|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
Based on its extensive experience in the design, development and production of towed and selfpropelled artillery systems, Soltam has completed and qualified the prototype of a Russian Federation and Associated States (CIS) 130 mm M-46 field gun upgraded with a 155 mm 45 calibre ordnance, firing to a maximum range, firing an Extended Range Full Bore - Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) of 39,000 m.
Soltam can either provide the kit, enabling the userto upgrade existing 130 mm M-46 weapons in its own facilities, or can undertake this work in its own facilities in Israel.
Soltam has stated that this upgrade is in production for undisclosed customers. The IDF has in the past used the 130 mm M-46 and it is possible that some of these have been upgraded for the IDF or for sale to other countries.
This upgrade has recently been offered to India which already has a large number of Russian-supplied 130 mm M-46 weapons it is considering upgrading.
Early in 1999, some sources indicated that Soltam had been selected by India to upgrade a large number of 130 mm M-46 field guns used by the Indian Army.
The upgraded M-46 is fitted with a monobloc autofrettaged 155 mm barrel 45 calibres long that incorporates a horizontal sliding breech block which is automatically operated. It uses standard M82 primers that are automatically ejected after firing.
The complete weapon system can be divided into two major subassemblies: the ordnance and the carriage.
Whereas the carriage, understructure and recoil mechanism remain unchanged, the ordnance is completely replaced by the new 155 mm 45 calibre barrel assembly that together with the pneumatic ramming device comprises the conversion kit.
The aiming and sighting systems can be brought up to NATO standards as an option and a modern inertial aiming device can also be fitted.
The 155 mm conversion kit comprises the 45 calibre ordnance consisting of the barrel, breech ring assembly, breech block assembly, automatic breech block operating mechanism, new single-baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor and cradle adaptors with the loader assist device and its associated installation.
According to Soltam, the upgraded weapon has a number of unique features:
(1) firing cannot commence unless the breech block is completely closed and locked
(2) the horizontal breech mechanism, operated together with the pneumatic ramming device, enables a high rate of accurate fire to be achieved without the need to lower the ordnance for loading
(3) the gun crew area is clear of the overpressure effects and residual post-firing gases due to the efficient muzzle brake and bore evacuator.
The Soltam upgraded M-46 gun can fire all of the standard 155 mm types of ammunition in worldwide use starting with the M107 family of ammunition and ending with the more recent 155 mm ERFB-BB family of long-range ammunition.
With unassisted ammunition, ranges of up to 30,000 m can be achieved and with assisted ammunition, ranges of up to 39,000 mean be achieved.