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Raad-2 / Thunder 2

In early September 1997 it was reported that Iran had successfully tested a locally built rapid fire mobile field gun known as the Raad 2 (Thunder 2), a complement to the Raad 1. The Defense Industries Organization claimed that the 155 mm self-propelled gun had a high firing rate, accuracy and mobility. It was described as being able to fire five rounds per minute and move with a speed of 70 km (43 miles) per hour in the battlefield. The gun's range was reported as 30 km (19 miles). According the manufacturer the Raad 2 design also included an automatic laying system, direct fire telescope, night vision equipment, NBC protection system, automatic and manual fire extinguishing equipment, radio and digital communication gear, GPS and a multi-fuel engine.

As with the Raad 1, the Raad 2 makes use of indigenous produced versions of equipment and technology already in Iranian inventory. In this case a turret identical in apperance to that of the US M109A1 self-propelled howitzer, and fitted with a locally manufactured derivative of the M185 155mm howitzer, designed HM44 by the manufacturer, were combined with the Boragh APC chassis (as with the Raad 1). This chassis is based on the Chinese WZ-501/503 series, itself a copy of the Russian BMP-1 series.

The Raad 2 was in service with Iranian forces as of 2008, and was in series production by the Vehicle Industries Group of the state run Defense Industries Organization (also referred to as the Armour Industries Group).

In 2001, Iran announced the release of the "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer. The photo shows that the shape and overall layout of the car is very similar to that of the US M109A1 self-propelled howitzer. Before 1979, the United States provided 440 M109 to Iran. The series of self-propelled howitzers, the Iranian imitation M109 self-propelled howitzer with weak self-developed ability is also a reasonable thing.

The overall layout of the "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer is roughly the same as that of the M109 self-propelled howitzer. The cockpit is located on the left side of the front of the car body, the power compartment is located on the right side of the front of the car body, and the rear of the car body is 360 rotating. Drive the turret. There are two side hatches on the turret. The top of the turret has two top hatches that open backwards. The left side of the tower is equipped with optical equipment for direct shooting and inter-shot shooting.

The body and turret of the "Thunder-2" self-propelled artillery are welded steel structure with a maximum thickness of 20 mm. The gun chassis is suspended by a torsion bar, the driving wheel is in front, the induction wheel is behind, there are 6 double rubber load wheels on each side, and the outer side of the track is covered with a rubber skirt. The "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer is equipped with a V-84MS diesel engine with a power of 617.4 kW and a maximum road speed of 65 km/h. The improved "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer (Thunder-2M) is installed in Ukraine. The 5TDF diesel engine was developed with a power of 514.5 kW. At this time, the speed dropped to 60 km/h and the maximum stroke was 450 km.

The main weapon of the "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer is a HM44 type 39-caliber 155mm artillery (the HM44 type artillery is the M185 artillery used in the Iranian imitation M109A1). The artillery is equipped with a double-conductor muzzle system. , the air pump, the gun uses a spiral gun bolt. The gun has a maximum range of 18.14 kilometers when launching the M107 high-explosive grenade, and 24 kilometers when launching the bottom exhaustor. When using the No. 2 charge to launch the bottom exhaust, its range can reach 30 kilometers. The gun has a high and low range of -3 to +75. When the artillery is fired, it is necessary to lower the side of the rear of the car body to improve the stability of the artillery launch.

The maximum firing rate of the artillery was 4 rounds per minute, the carrying capacity of the artillery was 30 rounds, and the life of the artillery barrel was 5000 rounds (the shell of the 8th charge was fired). It is reported that the "Thunder"-2 self-propelled howitzer can also be upgraded, and it can be replaced with a larger-diameter artillery, such as a 45-caliber 155-mm artillery. The range can be increased to 40 km when launching a bottom-shot bomb, but it has not yet been There are indications that Iran has successfully developed the "Thunder"-2 self-propelled howitzer equipped with a 155 mm 45-caliber gun.

The gun was developed using many components of other tank armored vehicles, such as the engine from the V-84MS diesel engine on Iran's own T-72 tank, and the transmission is the SPAT1200 transmission used on the T54 tank. The load wheel also comes from the load wheel on the T-72 tank (since the gun uses a number of tank sub-systems, the weight of the gun climbed to 36 tons, while the prototype prototype M109 only 25 tons). It can be seen that Iran has adopted a very pragmatic approach to the development of the "Thunder-2" self-propelled howitzer. It tries to make use of the components it owns, which not only shortens the development time, but also reduces the difficulty and cost of the development, so that the troops can equip the type as soon as possible. Artillery to improve the firepower of Iranian artillery units. This practice often brings another benefit: increasing the generalization of military equipment, reducing procurement costs and logistical burden, it is a blessing.

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