Artillery: August 18, 2002


Denel of South Africa is offering its new Condor self-propelled 155mm artillery system, and expects to have the first prototype in firing trials by year's end. Like other mobile artillery systems that have appeared recently, this is mounted on a lightly-armored truck rather than an armored tracked carrier, and is a replacement for towed rather than mechanized artillery. The Condor uses the gun and working gear from the G5-2000, the latest version of the classic South African towed G5 howitzer. Using a longer 52-caliber barrel, the Condor and G5-2000 can fire to 40km with base-bleed ammunition and to 50km with rocket-boosted shells. Condor can go from driving at 40kph to firing on a target in only 90 seconds (using on-board navigation and computer systems) and can be rolling again 45 seconds after the last round is fired. This should protect it from counter-battery fire. The maximum rate of fire for both Condor and G5-2000 is eight rounds per minute; a temperature management system allows it to sustain a rate of three rounds per minute all but indefinitely.--Stephen V Cole


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