A Chinese production Type 60 howitzer captured by coalition forces in Iraq.
Source: US Army (Lance Cpl. Lanham) - © public domain
The D-74 is a towed howitzer of Soviet origin. It was designed in the late 1940's to replace the 122mm A-19 field gun used during World War 2. The 130mm M-46 field gun was also designed to replace the A-19 and after extensive trails the M-46 was chosen over the D-74 as it had a longer range and fired more powerful ammunition. The D-74 saw limited use in the Soviet army but it was widely exported. The D-74 was also produced in China as the Type 60 and in North Korea.
The D-74 uses the same split trail carriage as the 152mm D-20 but mount a much longer and thinner 122mm ordnance. The 122mm ammunition is of the separate loading type, uses variable charges and is incompatible with the kind used in the D-30. A forward facing shield is fitted to protect the crew from small arms fire and fragmentation. The center section of the shield slides upwards as the ordnance is elevated upwards. A circular firing pedestal is fitted in the center of the carriage between the two wheels allowing the D-74 to be quickly traversed a full 360 degrees.
The D-74 fires a heavier 122mm shell at a higher pressure than the M-30 and D-30 resulting in a much longer range. Besides high explosive fragmentation other types of projectile include armor piercing, smoke and illumination. The D-74 fires 6 to 7 rounds per minute with a sustained maximum rate of fire of 75 rounds in the first hour. The maximum firing range for the D-74 is 24 km and as such it outranges the US 105mm M101 and 155mm M114 howitzers employed by most Western nations at the time.
The D-74 is often towed by a 6x6 truck such as the Ural 375D. This truck will normally also carry the crew and some of the 90 rounds that are usually available per gun. In North Korea the D-74 has been fitted to various tracked chassis in order to improve mobility.
The D-74 was acquired only in limited quantities by the Soviet Union. It was exported from the Soviet Union to a handful of Middle Eastern and African states. The production numbers in Asia ran higher than in the Soviet Union. The Type 60 was widely employed in China and exported to many Chinese allies, most of them in Asia and some in the Middle East. Nowadays many pieces remain in service although it is more and more supplemented by more modern pieces of artillery.
A D-74 in use with the Afghan National Army.
Source: www.howitzer.dk - © copyright lies with original owner
The D-74 is Soviet designed conventional split trail 122mm towed howitzer. No variants were produced. The D-74 is produced in China as the Type 60 and in North Korea, both models are similar in characteristics to the original D-74.
Although the D-74 uses the same carriage as the D-20 it can be easily distinguished from the D-20 as the D-74's 122mm L/53 barrel is over a meter longer and much thinner than the 152mm L/34 ordnance.
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