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T5-52 Condor 155mm Mounted Gun System

The Tata Group’s strategic electronics division (Tata Power SED) revealed 03 December 2012 its truck-mounted 155mm howitzer gun, a weapon system that will bid for an Indian Army requirement for 814 Mounted Gun Systems. Tata Power SED, the defence arm of the $ 100 billion Tata group, began work on its 'Mounted Gun Project' over two years earlier. The prototype gun was rolled out of the Tata Power SED facility in Bangalore's electronic city in October 2012. This project has been stored, as the government favored DRDO's ATAGS which has also been made jointly by TATA SED and other private firms.

In a step towards developing the indigenous private sector defence industry, the Tata group came up with a new artillery gun and has requested the Army to provide its ranges and ammunition for trying out the howitzer. This new artillery system was developed by its defence subsidiary Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division (SED). The prototype of the howitzer has been produced by the company so far and "around 50-55% of its content is indigenous. It was jointly developed by TATA Power SED and South Africa’s DENEL Land Systems. The 155/52 mm howitzer is mounted on an eight-wheeled Tata truck for enhanced mobility. The 'mounted gun system' can fire a six-round salvo on a target 40 km away in less than three minutes.

DENEL Land Systems has supplied the monoblock gun barrel fitted with a double-baffle muzzle brake, gun cradle with an integrated buffer system, swing-and-slide breech mechanism, electrically-activated firing mechanism, autoloader/rammer, ballistics charts, muzzle velocity radar, an automatic laying and land navigation system using a RLG-INS, a panoramic optical-mechanical sight mounted directly to the trunnion, incorporating a compensation system for trunnion, which forms a backup for indirect fire, and a telescopic sight for direct fire that is mounted to the compensation system. Denel of South Africa was blacklisted in 2005 for allegedly paying kickbacks in the purchase of anti-material rifles.

TATA Power SED developed the digital ballistics computer, telecommunications system, the hydraulic system that supplies hydraulic power for deployment of the outriggers and the top-carriage hydraulics, all on-board electrical systems, the gun management computer, and the ‘Rajak’ driver’s vision enhancement system. The customized 8 x 8 truck comes from TATA Motors.

  • T5 Condor 45-caliber G5, mounted on a Tatra 8x8 truck chassis. In development.
  • T5-2000 Condor 52-caliber G5-52, mounted on a Tatra 8x8 truck chassis. In development.

The weapon system is a 155mm, 52 calibre Truck-mounted Gun-Howitzer. The inherent indirect fire flexibility ensures that it can be employed in the traditional gun, howitzer and mortar roles. The weapon system has excellent tactical and road strategic mobility and has a range of 600 km without refuelling at speeds of up to 85 km/h.

The ordnance has been optimised for the 52 calibre 155mm ballistic system. The projectiles are the extended range type and provide an increased range and target effectiveness when compared with existing systems. Using base bleed projectiles, the weapon has a range of 42,5 km at sea level. NATO and other ammunition can be fired, after consultation with the supplier.

The system is powered by a 265 kW turbocharged diesel engine coupled to a 10-speed manual gearbox, and a 2-speed transfer gearbox. A central tyre inflation system is fitted, which allows for the inflation and deflation of the wheels, while both static and on the move. A hydraulic system, driven by PTO’s on the gearbox, supply hydraulic power for the deployment of the outriggers and the top-carriage hydraulics.

The system carries 27 on board projectiles and 26 on-board charges. A crew of four is needed to bring the gun into or out of action within 60 seconds. In the event that the power unit of the hydraulic system fails, another T5-52 can be used as a back-up system, enabling the crew to bring the T5-52 into action.

The T5-52 has an operating crew of four crew members, and two crew members to prepare and supply the ammunition. The elevating mass consists of the ordnance, the cradle with an integrated buffer system, and the ammunition handling and ramming system. The ordnance consists of the monoblock barrel fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake, a swing and slide breech mechanism and an electrically activated firing mechanism. The Command and Control System, consisting of the Automatic Laying and Navigation System, Telecommunication System, Muzzle Velocity Radar System and Gun Management Computer are used to lay the gun for indirect fire.

A panoramic optical-mechanical sight is mounted directly to the trunnion, incorporating a compensation system for trunnion cant, which forms a backup for indirect fire. A telescopic sight for direct fire is mounted to the compensation system and gives a direct fire range of up to 3000m.

In 2002, Denel unveiled the T5 Condor as a contender for the Indian Army's much-delayed 155mm self-propelled howitzer procurement program. Denel had worked closely with Indian officials on the Condor design; Bharat Earth Movers (Bilaspur, India) was to act as subcontractor for the T5 Condor vehicular platform. With the G5 and the T5 Condor, Denel hoped to capture both the towed and self-propelled segments of the Indian Army 155mm artillery requirement.

However, in October 2005, the Indian government canceled all business dealings with Denel over allegations of corrupt business practices by the South African contractor. This action by the Indian government was a serious blow to Denel's export potential. Further, several countries in the Middle East reportedly pulled back from deals with South Africa in the wake of the scandal. Denel continued to develop the Condor as a wholly indigenous project. The contractor offered the Condor on the international market.

T5-52 Condor 155mm Mounted Gun System T5-52 Condor 155mm Mounted Gun System T5-52

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Page last modified: 27-05-2019 18:58:08 ZULU