M-46 130mm 8x8 SPH
By 2013 Syria had an 8x8 self-propelled howitzer to provide more mobility to artillery units. This type of system can be produced locally using towed gun mounted on a civilian truck chassis. It also offers a comparatively high level of cross-country mobility compared to a towed gun. The 130mm M-46 self-propelled howitzer is mounted on an 8x8 IVECO truck chassis. The crew cabin is armored to offer protection against small arms fire. The truck retains the original windscreen, but the front of the crew cabin is fitted with armor plates. There are doors on each side, but without windows. For road travel, the gun is secured in position by a clamp located immediately to the rear of the crew cab. When the system is deployed in the firing position, a large spade is hydraulically lowered at the rear to provide a stable firing platform, raising the rear wheels entirely off the ground.
A military source confirmed in mid-July 2017 that the army's artillery units were using the long-range model of a new artillery system with an effective range 44km for targeting ISIL's defense lines in Eastern Hama. The source said that the army was using the M-46 long-rang moveable artillery that was stronger that the other models used by the Syrian army for targeting ISIL's positions in Eastern Hama.
The 4140 mounting a M-46 field gun in action have been used in different parts of Syria, including Damascus and Hama. It’s a relatively easy conversion with the driver being protected by an armored cab from the blast during firing.
The manufacturing of the 130mm artillery piece is not new, in fact all towed artillery in service with the Syrian Arab Army are manufactured in Syria since the late 1980s. Given the visible labels on the gun with a serial number, the artillery is manufactured with a license and with the approval of the Soviet Union and Russian Federation, and not illegally manufactured. The 130mm caliber M-46 cannons can hit the targets from a 44km distance.
Despite their age, these 130 mm Soviet and Chinese guns are still very common in the armed forces of several countries, including China, thanks to their long range capability. Even with standard HE projectiles, they have a range of 27 km. By way of comparison, the US M198 155 mm howitzer firing M107 HE projectiles has a range of 22.4 km. Not long after the Chinese BEE4 projectile’s debut at IDEX 2007, Iran’s Defense Industries Organisation presented a 130 mm BB/RA projectile which has a claimed range of 42 km. One effect of this increased range is a commensurate reduction of precision at the longer ranges. In mid-May 2015, images surfaced of a Syrian Arab Army soldiers posing with a 130 mm BEE4 BB/RA projectile. The soldiers were part of the crew of a 130 mm self-propelled gun (SPG).
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|