Artillery: Afghan Army Gets Its Guns Off


p> May 16, 2008:  The post 2001 Afghan Army has put into service several dozen artillery weapons over the last three years. These include the  24 U.S. M114 155mm howitzers (donated by Turkey) and several dozen Russian D-30 and M-30 122mm howitzers (left over from past wars).


The D-30 was introduced 40 years ago, as an improved model of a World War II weapon (the M-30). The D-30 is a four ton, towed weapon with a range of 15 kilometers (or more, with special ammo). The 122mm shells weigh about 50 pounds.


The M114s are World War II era weapons, still used by over a dozen countries. The six ton M114 is towed by a truck, has a range of 14.6 kilometers (or more, with special ammo), and can use most ammunition fired by more modern guns. The 155mm shells weigh about 90 pounds.


The D-30 is particularly useful as a direct fire (shooting at something you can see) weapon. Indirect fire (shooting at something you can't  see) requires more training, especially for the specialists who have to do the calculations required to figure out where to point the gun. While there are small computers, and calculator size devices for doing the math, the fire control specialists have to know what they are doing. Errors in this area can have disastrous consequences.


Afghans have been using the M-30 and D-30 122mm guns for over three decades. Most artillery is now assigned to combat brigades as small batteries (usually of three guns). U.S. and NATO smart bombs are preferred for fire support, as they are usually more accurate than artillery, and available anywhere. But there are times when no smart bombs are available, and that's when the artillery comes in handy.


Article Archive

Artillery: Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999



Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Because of falling ad revenues and the owners of the site wanting you to have a good experience, this poor pet bird (Drake) may end up as the turkey for the publisher’s Thanksgiving meal.

What can you do to help save the bird? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close