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Iraqi heavy artillery pre Desert Storm

razor

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Does anyone have any data/pix/drawings of the 21cm, 24cm guns developed in conjunction with Dr Bull or any of his other developments that reached the hardware stage ???
 

V8Interceptor

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razor said:
Does anyone have any data/pix/drawings of the 21cm, 24cm guns developed in conjunction with Dr Bull or any of his other developments that reached the hardware stage ???
I know that a single prototype of the 210MM Al Fao SPG constructed but I wasn't aware of a 240MM system..Some of the older editons of Jane's AFV's have Al Fao pics, but unfortunatly I do not own any of them..
 

Apophenia

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A couple of well-know photos but they give the flavour. Some of the specs are a little suspect, vehicle weight is downright goofy (I've added G6 details for comparison).

Al Fao data:

Caliber: 210 mm
Barrel length: L/70 approx [G6 45 or 52 calibers]
Length (OA): about 15,000 mm [G6 LOA 10,335 mm]
Length (hull) : about 11,000 mm [G6 hull 9200 mm]
Weight: 48000 kg
Max. range: 45,000 m (EFRB projectile, 109 kg), 57,340 m (ERFB-BB)
RoF: 4 rpm
Elevation: +-40° [G6 -5° to +75°]
Traverse: 55° [G6 traverse 80°]

SPG [OMC G6 Rhino-type vehicle]
Crew: 6 [G6 only 5]
Weight: 28,200 Kg [? G6 is 37t [pre-production], 45t [prod.], G6-52 is 49t]
Speed: 80 km/h [G6 90 km/h]
Range: 400 km [G6 700 km]
 

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Apophenia

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About the 240mm gun: might this be a mis-reading of the Iraqi's 2S4 Tulpan mortar? Some of the Polish MT-LBs supplied were modified in Iraq into M240 mortar carriers.
 

smurf

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Apophenia said
vehicle weight is downright goofy
There are two weights quoted, 48000kg and 28,200kg.
48,000 fits fairly well with G6-52, while 28,200 could be simply a typo for 48,200? Such things do get past proof-readers sometimes.
 

Abraham Gubler

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smurf said:
Apophenia said
vehicle weight is downright goofy
There are two weights quoted, 48000kg and 28,200kg.
48,000 fits fairly well with G6-52, while 28,200 could be simply a typo for 48,200? Such things do get past proof-readers sometimes.

If their 210mm L70 SPG weighs in at 48 tonnes then their 155mm L45 SPG is going to be a lot lighter. At least 10 tonnes lighter for the difference between the ordnance and their cradles. The G6-52 ups the weight because of all the extra systems (turret APU, automatic loading assembly, etc) which are not features on the Al Fao and G-6. Also the G-6 adds a lot of weight thanks to its heavy frontal armour (resistant against 23mm) that may be dispensed with in the Al Fao (saving at least 5 tonnes). 28 tonnes is not an unrealistic weight for a wheeled 155mm L45 self-propelled gun system.
 

Apophenia

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Good points on weight. The much reduced range also suggests that fuel tanks are smaller/fewer. Another weight savings.
 

smurf

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What have I missed? Where does an Iranian 155mm come from on this thread?
If Apophenia's weights refer to a 155mm SPG at 28t and a 210mm at 48t, what is the problem, except how a similar chassis stands it?
 

Apophenia

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Abraham was referring to the Iraqi 155mm Majnoon SPG. This used another Bull/Space Research Corporation gun, the 155mm L/45 howitzer known as Al Majnum in Iraqi service (SRC GC-45, Noricum GHN-45, or Denel G5 elsewhere). The G5 is, of course, the gun in the G6 Rhino.

From Armada International, Aug/Sept 1989:

"... the Iraqis showed two new gun systems on articulated wheeled 6X6 chassis. One was a 155 mm unit known as the Majnoon which fires a ERFB BB round to 38 000 metres. On a similar chassis was the Al Fao with a 210 mm barrel.

The Al Fao and Majnoon share the same turret and chassis but the A1 Fao with its unusual 210 mm gun is something of a revelation. According to data supplied by Baghdad the 210 mm gun fires a 109.4 kg ERFB BB projectile to a maximum range of no less than 57 340 metres. This is way in excess of any other artillery piece in service or on the drawing board."
 

smurf

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Thanks. That clarifies things a bit. My real interests are naval, and pre-1960 at that, but a prewar British 6in L50 gun weighed about 7 tons, while an L50 8in weighed 17tons. So add more than 10tons for the gun, plus a bit more for longer barrel, stronger supports etc and heavier ammunition (though fewer rounds carried) could take the total from 28t comparable to the Rhino (not an unreasonable weight for a 155mm as AG said) to well over 40t. Shell weight of 109kg is typical 8in, compared to around 45-50kg for a 6in. (+ wt of propellant charge in proportion). All quite rough estimates.
As I see it, the main problem is will essentially the same chassis stand the extra weight, and how has it been 'beefed up'? But a Centurion chassis for SPGs stood guns from 25pdr through 5.5in howitzer to a 180mm high velocity A/T weapon, though the 25pdr was already around 40t IIRC. That apart, I don't really see a problem with the values quoted for the weights.
 

amsci99

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Well there's that book written by Gerald Bull before before he took the bullet called, 'Paris Kanonen--The Paris Guns Wilhelmgeschütze and Project HARP'. Brief mention of Bull's work in Iraq but more on Project Harp and the Paris Canon. Rare like hen's teeth thought and sells for silly amounts of money if you can find one. I managed to track down a copy at a decent price from a bookseller in Zurich about 5 years but had to sell to pay the bills.
 

kaiserbill

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Just a quick sidenote.

The 37 tons as given for the South African G-6 all appear in early publications. All other first hand literature has since listed it's weight as 45 or 47 tons. The G-6 is a large vehicle, so this latter weight makes sense.

I have always regarded the 37 ton listing as probably for the 3 pre-production G-6's that performed such sterling work in Southern Angola in the late 1980's.
 

Apophenia

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Thanks for the weight clarification KB. For simplicity, let's say 37t for pre-production G6, 45t for production G6, and 47t for the G6-52
 

kaiserbill

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That's basically how I understand it Apophenia. This from a variety of sources.

It appears many internet sites and publications took the early data as published by Helmoed-Romer Heitman. This data (inclusive of the 37 ton weight) was for the 3 pre-production models as used operationally by the SADF in Angola to test and validate the design.
 

Matt R.

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More infos / pics below :
 

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