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152mm D-20


China: Type 66


Overview


D-20

An Iraqi D-20 captured by coalition forces.
Source: www.fas.org - © copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Towed howitzer
Entered service
1955
Status
In service
Development
Late 1940's
Developer
Soviet Union - F.F. Petrov design bureau
Production
Early 1950's - ?
Producer
Soviet Union - No. 9 Uralmash plant
China
Romania - Arsenalul Armatei
Number produced
At least 3.000
Designations
M1955 (NATO reporting name)
D-72 (early project name)
52-P-546 (GRAU index)
Type 66 (Chinese production)
PL66 (new Chinese naming system)
152 H55 (Finnish service)
A411 (Romanian production)
Tun / Obuzier calibrul 152-mm tractat M1981 (Romanian service)

Description


Introduction

The D-20 is a towed howitzer of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1950's to replace most 152mm howitzer in Soviet service. It has been produced under license in China and Romania. The ordnance is similar to the one used in the 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer.

Design

The D-20 uses the same two wheel split trail carriage as the contemporary D-74. Instead of a 122mm howitzer a shorter and larger caliber 152mm ordnance is fitted. A shield gives the crew of 10 some protection from small arms fire over the frontal arc.

Firepower

The D-20 fires powerful 152mm shells from its 34-caliber ordnance with double baffle muzzle brake. A maximum range of 17.4 km can be achieved. The maximum rate of fire is 5 to 6 rpm and sustained fire is 2 to 4 rpm.

Mobility

The D-20 is normally towed by 6x6 truck. In Soviet service the Ural 375D 6x6 truck and AT-S artillery tractor were used. The weapon is too heavy to be manhandled.

Users

The D-20 was widely used by Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces and has been exported to most nations with ties to the USSR. In Russian service the D-20 was replaced by the towed 2A65 and 2A36 and self-propelled 2S3 Akatsiya. The D-20 remain in widespread service in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Details


Variants of the D-20

D-20 and Type 66

Only a single version of the D-20 has been produced. The D-20 can be distinct from the D-74 that uses the same carriage by the shorter and much thicker ordnance. The Type 66 is produced in China and is a direct copy of the D-20.

M1981 and M1985

The M1981 is the Romanian production variant of the D-20. It differs in various small details from the D-20. The M1985 is an M1981 with a much longer barrel and associated increased range.

Facts D-20 M1985
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Towed howitzer
Crew
8 to 10
Dimensions
Weight
5.7 t
Length
8.69 m (travelling)
Width
2.40 m (travelling)
Height
1.93 m (travelling)
Ordnance
Type
152mm L/34 howitzer
Barrel length
5.195 m with muzzle brake
Muzzle brake
Yes, double baffle
Muzzle velocity
650 m/s
Elevation
-5° to +63°
Traverse
58° total
Sights
Direct fire
PG-1M
Indirect fire
OP-4M
Firepower
Rate of fire
5 - 6 rpm
1 - 2 rpm sustained
Range
17.4 km
Carriage
Type
Two wheel split trail
Ground clearance
0.38 m
Limber
No
Gun shield
Yes
Mobility
Towing vehicle
Ural 375D, AT-L
Towed speed
60 km/h on roads
15 km/h cross country
Autonomous mobility
No, too heavy for manhandling
APU
No

Media


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The PLZ83 is a self-propelled howitzer of Chinese origin with Type 66 ordnance.