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155-mm self-propelled howitzer

Palmaria SPH

The Palmaria self-propelled howitzer was developed specially for export

Entered service 1982
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 46 t
Length (gun forward) 11.47 m
Hull length 7.27 m
Width 3.35 m
Height 2.87 m
Main gun 155-mm
Barrel length 39 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Projectile weight 43.5 kg
Maximum firing range 24.7 - 30 km
Maximum rate of fire 6 rpm
Elevation range - 5 to + 70 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 30 rounds
Machine guns  1 000 - 2 000 rounds
Engine MTU MB 837 Ka-500 diesel
Engine power 750 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1.15 m
Trench 3 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 4 m


   The Palmaria self-propelled howitzer was developed by Oto Melara specially for export. It evolved from the cancelled international SP70 project. Development of the Palmaria began in 1977. First prototypes were built in late 1970s. Production commenced in 1982 and ceased in early 1990s. Export operators are Libya (160) and Nigeria (25). A further 20 Palmaria turrets were exported to Argentina and fitted on the locally built TAM light tank chassis. It is worth mentioning that Italian Army operates license-built PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

   The Palmaria is fitted with a 155-mm / L39 howitzer, which is developed from the FH 70 towed howitzer and fitted with automatic loading system. The Palmaria fires all standard NATO 155-mm ammunition, including ordinary and rocket-assisted HE-FRAG projectiles, smoke or illumination projectiles. Maximum range of fire is 24.7 km with ordinary HE-FRAG projectile and 30 km with rocket-assisted. A total of 30 rounds are carried. and magazine holds 23 of them. The rest are stored inside the hull.

   The Palmaria can fire a burst of three rounds in 20 seconds. Maximum rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. Sustained rate of fire is one round every three minutes.

   Secondary armament consists of a roof-mounted 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm machine gun. Vehicle is also fitted with four smoke grenade dischargers.

   Welded steel armor hull and aluminum turret provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is fitted with automatic NBC and fire suppression systems. Vehicle has a crew of five, including commander, gunner, charge handler, magazine operator and driver.

   The Palmaria uses a modified of the OF-40 main battle tank, but fitted with a different engine. Vehicle is powered by German MTU MB 837 Ka-500 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 750 hp. Vehicle is also fitted with auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems when the main engine is turned off. It is worth mentioning that Palmaria can ford water obstacles up to 4 meters deep after a short preparation.




   TAM VCA, self-propelled howitzer, fitted with the Palmaria turret on the lengthened TAM light tank chassis. This self-propelled howitzer was produced in small numbers and is currently operational with Argentina.


Palmaria SPH

Palmaria SPH

Palmaria SPH

Palmaria SPH

Palmaria SPH

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