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155mm FH-70



Overview


FH-70

Japanese army 155mm FH-70 towed howitzer in travel configuration, being towed by truck.
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Germany
United Kingdom
Type
Towed howitzer
Entered service
1978
Status
In service
Development
Early 1960's - 1973
Developer
United Kingdom - Vickers
Germany - Rheinmetall
Production
1978 - late 1980's
Producer
Germany - Rheinmetall
Italy - OTO Melara
United Kingdom - Vickers
Japan - Japan Steel Works
Designations
FH 155-1 - German military service
L121 - UK military service

Description


Introduction

The FH-70 is late Cold War era towed howitzer of European origin. It was a joint UK, German and Italian effort to develop a replacement for the widely used World War 2 era M114. The name FH-70 stands for "Field Howitzer of the 1970's". Compare to the older M114 the FH-70 was to provide a longer range, burst fire capability, more powerful ammunition and autonomous mobility.

Layout

The FH-70 uses a 155mm 39-caliber ordnance with double baffle muzzle brake and sliding breech block. A flick rammer allows for burst firing. The single axle split trail carriage is fitted with an APU and features a driver's seat. Each trail is fitted with a large castor wheel. In the firing position the FH-70 rests on a turntable sole plate. In travel configuration the ordnance is rotated rearwards over the trails. The FH-70 uses conventional sights with electronic display. The FH-70 is crewed by 8 men, while the minimum detachment is 4 men. There is no gun shield.

Firepower

The FH-70 fires all NATO standard 155mm shells. A special range of 155mm shells was developed for the FH-70, including a powerful low drag HE-Frag shell. The maximum range is 24.7 km with NATO standard ammunition and 30 km with extended range shells. The burst rate of fire is 3 shells in 15 seconds. Sustained rate of fire is 3 to 6 rpm. Accuracy is reported to be good. The FH-70 can be used for direct fire in a pinch, but was not intended for that role.

Mobility

The FH-70 is normally towed by a 5t truck that also carries the crew and ammunition. The APU allows the FH-70 to move on its own. Enabling a shoot-and-scoot ability. The Volkswagen engine allows for speeds up to 20 km/h. The FH-70 is too heavy to be manhandled. The FH-70 can be carried as an external load underneath a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Users

The primary users of the FH-70 have been the three nations that developed it: Germany, Italy and the UK. Large quantities were produced under license in Japan. The FH-70 was exported to several nations. Later surplus units were exported as well. The FH-70 remains in use, although self-propelled artillery has replaced towed guns in many modern armies.

Details


FH-70

Japanese army 155mm FH-70 towed howitzer travelling autonomously by APU.
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner

FH-70 towed howitzer

The FH-70 is a towed howitzer that uses a 155mm 39-caliber ordnance with double baffle muzzle brake. The single axle split trail carriage features an auxiliary power unit and large castor wheels for autonomous movement. No variants have been produced.

Facts FH-70
General
Origin
Germany / UK
Type
Towed howitzer
Crew
7 - 8
Dimensions
Weight
9.3 t in travel & firing position
Length
9.8 m travelling
12.43 m firing position
Width
2.58 m travelling
7.5 m firing position
Height
2.45 m travelling
Ordnance
Type
155mm L/39 howitzer
Barrel length
6.022 m
Muzzle brake
Yes, double baffle
Muzzle velocity
827 m/s
Elevation
-5 to +70°
Traverse
56° total
Firepower
Rate of fire
6 rpm normal
2 rpm sustained
3 rounds in first 13 seconds
Range
24.7 km standard projectiles
31.5 km base bleed
Carriage
Type
2 wheel split trail carriage
Gun shield
No
Tire size
14.00 x20
Tread
2.20 m
Mobility
Towing vehicle
6x6 tactical truck
Towed speed
80 km/h
Turn radius
9.3 m
Autonomous mobility
16 km/h using APU
APU
Yes

Media


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Type 19

In Japan the wheeled Type 19 self-propelled howitzer was developed to replace the FH-70.