed on the 80 highway is km / h, and the cruising range is 600 km.
According to the director of Kerametal, Igor Yunas, “The development of a new self-propelled artillery system Zuzana 155 mm / 52 caliber has been completed and she is qualified by the Slovak army. Production can begin when orders are available. ”
Saura Zuzana 8x8 155 mm / 45 caliber from Kerametal is in service with Cyprus and Slovakia
The G6 155 mm / 45 6x6 self-propelled artillery system from Denel Land Systems was designed to meet the mobile needs of the South African army. It has long-range, high rate of fire and a good level of protection against small arms, mines and shell fragments.
After extended tests at the customer's prototypes, prototypes, and pre-production samples, starting from 1988, 43 serial SAX G6 was manufactured for the army of South Africa.
The layout of the G6 ACS is unique in that the driver is placed in a well-protected place in front, and based on the experience of South Africa in the guerrilla war, the front part of the body is arrow-shaped.
The power unit is located immediately behind the driver, the turret with power drives is armed with a 155 mm / 45 caliber gun, it is identical to that installed in the G5 towed artillery system.
Ammunition capacity is 50 155-mm projectiles and the corresponding charges. The maximum range of the gun is 41 km when firing standard projectiles with a bottom gas generator from Rheinmetall Denel Munitions, but it can increase to 54 km when firing a long-range artillery projectile with an increased speed VLAP (Velocity-enhanced Long-range Artillery Projectile). Standard equipment includes a guidance system, an initial velocity radar, and an inertial navigation system.
From foreign countries SAU G6 bought Oman (24) and the UAE (78).
Denel Land Systems has also developed the G6-52 self-propelled system, which has an upgraded hull and is equipped with a 155 mm / 52 gun turret. The gun has a chamber with a volume of 23-liter, which corresponds to the NATO ballistics memorandum.
In the original G6 155-mm projectiles and charges are charged manually, but now on the newest SAU G6-52 this process is fully automated.
In two carousels in the stern niche of the turret, 40 ready shells (in the left) and 40 modular charges (in the right) are placed.
For exported ACS G6 in the tower also installed its own auxiliary power unit and guidance system WMS APS (Artillery Pointing System) from Denel. According to Denel Land Systems, this allows you to quickly and accurately deploy the gun in all weather conditions (day and night), as well as eliminate all observation and orientation procedures and reduces deployment time from 15 minutes to less than 2 minutes. In addition, the WMS APS guidance system allows you to shoot in MRSI mode and conduct tactics of firing from short stops.
The turret for self-propelled guns G6-52 can also be installed on other platforms. For example, it was mounted on a Russian chassis tank T-72, in addition, just a separate configuration is known under the designation tower T6.
Further development of the G5 155 mm / 45 towed gauge system resulted in the G5 155 mm / 52 gauge configuration, which has a semi-automatic shutter mechanism, a double buffer with fixed recoil system and a dual-chamber muzzle brake.
Denel Land Systems has completed the development of an ACC Condor on a truck chassis that will be supplied with either a 155 mm / 45 caliber gun (T5-45) or a 155 mm / 52 caliber (T5-52).
The entire upper part of the G5 is installed at the rear of the 8xXNNX off-road chassis, which is equipped with hydraulic stabilizers. Depending on the chassis used, a total of 8 26-mm projectiles and charges can be placed in the combat pack. The gun usually shoots in the rear arc in the 155 ° sector left and right.
T5-52 is the most advanced system. It has a loading tray for loading a projectile / charge with a semi-automatic projectile / charge chain spreader, automatic ignition device loading, a ring laser gyroscope, a WMS APS guidance system for automatic pointing with a joystick, a navigation unit for the driver, and a telescopic direct aiming sight for capturing targets distance to 2000 meters.
Denel Land Systems has developed the T7 lightweight autonomous tower, which has been tested on the LAV-III 8x8 chassis from General Dynamics Land Systems. It has a 105 mm / 58 caliber light experimental tool LEO (Light Experimental Ordnance). It shoots a new ammunition kit (projectile and modular charges) developed by Rheinmetall Denel Munition. The maximum range of the gun reaches 24 km using standard ammunition or 30 km using a projectile with a bottom gas generator. Also in the tower is a semi-automatic loading system using a chain rammer. Download operations are controlled by an onboard computer with a manual backup branch.
The tower has a guidance and navigation system with a laser ring gyro with touch control and fully automatic guidance and navigation. That is, the system in position for shooting does not require topographic binding and alignment. The tower weighs only 3750 kg and can be installed on a variety of tracked and wheeled platforms.
The G6-52 155 mm SAU from Denel Land Systems is distinguished by a new turret with a fully automatic ammunition processing system, which reduces the number of crews and increases the rate of fire.
Samsung Techwin South Korean EVO-105 artillery system
Video presentation EVO-105
Samsung Techwin is the main contractor for the K9 Thunder 155 mm / 52 self-propelled gun, which is in service with the South Korean army.
The company also manufactured and tested the EVO-105 technology demo, which consists of the chassis of a KM500 6x6 truck and a turntable with an M105 101-towed howitzer and conventional hydraulic stabilizers on the sides. The gun shoots in the rear arc, the angles of rotation are 90 ° left and right, the angles of vertical guidance in the range from -5 ° to + 65 °.
The 105-mm gun is aimed at the target with a joystick with backup manual controls. The fire missions are calculated by the MSA based on the K9 tracked vehicle's OMS.
Currently, two EVO-105 systems are being manufactured for the Korean army, and depending on the test results, the army can order up to 800 production systems. While in the first copies the base gun M101Al is installed, the possibility is being considered that the upper part of the upgraded version of the gun M101, having the designation KH178, will be installed on the serial systems. It has a longer barrel 105 mm / 34 caliber, the range can reach 14,7 km using traditional ammunition or 18 km using projectiles with a rocket booster. The original M101A1 cannon has the maximum range of an entire 11,27 km when fired with a standard high-explosive 105-mm M1 projectile. According to Samsung Techwin, the 105-mm concept can also be applied to 122-mm, 152-mm or 155-mm systems, and, moreover, the tool can be installed on the 8x8 chassis.
Sudanese company Military Industry Corporation has developed the Khalifa artillery system on the 6x6 truck chassis with bonded layout and protected cab. A Russian 122 mm D-30 towed howitzer is mounted on the rear platform, which shoots at the front arc; Two coulters are lowered to the ground by hydraulic actuators. The system is handled by five people, each car carrying 45 122-mm shots.
Sudan's Khalifa 122 self-propelled gun mm in shooting position with openers stabilized on the ground and deployed sides to provide access to ammunition boxes
Sau Archer 155 mm / 52 caliber firing (top)
In March 2010, the Swedish Defense Property Administration issued a contract to BAE Systems Weapons (formerly Bofors) for the 48 FH-77 BW L52 Archer 6x6 artillery systems.
In accordance with the original production schedule, deliveries were to go from 2011 to the end of 2014. Norway and Sweden were to receive the Archer artillery system on 24 as the only army artillery system.
Sweden accepted deliveries of its first Archer self-propelled guns in September 2013, but in December Norway canceled its order, despite the fact that the production of the systems was in full swing. The contract is currently being revised by both parties and, most likely, Norway will refuse the ordered 24 SAU Archer. ACS Archer is based on the highly developed Volvo 6x6 truck chassis, which is commonly used in construction.
The calculation is located in a secure cabin in the front, with a 155 mm / 52 caliber gun mounted at the back. Automatic loader allows you to charge and shoot from the gun without leaving the cab.