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SP70

155 mm self-propelled howitzer

SP70 SPH

The SP70 international project was cancelled in 1980

 
 
Entered service -
Crew 5 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 43.52 t
Length (gun forward) 10.2 m
Hull length ?
Width 3.5 m
Height 2.8 m
Armament
Main gun 155 mm
Barrel length 39 calibers
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm
Projectile weight 43.5 kg
Maximum firing range 24 / 30 km
Maximum rate of fire 6 rpm
Elevation range - 2.5 to + 70 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 32 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 rounds
Mobility
Engine MTU MB871 diesel
Engine power 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 68 km/h
Range 550 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 1 m
Trench ~ 2.8 m
Fording ~ 2 m

 

   The SP70 was an international project, started by West Germany and the United Kingdom in the late 1960s. Later this it was joined by Italy. All three countries recognized that a significant improvement had to be made in the indirect fire support system. The main goal of this project was to develop a new 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. The actual development commenced in 1973. It followed the successful FH70 towed howitzer project. Five prototypes were completed in 1976. These passed evolutional trials, however further development of the SP70 was cancelled in the mid 1980s. The project was shelved due to the funding problems and technical reliability issues.

   The development was divided between the three nations to make maximum use of existing technologies. The SP70 SPH used a number of available components of the FH70 towed howitzer, Leopard 1 MBT and Marder IFV.

   The SP70 self-propelled howitzer is armed with a modified FH70 gun. It is compatible with all 155 mm ammunition, developed for the FH70 and all 155 mm standard NATO ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 24 km with a standard HE-FRAG projectile and 30 km with a rocket assisted projectile. This artillery system is also compatible with the US M712 Copperhead laser guided projectile, capable defeating of both armored and point targets.

   Ammunition is stored inside the turret. This howitzer is fitted with an autoloader. Maximum rate of fire is about 6 rounds per minute using ready ammunition and about 4 rounds using ground ammunition. This artillery system is also capable of launching 3 round burst in 10 seconds. Sustained rate is 2 rounds per minute. Barrel of this howitzer has a service life of about 2 500 rounds.

   Secondary armament consists of a single 7.62 mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof.

   This artillery system has a crew of five, including commander, gunner, two loaders and driver.

   Hull of this system is similar to that of the Leopard 1 main battle tank, however it uses aluminum armor instead of the steel to save weight. Armor of the SP70 provides protection against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Front arc withstands 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds at 100 m range. This artillery system is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression system.

   Engine of the SP70 is located at the hull rear. This artillery system is powered by MTU MB871 turbocharged multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. Engine is completed in one module with transmission.

   This project faced some technical problems at development stage. The main issue was reliability of equipment in the areas of turret and ammunition handling system. In 1985 Germany ceased development funding following evaluation trials because of inadequate reliability of the system.

   The SP70 howitzer project was shelved in favor to the US M109 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, which was already in service and superior to the SP70 in some respects.

   Later Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom used experience gained from this international project developing indigenous self-propelled howitzers. It resulted in the German PzH-2000, Italian Palmaria and the British AS90 artillery systems.

 

 
SP70 SPH

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SP70 SPH

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SP70 SPH

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SP70 SPH

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SP70 SPH

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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