Artillery: November 25, 1999


The Spanish Army has received six prototype 155mm (52-caliber) towed SFT1 howitzers from Santa Barbara. If the tests are successful, the Spanish Army plans to buy 100 to replace its existing 105mm and 155mm artillery. The SBT1 has a three-slot muzzle brake, a flick rammer to increase rate of fire, and its own on-board computer to allow individual guns to come into action faster. It has a split trail, and a crew of six, and weighs 12.9 tons. A diesel auxiliary power unit provides elevation and training, although manual backups are available. The APU can move the weapon at 18km/hr on roads or 10km/hr cross-country. The long 52-caliber barrel provides a range of 40km with base-bleed (not rocket) ammunition.--Stephen V Cole

Nurol Machinery of Turkey has produced a mortar variant of the RN-94 six-wheeled armored personnel carrier. The company has been trying to sell the RN-94 to the Turkish Army, and has produced several variants as a means of convincing the government that their vehicle is capable and versatile. Most RN-94s, including the mortar vehicles, have a 12.7mm machinegun which can be fired from inside the armored envelope. The 120mm MKEK mortar can fire in 360 and needs only two crewmen. It can sustain a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute, or reach 14 rounds per minute for brief periods. Standard ammunition for the mortar is the M258 cargo shell, carrying 16 Israeli M85 submunitions to a range of 7,800m. --Stephen V Cole


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