Artillery / Towed guns / M-46


General Facts

  • TYPE
    Towed howitzer


    M1954 (NATO designation)
    Type 59 (Chinese production)
    M-59-1M (Egyptian production)
    130 K54 (Finland service)

    Late 1940's

    Factory No 172

    1951 - ?

    China - Norinco
    Egypt - Abu Zaabal
    North Korea - State arsenals
    USSR - Motovilikha



    Long range
    Average rate of fire
    Large and heavy


The M-46 is a towed 130mm towed howitzer of Soviet origin. The M-46 was developed in the late 1940's to replace the 122mm A-19 for long range shelling and counter battery fire. After trails against the D-74 the M-46 was selected in 1950. The M-46 was produced in large quantities and many remain in use. Until its proper designation was known it was called the M1954 in the West. The M-46 has been produced under license in China as the Type 59.


The M-46 uses a sturdy split trail carriage which has two wheels and a gun shield. The M-46 mounts a long 130mm 58 caliber ordnance with pepperpot muzzle brake. The Chinese Type 59-I uses a lighter carriage with similar ordnance, but fitted a double baffle muzzle brake. A crew of 8 to 10 is required for operating at normal performance.


The M-46 fires its own range of 130 mm ammunition out to 27.2 km. This allows it to outrange virtually early Cold War artillery including the US M59 Long Tom. It is however unable to match the latest 155mm L/52 artillery, even with base bleed rounds. The maximum rate of fire is 5 to 6 rpm, although several sources claim 8 to 10 rpm. The M-46 can also be used as a direct fire weapon out to 1.2 km versus armored vehicles and at longer ranges against infantry.


The M-46 is usually towed by a 6x6 truck but prime movers are also used. The M-46 uses a limber while the Chinese Type 59 does not. The M-46 can be towed up to a speed of 50 km/h.


The M-46 was produced in large quantities for Soviet use and export to Warsaw Pact nations and Soviet allies. In Soviet service the M-46 was replaced by the larger and more capable 2A36. The M-46 remains in widespread use in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.



The M-46 is a conventional 130mm towed field gun. It has a split trail two wheeled carriage and a gun shield is fitted for crew protection. The M-46 has a 58 calibers long 130mm ordnance that is fitted with a pepperpot muzzle brake. Normally a crew of 8 is used to operate the weapon. The M-47 is a 152mm variant of the M-46 that was produced in limited numbers in the 1950's.

  • Specifications:
  • M-46
TypeTowed howitzer
Ordnance130mm L/58 howitzer, 7.6 m barrel
Elevation-2.5 to +45°
Traverse25° left and right
Rate of fire5 - 6 rpm, up to 8 rpm reported
Range27.2 km (standard rounds)
Carriage2 wheel split trail carriage, 2.06 m track, 13.50 x 38 tires
Weight7.7 t (firing position), 8.45 t (travelling)
Length11.73 m (travelling)
Width2.45 m (travelling)
Height2.55 m (travelling)
Towing vehicle6x6 truck
Speed50 km/ on roads
RemarksGun shield

Type 59

The Type 59 is a Chinese copy of the M-46 which includes some changes. The Type 59-I incorporates some parts taken from the Type 60 field gun, mainly in the carriage. The Type 59-I has the same 58 caliber 130mm ordnance, which is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake in the Chinese version. The Egyptian M-59-1M is similar to the Type 59-I.

TypeTowed howitzer
Crew8 - 10
Ordnance130mm L/58 howitzer
Elevation-2.5 to +45°
Traverse58° total
Rate of fire8 - 10 rpm
Range7.8 km (minimum), 27.2 km (standard rounds), 32 km (base bleed), 1.2 km (direct fire)
Carriage2 wheel split trail carriage
Weight6.3 t
Length10.8 m (travelling)
Width2.42 m (travelling)
Height2.75 m (travelling)
Towing vehicle6x6 truck
Speed60 km/ on roads
RemarksGun shield


Soltam offers an upgrade package for the M-46 called the M-46S. This replaces the 130mm ordnance with a 155mm gun, which may be either a L/39 or L/45 one. The ordnance is similar as used on the M839 and M845 howitzers and results in increased range and firepower. This upgrade is in use with India which designates the system Mephisto.

TypeTowed howitzer
Ordnance155mm L/45 howitzer
Elevation-2.5 to +45°
Traverse25° left and right
Rate of fire?
Range25.8 km (standard rounds), 39.0 km (base bleed)
Carriage2 wheel split trail carriage
Weight8.85 t (travelling)
Length11.73 m (travelling)
Width2.45 m (travelling)
Height2.55 m (travelling)
Towing vehicle6x6 truck
RemarksGun shield

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