Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / Mk F3

Mk F3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    France

  • NICKNAMES
    Canon de 155 mm Mle F3 Automoteur / Cn-155-F3-Am (French army)
    AMX-155 (manufacturer designation)

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1950's

  • DESIGNER
    Artelier de Construction Roanne

  • PRODUCTION
    1959 - ?

  • PRODUCERS
    France - Creusot Loire

  • QUANTITY
    Over 600 produced

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Parts commonality with AMX-13
    Small vehicle size
    Limited range
    Low rate of fire
    No protection for crew

Introduction

The Mk F3 is a tracked self-propelled 155mm howitzer of French origin. It was developed in the early 1950's for the French armed forces. Over 600 had been produced when production stopped several decades ago. The Mk F3 is one of the smallest 155mm self-propelled howitzers ever produced.

Layout

The Mk F3 is based on the AMX-13 tracked light tank chassis. The commander and driver are seated to the left of the engine. The ordnance is mounted at the rear with two spades being lowered before firing. The shells and gun crew are transported by a truck or AMX VCA tracked ammunition carrier.

Firepower

The Mk F3 is fitted with a 33-caliber 155mm howitzer which is loaded and aimed manually. The sustained rate of fire is 1 round per minute. The US M107 projectile can be fired out to 14.7km and an increased velocity French HE round out to 20km. There is no secondary armament.

Protection

The steel armor protects the driver and commander against small arms fire and shell splinters. The other crew members are unprotected as the ordnance is mounted in the open. No NBC or fire suppression systems are fitted.

Mobility

The Mk F3 is based on the tracked AMX-13 chassis and has a reasonable cross country performance. A SOFAM 250hp diesel engine provides propulsion. Maximum speed is about 60 km/h on roads. The Mk F3 is not amphibious.

Users

The Mk F3 was adopted by over a dozen nations. With most nations it has been replaced by more capable self-propelled howitzers. The Mk F3 remains in active use with a limited number of nations.

Variants

Mk F3

The Mk F3 is a tracked self-propelled 155mm howitzer. Only a single versions was ever developed. The Mk F3 is based on the chassis of an AMX-13 light tank. The ordnance is a 155mm L/33 howitzer that is fitted to the rear of the chassis. Upgrade packages with a 280hp Detroit Diesel or 280hp Baudouin engine are available.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew2 (commander, driver)
Length6.22 m gun forward
Width2.7 m
Height2.09 m
Ground clearance0.48 m
Weight17.4 t combat load
Ground pressure0.84 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 5 roadwheels, drive sprocket front
Turn radiusSkid turns
EngineSOFAM model 8Gxb petrol engine, 250 hp at 3.200 rpm
Power ratio14.4 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 5 forward, 1 reverse
Speed60 km/h
Fuel450 L
Range300 km
Wall0.6 m
Trench1.5 m
Gradient40% gradient
Fording1 m
ArmorSteel, 10 to 20 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionYes
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament155mm L/33 howitzer
Weapon1155mm L/33 howitzer at hull rear
no ammunition on vehicle
20 degrees left and 30 degrees right traverse, +0 to +67 degrees elevation, non-stabilized
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