D-30 2A18M 122-mm Towed Howitzer
The D-30 122mm howitzer is a standard armament of artillery mechanised formations. As a rule, it is towed by a medium cross-country truck which also carries the separate loading ammunition. Its revolving mount permits a full 360° traverse. The howitzer is intended for destruction and suppression of both uncovered and covered (in field shelters) enemy manpower, for destruction of resistant shelters and other field structures, for creating lanes through minefields and removal of wire barriers by firing, for fighting enemy artillery, mechanised assets and tanks.
The D-30, also known as the M1963, replaced the older 122-mm howitzer M-30 (M1938). The original D-30 was fielded in 1963 and the midlife product improvements occurred in the mid to late 1970's. The original D-30 is in use with at least 50 different countries. The 2A18M D-30A and D-30M are midlife product improvements of the D-30 that are currently in production by the Gosudarstvennoe Unitarnoe Predpriatie Zavod 9 [Vysokodispersnye Metallicheskiye Poroshki AO]. The D-30 features a unique three-trail carriage, a conspicuous boxy shield for the recuperator above the tube, and a small protective shield between the wheels. The gun has a semiautomatic, vertically sliding, wedge-type breechblock. It is towed muzzle-first by a truck or armored tractor, at speeds up to 80 kilometers per hour, with its trails folded under the barrel.
The D-30 can be recognized by its unique three-trail carriage, the conspicuous box-like shield for the recoil-recuperator mechanism mounted above the tube, the multi-baffle muzzle brake, and the small protective shield fitted between the wheels. Early models of the D-30 had a multi-baffle muzzle brake while the D-30M has a double-baffle muzzle brake. The gun has a semiautomatic, vertically-sliding, wedge-type breechblock. It can be towed by a truck (Ural-375 or ZIL-131) or armored tractor at speeds up to 80 krn/hr. It is towed muzzle-first by a large lunette just under the muzzle brake with its trails folded under the barrel.
The D-30 is found in the howitzer battalion of BTR-equipped motorized rifle regiments and in the artillery regiment of motorized rifle, tank, and airborne divisions. A battalion of D-30s is also being added to some tank regiments as an interim measure. These D-30s will eventually be replaced by a battalion of 122-mm self-propelled howitzers 2S1. The maximum effective range of either howitzer is 15,300 meters.
In firing position, the crew of eight unhitches the gun, lowers the central firing jack, raising the wheels high enough to clear the trail legs, and spreads the two outer trails 120° on each side. The revolving mount permits 360° traverse and is equipped for high and low angles of fire, making it fully suitable for antitank defense. It is doubtful that full elevation is possible when the breech is immediately over a trail leg. The D-30 can also be equipped with a IR or passive night vision sights for direct fire.
The D-30 fires FRAG-HE and HEAT-FS variable-charge, case-type, separate-loading ammunition. The D-30 has a special nonrotating, fin-stabilized, HEAT projectile which allows it to effectively engage armored vehicles with direct fire. The HEAT round can penetrate up to 460 mm of armor at any range. Other types of projectiles include chemical, illuminating (S-462 weighing 22.4 kg), smoke (D-462 weighing 22.3 kg), leaflet, flechette, and incendiary. Recently an RAP has been introduced with a maximum range of 21900 m.
There are at least two chemical projectiles for the D-30, with the CW agent is dispersed by the explosion of a TNT bursting charge. The Sarin projectile weighs 22.2 kg with 1.3 kg of Sarin agent. The 122 mm Lewisite projectile weighs 23.1 kg with 3.3 kg of viscous Lewisite agent.
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