Artillery / Towed guns / 180mm S-23

180mm S-23

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Towed howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    203mm M1955 (NATO reporting name)
    52-P-572 (GRAU index number)

  • DESIGNED
    1945 - 1955

  • DESIGNER
    NII-58 design bureau

  • PRODUCTION
    1955 - 1956 (first batch, 7 units)
    1971 (second batch, 12 units)

  • PRODUCERS
    USSR - Barrikady

  • QUANTITY
    Conflicting reports of many dozens or only 19 units produced. Production complete.

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Long range and powerful shells
    Reportedly has good accuracy
    Heavy and difficult to transport
    Large 16 man crew required.
    Limited rate of fire.

Introduction

The S-23 is a early Cold War era heavy gun of Soviet origin. It was developed after World War 2 to provide Soviet forces with the ability for long range shelling. In the West it was referred to as the 203mm M1955 gun, although its actual caliber is 180mm. When introduced the S-23 had a phenomenal range, good accuracy and reasonable volume of fire. Modern 155mm 52-caliber howitzers offer a similar range and higher rate of fire, but at reduced cost, crew requirement and weight.

Layout

The 180mm 49-caliber ordnance with pepperpot muzzle brake was derived from the older Chapayev naval gun. The gun is mounted on a heavy split trail carriage. The carriage has a single axle with four wheels. A 16 man crew is required for normal operations. No gun shield is provided since the S-23 is to be used well behind the frontline.

Firepower

The S-23 fires powerful 180mm shells at high velocity at ranges up to 30.4 km. Types of shell include high explosive and concrete piercing. Reportedly a nuclear round was deverloped as well. A rocket assisted projectile introduced in the early 1970's extends the maximum range out to 43.8 km. The maximum rate of fire is 1 round per minute. Sustained fire reduces the rate of fire to 1 round every 2 minutes. Accuracy is reported to be good, even at maximum range.

Mobility

The S-23 is a large and heavy gun and as such is difficult to transport. In travelling mode a two wheel dolly is used and the ordnance is withdrawn to the rear in order to reduce overall lenght. A heavy truck or preferably a tracked prime mover is used to tow the gun. In Soviet service the AT-T artillery tractor was used.

Users

The S-23 was adopted by Soviet forces and used at a ratio of 12 weapons per heavy artillery brigade. It was exported to several Soviet allies and was used during several Middle East conflicts. In Soviet service the S-23 was replaced by the self-propelled 2S7 Pion and heavy rocket artillery such as the FROG-7.

Variants

S-23

S-23: The S-23 is a large and heavy towed gun. The S-23 is easily identified by its split trail carriage with single axle and double wheels in addition to the long ordnance with pepperpot muzzle brake. Variants that were to use the same carriage have been developed but never left the prototype stage. These prototypes include the S-33 210mm howitzer and S-43 280mm mortar.

  • Specifications:
  • S-23
TypeTowed howitzer
Crew14 to 16
Ordnance180mm L/49 howitzer, 8.8 m barrel
Elevation-2 to +50°
Traverse44° total
Rate of fire1 rpm (max), 0.5 rpm (sustained)
Range30.4 km with standard ammunition, 43.8 km with rocket assisted ammunition
Carriage4 wheel single axle split trail carriage with limber
Weight19.75 t (firing position), 21.45 t (travelling)
Length10.48 m (travelling)
Width2.99 m (travelling)
Height2.62 m (travelling)
Towing vehicleAT-T artillery tractor
Speed35 km/h on roads, 12 km/h in the field
Remarks30 minute emplacement time. S-85 mechanical sight, PG-1M panoramic sight, MVShP direct fire sight

180mm ammunition

For the S-23 a small selection of ammunition was developed:

F-572: VF-572 round with F-572 high explosive projectile. Original standard issue round, introduced in 1955.
G-572: VG-572 round with G-572 concrete piercing projectile, introduced in 1955.
VOF-28: VOF-28 round with OF-43 rocket assisted projectile. Introduced in the 1970's.

Reportedly a 0.2 kT nuclear shell was developed as well.

CategoryArtillery round
TypeHE-Frag
Diameter180 mm
Length?
Weight88 kg complete round
Charge?
WarheadHE-Frag, 10.7 kg explosive
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity860 m/s at muzzle
Range30.4 km
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-
CategoryArtillery round
TypeConcrete piercing
Diameter180 mm
Length?
Weight83 kg complete round
Charge?
WarheadConcrete piercing
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity?
Range30 km
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-
CategoryArtillery round
TypeRAP
Diameter180 mm
Length?
Weight84 kg complete round
Charge?
WarheadHE-Frag, 5.6 kg explosive
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity?
Range43.7 km
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-

Media

Copyright © 2002 - 2014 Weaponsystems.net