M-46 130-mm Towed Gun
Type 59 130mm Field Gun
The 130-mm field gun M-46 is distinguished by a long, thin tube with a cylindrical, perforated (pepperpot-type) muzzle brake and has a hydropneumatic recuperator and a recoil cylinder located above and below the tube, respectively. When in travel position, the tube is withdrawn from battery to reduce the overall length of the weapon, and the recuperator above the tube may then be hidden from sight by the rearward-angled, winged shield. The gun has a manually operated horizontal sliding wedge breechblock and fires case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition. It has night direct fire sights (IR and/or passive in nature).
The gun is mounted on a two-wheeled split trail carriage with large sponge-filled rubber tires on each of the single wheels. For travel, it is provided with a two-wheeled limber and can be towed by a truck or armored
The M-46 is found in gun battalions of artillery regiments/brigades organic at front and army level. These battalions may be assigned to maneuver divisions as part of a divisional artillery group (DAG).
The M-46 is an excellent indirect fire weapon with high muzzle velocity and exceptional range (27,490 meters); it is also a formidable antitank weapon with impressive armor penetration capability. The tactical role usually is counterbattery.
The M-46 was first seen in public in May 1954 and originally was known in the West as the M1954. Since 1978, two new nuclear-capable guns, the 152mm field gun M1976 and the 152mm self-propelled gun 2S5, began to replace the M-46 in Soviet forces. Today it is still found in the armies of many countries.
The M-46 gun crew is provided limited frontal protections by virtue of a frontal V-shaped shield (approximately 7-mm thick). Otherwise, the crew, ammunition supply, and equipment are vulnerable to casualties and damage from small arms fire, artillery fire, and bomb shrapnel.
The first 130 mm field gun produced by China was the Type 59, a virtually direct copy of the Russian M-46. The Type 59 130mm gun, with maximum rate of fire is at 8-10 rds/min, fires an HE projectile capable of penetrating 250mm of armour set at 0 degree at a range of 1,500m. The Type 59 gun also fires enhanced range projectiles: the MP-130 RAP that weighs 33.4kg with a maximum range of 34,360m; and an ERFB HE that weights 32.7kg with a maximum range of 30km.
The Extended Range Full Bore-Base Bleed round was specifically designed by NORINCO Industries (China) for use with the Chinese 130-mm Type 59 Field Gun. However, this round may be fired by the M-46.
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