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M1977

122 mm self-propelled howitzer

M1977 self-propelled howitzer

The North Korean M1977 artillery system somewhat equivalent to a Soviet 2S1 Gvosdika

 
 
Country of origin North Korea
Entered service Mid 1970s
Crew 8 ~ 9 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 16 t
Length ~ 5.5 m
Width ~ 2.9 m
Height ~ 2.7 m
Armament
Main gun 122 mm howitzer
Barrel length 38 calibers
Machine guns -
Projectile weight 14.08 - 21.76 kg
Maximum firing range 21.9 km
Maximum rate of fire 6 - 8 rpm
Elevation range ? to + 70 degrees
Traverse range ?
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns -
Mobility
Engine Deutz BF8L413F diesel
Engine power 320 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 60 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 4 ~ 5 km/h
Range ~ 400 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 2 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The M1977 is a North Korean 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. Its actual designation is unknown. The M1977 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 mid 1970s and is widely used to this day. As far as it is known the M1974 was not exported outside North Korea.

   The M1977 self-propelled howitzer is based on an M1973 armored personnel carrier chassis, which is sometimes referred as VT-323. The tracked chassis is lightly armored and has enclosed sides, but open top. It provides some degree of protection from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. In traveling order the open top can be covered with bows and canvas cover.  This North Korean artillery system uses an ordnance of the Soviet D-30 towed howitzer.

   The M1977 can be seen as a North Korean attempt to create a self-propelled artillery system, somewhat equivalent to the Soviet 2S1 Gvosdika. 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.

   The Soviet D-30 122 mm/L38 towed howitzer was created in the late 1950s and eventually proved to be a successful weapon. It was exported to numerous countries, including the North Korea. Maximum range of fire is 15.3 km with a standard High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG ) projectile and 21.9 km with rocket-assisted projectile. A High-Explosive (HE) projectile penetrates a 180 mm steel armor plate. A wide range of ammunition was developed for this howitzer.

   This artillery system has a semi-automatic sliding wedge breech, which improves firing rate. Maximum rate of fire is 6-8 rounds per minute. Sustained rate of fire is 1-4 rounds per minute.

   This artillery system is operated by a crew of around 8 to 9 soldiers. The crew prepares the M1977 for firing from traveling within around 3 minutes. Before firing two large stabilizing spades are lowered to the ground at the rear.

   This artillery system has no defensive armament, except firearms of its crew members.

   The M1977 self-propelled howitzer is fully amphibious. Even though rear-mounted waterjets of the M1973 armored personnel carrier were removed, this vehicle is propelled on water by its tracks. It can ford inland waterways such as lakes and rivers.

 

 

 
M1977 self-propelled howitzer

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M1977 self-propelled howitzer

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M1977 self-propelled howitzer

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M1977 self-propelled howitzer

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
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