Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / L-33

L-33

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    Israel

  • NICKNAMES
    Ro'em (Israeli nickname)

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Soltam

  • PRODUCTION
    1973 - ?

  • PRODUCERS
    Israel - Soltam

  • QUANTITY
    About 150 to 200 produced

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Full armor protection
    All terrain mobility
    Large and heavy
    Limited speed and mobility
    Mediocre range due to L/33 howitzer

Introduction

The L-33 is a Cold War era self-propelled howitzer of Israeli origin. It was developed to provide self-propelled artillery support which the Israeli army was lacking at the time. It is based on the chassis of the US World War 2 era Sherman tank. The name is derived from the barrel length of the ordnance, but it is also known under the nickname Ro'em, which is Hebrew for thunder maker.

Layout

The L-33 is based on the M4A3E8 Sherman tank chassis and is fitted with a very large welded casemate superstructure which provides the ordnance with limited traverse. The crew is relatively large, consisting of 8 members.

Firepower

The L-33 uses the 155mm 33-caliber ordnance of the indigenious M-68 towed gun. The maximum range is 21 km. The maximum rate of fire is about 6 rpm. A total of 60 round are carried of which 16 are ready to fire. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted for self-defense.

Protection

The L-33 is operated from under full armor protection. The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. There are no NBC system, smoke grenade dischargers or fire extinguishing system.

Mobility

The Sherman chassis with HVSS suspension and new engine provides an all terrain mobility. The drawbacks of the Sherman chassis are a low speed and range. A Cummins 460 hp diesel engine provides propulsion.

Users

The L-33 was adopted by Israeli forces in 1973 and was immediately used during the Yom Kippur war. It was also used in subsequent conflicts. With the introduction of the US M109 howitzer it was quickly relegated to the reserve role. No L-33 have ever been exported.

Variants

L-33

The L-33 was produced only in one version. All models use the Sherman HVSS chassis with new diesel engine. The large casemate superstructure makes the L-33 very easy to identify. A variant called L-39 with 39-caliber ordnance was developed but never produced.

  • Specifications:
  • L-33
TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew8 (commander, driver, gunner, 5 loaders)
Length6.47 m (hull), 8.47 m (gun forward)
Width3.5 m
Height3.45 m
Ground clearance0.43 m
Weight41.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 0.58 m width, 4.6 m length, 2.28 m track
Turn radius9.5 m
EngineCummins VT 8-460-Bi diesel, 460 hp at 2.600 rpm
Power ratio10.1 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed38 km/h
Fuel820 L
Range260 km on road
Wall0.9 m
Trench2.3 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording0.9 m
ArmorSteel, 12 to 64 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionYes, driver only
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament155mm L/33 howitzer
.30 M1919A4 machine gun
Weapon1155mm L/33 howitzer
60 rounds, 16 ready to fire
-30 to +60° traverse, manual
-4 to +52° elevation, manual
non-stabilized
Weapon2.30 M1919A4 machine gun on pintle mount
1.000 rounds, 100 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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