The number of barrels for the NATO 155-mm projectile in the ranks of the Armed Forces is increasing. From the material of the Italian edition La Repubblica it became known that the Italian government is preparing the 3rd package of military assistance to Ukraine, which was announced on May 19, 2022. Among other things, the package includes 155-mm howitzers FH70 of joint Italian-British-German production. Maybe it’s not as modern a howitzer as the American M777, but it is also interesting with some very unusual solutions.
For example, “on board” the FH70 there is … Volkswagen’s own 1700 cc engine, which feeds the hydraulics of the gun when it is set in firing position or stowed. In addition, this engine allows the FH70… to move independently, without a tractor for distances up to 20 km at low speeds. That is, the FH70 is a towed, but still self-propelled howitzer.
In addition, thanks to the semi-automatic loading mechanism, the howitzer can fire a round of 3 shots in 15-20 seconds. In normal mode, a trained crew can maintain a firing rate of 6 shots per minute. This is very good for a 155 mm howitzer.
Other FH70 points of interest: electronic reflection of shooting data, which takes data from conventional azimuth and altitude sight settings; and compatibility with all 155mm NATO munitions.
Italy is armed with 90 FH70 howitzers. Exactly how many will go to Ukraine is currently unknown. But it is known that the new aid package will include mortars, Stinger MANPADS, machine guns, Lince armored SUVs, ammunition and, of course, 155-mm FH70 howitzers.
Have a good hunt, artillery!
Mass – 7,800-9,600 kg
Length – 9.8 m
Width – 2.2 m
Height – 2.5 m
Crew – 8 people
Caliber – 155 mm
Barrel length – 6 m, 39 calibers
Rate of fire – 3 rounds in 15-20 s (burst), 6 rpm.
Muzzle velocity – 827 m/s
Effective firing range – 24-30 km (depending on ammo)