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The AS90 Braveheart is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer which entered service with the British Army in 1992. It is manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems (RO Defence and formerly the Armaments Division of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd) at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. 179 have been built for the British Army. The AS90 was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.
In July 2004, the UK Ministry of Defence announced plans to reduce the number of AS90 artillery batteries by six. Three batteries will be drawn down and one AS90 regiment of three batteries will be re-roled to a light gun regiment, to support a new light brigade. The changes are to be effected by March 2007.
As of June 2005, 146 AS90 howitzers were in service with the British Army.
An enhanced version of the Howitzer, the Desert AS90, has been built to provide high capability in arduous desert conditions. The Desert AS90 underwent successful trials in the Arizona Desert in 1994 and in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1996. This version, with the 52 calibre barrel is called the AS90 Braveheart.
29 March 2001
Iran reveals latest 155mm self-propelled gun
CHRISTOPHER F FOSS JDW Land Forces Editor
Iran has achieved another important milestone in becoming self-sufficient in defence production with the fielding of at least two new full-tracked self-propelled artillery systems, the 122mm Thunder 1 and the 155mm Thunder 2.
Recently released photographs of Thunder 2 show that it has a similar layout to the United Defense M109A1 155mm/39-cal self-propelled howitzer. Before the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, the USA supplied 440 M109/M109A1s to Iran.
The 155mm/39-cal ordnance of the Thunder 2 is manufactured by the Hadid facility of the Iranian Defence Industries Organisation. The establishment also builds a wide range of other tank and artillery barrels as well as towed artillery systems, rocket launchers and ground-based mortar systems.
In appearance, the Thunder 2 ordnance, which has the local designation of the 155mm Cannon HM44, looks identical to that of the 155mm/39-cal M185 ordnance used in the M09A1.
It is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor, screw breech mechanism, hydro-pneumatic recuperator and a hydraulic recoil brake.
When firing a standard 155mm high-explosive projectile a maximum range of 18.1km can be achieved with a top stated rate of fire of 4rds/min. Weapon elevation is from -3º to +75º. When ready to fire the vehicle lowers two spades, one on each side of the hull rear, to give a more stable firing platform.
Although the general layout of the Thunder 2 is similar to the M109A1 it does feature a new turret and chassis. The former has hatches in the sides and two roof hatches with a 12.7mm M2 machine gun mounted on the cupola installed on the right side of the turret roof. The indirect fire sight is located under an armoured hood on the left of the turret roof.
The Thunder 2 chassis is a new design: the driver sits at the front left with the power pack on the right. Suspension is probably of the torsion bar type with six dual rubber-tyred road wheels each side.
The drive sprocket is at the front and the idler is at the rear. The are also return rollers and the upper track is covered by a rubber skirt.
The road wheels of the Thunder 2 appear to be from the Russian T-72 main battle tank that has been manufactured under licence in Iran for some years. In the rear of the hull is a large door for ammunition resupply purposes.
The Hadid facility also makes a wide range of other barrels for armoured fighting vehicle and artillery applications including the 122mm barrel for the Thunder 1 (HM51) and the 125mm barrel for the T-72 series (HM50).
The first detailed photograph of the Iranian 155mm Thunder 2 self-propelled artillery
system deployed in the firing position showing the two spades deployed at the rear.
The Denel company of South Africa - formerly known as Armscor - was producing G6 and G5 guns with a 39km range when NATO armies were still equipped with weapons that could only reach between 18 and 30km. European and US manufacturers have fought hard to make up the gap, but now South Africa has taken another giant leap forward, using new ammunition and a long barrel development dubbed the G6-52.
Originally posted by orangetom1999
The pictures of the shells in the magazine storage area..the shells are blue in colour. Is this a special lubricant coating on them such as a molykote base. I think it is sometimes called Moly. Or is this just to identify the type of shell it is??? ...
Originally posted by ignorant_ape
from the look of the pic - the shells are painted blue as part of the germans colour coding [...]
now having said that - i am confused are all nato 155mm shells supposed to be all system compatible ? so colour coding should be std ?