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M1974

152 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer

M1974 artillery system

The M1974 was a North Korean attempt to create a self-propelled howitzer equivalent to the Soviet 2S3 Akatsiya

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service 1970s
Crew 8 ~ 9 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 25 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 6.5 m
Hull length ~ 6.3 m
Width ~ 2.6 m
Height ~ 2.6 m
Armament
Main gun 152 mm howitzer
Barrel length 26 calibers
Machine guns -
Projectile weight 43.56 kg
Maximum firing range 17.4 km
Maximum rate of fire 4 ~ 6 rpm
Elevation range ? to + 45 degrees
Traverse range ?
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine A-650 diesel
Engine power 300 hp
Maximum road speed 40 - 45 km/h
Range 350 ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.85 m
Fording 1.1 m
Fording (with preparation) 1.5 m

 

   The M1974 is a North Korean 152 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer. Its actual designation is unknown. The M1974 designation was allocated by a US Department of Defense. Number in the designation denotes the year when this system was observed by US intelligence. This North Korean artillery system was adopted in the 1970s and is widely used to this day. As far as it is known the M1974 was not exported outside North Korea.

   This artillery system combines a modified version of the Soviet D-20 towed gun-howitzer, mounted on a lightly armored tracked chassis. North Korea manufactured these Soviet howitzers under license. The M1974 can be seen as a North Korean attempt to create a self-propelled artillery system, somewhat equivalent to the Soviet 2S3 Akatsiya. Though the North Korean artillery system was inferior in many respects.

   North Korea produced many examples of self-propelled artillery systems by mating existing towed artillery pieces with various chassis. In many cases these North Korean artillery systems resemble various equivalent Soviet or Chinese systems.

   The D-20 152 mm/L26 gun-howitzer was created during the early 1950s and was one of the most prolific artillery pieces ever. Today it is no longer a modern weapon. It can not match performance of modern 155 mm howitzers used by NATO countries and non-NATO allies, such as Japan and South Korea. Still though the D-20 made its name as a solid, reliable and devastating weapon. It is still used by a number of countries. For some reason the North Korean license-produced version of the D-20, as well as ordnance of the M1974 has a different muzzle brake than that of the D-20 towed gun-howitzer.

   The M1974 is compatible with all standard 152 mm ammunition of the D-20 gun-howitzer. It fires fragmentation, High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), High Explosive (HE), concrete-busting, and illumination rounds. It is also capable of launching Krasnopol laser-guided rounds, as well as nuclear rounds. Though it is unknown is North Korea obtained any of these rounds from its allies. Maximum range of fire with HE-FRAG round is 17.4 km. The HE round penetrates 250 mm steel plate at a range of 3 km.

   This artillery system has a semi-automatic semi-automatic sliding wedge breech, which improves rate. Maximum rate of fire is around 4 to 6 rounds per minute.

   This artillery system is operated by a crew of 8 or 9 soldiers. The crew prepares the M1974 for firing within around 3 minutes from travelling. Two large stabilizing spades are lowered to the ground at the rear before firing.

   This self-propelled artillery system is based on a lightly armored tracked chassis. Most likely that it is a heavily modified Soviet ATS-59G artillery tractor. The ATS-59G is powered by a 39-liter A-650 diesel engine, developing 300 hp. Actually it is a standard engine of a T-55 medium tank, developing 520 hp. However the ATS-59G has a rate reduced, which reduced the power to 300 hp in order to extend service life of the engine. The M1974 artillery system has a maximum road range of around 350 km on internal fuel and around 500 km with auxiliary fuel tanks.

   Armor of the M1974 provides some degree of protection for its crew against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The gun-howitzer retains its original splinter shield. Though top of the superstructure is opened. In traveling order it can be covered with bows and canvas cover. This artillery system has no defensive armament, except firearms of its crew members.

 

 
M1974 artillery system

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M1974 artillery system

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M1974 artillery system

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M1974 artillery system

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M1974 artillery system

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M1974 artillery system

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