San Carlos 155mm Self Propelled Artillery System


ACCESS: Confidential
Jun 25, 2010
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Found some information about Spanish San Carlos 155mm Self Propelled Artillery System on livejournal ( ).

Unfortunately for me I can not read Russian,so I can only extract little information form the article. Is any one kind enough give some information in English about this system?


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ACCESS: Confidential
May 21, 2006
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There isn't a lot of info available on this system and the comments in the blog summarise most of the available info. This project was started in the 1970s when most of the Spanish artillery was obsolescent. Towed artillery deployed Reinosa 105mm guns (based on the 1930s Vickers 105mm towed gun) and M114/M115 howitzers of WWII vintahe, plus a small number of 122mm guns, built in Spain based on a Soviet 1930s design! The self propelled artillery was limited to small number of relatively moder M109s plus M108 and M44 and 12 M107s.

Santa Barbara designed a new L39 towed howitzer, named the San Carlos and planned to mount it into an armored chasis to replace obsolete M44 and M108. As far as I know, only this model was presented and given the dimensions, it was probably to be based on the AMX-30, then being built under license in both MBT and Roland forms. The design shows a rear turret/front engine design opposed to the contemporary French AUF F1 design which kept the AMX-30 chassis with the new gun turret replacing the standard tank turret. There were other AMX-30 based proposals at the time, including a IFV which was actually prototyped although I haven't been able to locate a picture of it.

The gun itself was built and showed to be a problematic design; also, at the time L39 was being shown as antiquated. SITECSA, a private firm, offered to alternative designs, one 155L45 and a 203mm towed piece (later sold to Iraq) to replace the M114/115. The 155 design was based on the Gerald Bull developments and was thus one of the G5-like designs which appeared in Austria, Singapore, China and other countries in the 1980s. It was much better that the Santa Barbara offering and later was the basis for the design of the current SIAC L52 gun/howitzer used by Spain and Colombia.

In the end, Spain bought more M109s cheaply and upgrade the to the A5 standard initially, which further locally designed additions to improve its capabilities. For the last 15 years a replacement has been sought, with the K9 Thunder being the preferred solution for many years (the PzH 2000 was too expensive although seems to have been the prefered army solution), but no actual contracts were signed. And given the current economical situation, those M109s will last for a few more years.

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