|LIW, a division of Denel (Pty) Ltd
The G6-52 6x6 is an improved version of the proven G6 self-propelled howitzer to be utilized in harsh military environments. It retains the main skills of G6, but with extended range through a new 155mm 52 calibers gun and providing a increased comfort to the crew. The new G6-52 also provides a multiple round simultaneous impact (up to 6 rounds) capability with a maximum range about 70 km.
The fully automatic, selectable projectile and charge loading allows a maximum rate of fire of 8 rounds/minute. The impressive G6-52 is still under development.
During the IDEX 2003 defence exhibition held in the United Arab Emirates in March 2003, the South African company of Denel Land Systems finally revealed its new 155 mm/52 calibre G6-52 self-propelled artillery system.
The 155 mm/52 calibre G6-52 self-propelled artillery system has been under development for almost 10 years and will now replace the current combat proven 155 mm/45 calibre G6 self-propelled artillery system offered on the export market.
Following extensive trials, which included the firing of over 7,500 projectiles (5,000 for the extended range ballistic system), the company has now completed development of the G6-52 weapon.
G6-52 is a further development of the original combat proven 155 mm G6, which has a 155 mm/45 calibre ordnance and is in service with Oman (24), South Africa (43) and United Arab Emirates (78).
Denel Land Systems continue to customise design of its latest generation G6-52 155 mm self-propelled artillery system.
By late 2007 Denel Land Systems had fired over 7,500 155 mm projectiles of all types with various charge systems. Maximum firing range of the G6-52 depends on the ambient temperature and the projectile/charge combination.
The system was originally marketed with a 23 or 25 litre chamber but all marketing is now concentrated on the 23 litre chamber which meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU).
When firing a High Explosive Extended Range Full Bore (ERFB) projectile, a maximum range of 33 km can be obtained. While firing a ERFB Base Bleed (ERFB-BB) projectile, range is increased to 42 km. Firing the latest Velocity enhanced Long range Artillery Projectile (V-LAP), the range increases to 58 km.
As well as a complete family of South African Denel Munitions 155 mm projectiles and charges, the G6-52 can also fire more advanced projectiles such as the French/Swedish BONUS top attack smart projectile and the Russian Krasnopol-M laser-guided projectile which has already been successfully test fired.
According to Denel Land Systems, with the appropriate modifications the G6-52 could also fire the recently deployed Raytheon Excalibur 155 mm precision-guided munition that has already been used in Afghanistan.
When compared to the earlier G6 155 mm/45 calibre, the latest G6-52 has a significant number of advantages including a reduction in turret crew requirements, higher rate of fire and an increased firing range which improves its survivability against counter battery fire.
New production G6-52 would have a similar layout to earlier systems but feature a new and lighter diesel powerpack and larger tyres which would be fitted with a central tyre pressure regulation system to allow the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to the terrain being crossed.
The overall layout of the latest G6-52 is similar to the current in-service G6 with the driver in the fully enclosed compartment at the front, diesel power pack in the centre and the crew compartment and turret at the very rear of the chassis.
The hull and turret is of all-welded steel armour. This protects the occupants from 7.62 mm armour-piercing attack through a full 360° fired at a range of 30 m. Over the frontal arc, protection is provided against attack from 14.5 mm armour piercing fired from a range of 1,000 m.
The G6-52 can withstand the detonation of a Russian TN-46 anti-tank mine or an equivalent landmine under any wheel station.
Originally two versions were being marketed by the company, one with a NATO compliant 23 litre chamber and the other with a 25 litre chamber. All marketing is now concentrated on the 23 litre chamber.
Firing the Naschem M2000 Assegai series of 155 mm projectiles, which have been specifically designed for use with 52 calibre artillery systems, a maximum range of 42 km is achieved with base bleed (BB) projectiles and 55 km with the HE-VLAP (High Explosive Velocity enhanced Long range Artillery Projectile).
Late in 2003 the following ammunition was qualified for use with M64 BMCS: pyrotechnic carrier (red phosphorous, illuminating, screening smoke and bi-spectral screening smoke); submunition; field exchangeable base bleed up to zone 6; and High Explosive and HE-VLAP up to zone 5.
It was decided in 2003 not to qualify HE and HE-VLAP with a TNT filling, and instead an Insensitive Munition (IM) filling will be used.
The M9000 series projectiles have a number of other improvements for use with the G6-52 including increased strength, increased diameter and reduced tolerance on nubs and a new double driving band.
The new cluster projectile carries 42 bomblets each of which can penetrate 120 mm of conventional steel armour and fitted with a self-destruct fuze.
A new base bleed unit has also been developed and type classified that features an improved body, male thread for improved propellant volume and a six-hole nozzle for improved bleed.
In earlier G6 systems ammunition was manually loaded, but the new G6-52 has a fully automatic ammunition handling system that increases the rate of fire to 8 rds/min. This is accomplished by means of computer programmed ammunition carousels located inside the rear of the turret. The left carousel holds the projectiles while the right carousel holds the modular charges. As well as increasing the rate of fire this feature enables the crew of the G6-52 to be reduced. According to the manufacturer, the system takes 10 minutes to be reloaded. There are 80 percussion tubes in four primer magazines.
For continuous bombardment from fixed firing positions, ammunition may be fed from the rear of the gun using two replenishment arms, one for projectiles and one for charges.
The turret is fitted with an integrated diesel power unit that is located between the projectile and charge magazines. This allows the complete turret system to be operated with the main diesel engine shut down.
There is also an automated ammunition inventory system that records and updates the status of the inventory as each projectile is fired. A total of 48 rounds of 155 mm ammunition are carried, 40 in the turret and 8 in the vehicle. Fuze setting is also automated.
Using Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) techniques the G6-52 can deliver up to six rounds at a range of 25 km (with a 10 second impact tolerance) using the proven African Defence Systems AS2000 artillery target engagement system.
Highly accurate laying and navigation is provided by the onboard Ring Laser Gyro and with a GPS secondary navigation aid. The fully automatic laying system achieves accuracy better than 1 mil RMS.
According to the company, the G6-52 can come into action and fire its first round within 45 seconds and come out of action in 30 seconds. This improves its survivability against counter battery fire.
The G6-52 also has a direct fire range that is quoted as being a minimum of 500 m and a maximum of 3,000 m.
The 6 × 6 chassis used for the G6-52 is manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems OMC and has permanent 6 × 6 drive, maximum road speed being up to 80 km/h with an operating range of 700 km. Standard equipment includes an automatic tyre-inflation system, run-flat inserts and an NBC system.
The new G6-52 is also being marketed as a complete artillery system that also includes the ammunition suite (projectile, charge and fuze), Seeker observation drone developed by the Denel Aerospace and African Defence Systems AS2000 fire-control system.
The turret fitted to the G6-52 is identical to that of the T6-52 turret system that has already been successfully demonstrated on a T-72 and Indian Arjun MBT chassis. The turret has an integrated APU to allow the main platform engine to be shut down.
The towed G5-52 gun is ballistically identical to the G6-52 (6 × 6) as is the T5 (8 × 8) truck-mounted system that was originally called Condor.
The G6 -Still outgunning the competition (15.03.2012)