180mm S-23 Towed Howitzer
Caliber: 180mm (7.1 in)
Weight: 21,450 kg (47,290 lbs.)
Barrel Length: 8.8m (28 ft.. 10 in)
Shell: HE, Nuclear-capable
Maximum Firing Range: 43.8 km (27.2 mi) with RAP
Muzzle Velocity: 850 m/s (2,800 ft../s)
Rate of Fire: Maximum – 1 rpm, Sustained – 1 round every two minutes
Photo By: One half 3544, released to public domain, taken in Saint Petersburg Artillery museum
The 180mm S-23 towed gun was developed as a heavy gun for use during the Cold War era. Developed during the early 1950s, the design was originally based on naval guns of the time. It made its first appearance in the 1955 May Day Parade in Moscow. In the West, there was a widespread misconception that the S-23 was actually a 203mm weapon, resulting in it being mislabeled as the 203mm M1955 howitzer gun.
This massive weapon uses a 16-man crew and is towed by an AT-T heavy-tracked tractor, which also carries the crew’s supplies and ammunition. The ammunition that is used by the S-23 is large and heavy, including the 84.09 kg (185.4 lbs.) HE round and the 97.7 kg (215.4 lbs.) concrete-piercing round. This gun can also fire a 0.2 kt nuclear projectile. A rocket-assisted projectile was introduced in the early 1970s that extends the maximum range out to approximate 43.8 km. Accuracy of this weapon is good, even at its maximum range.
The S-23 is a heavy and large gun, making transport a somewhat difficult process. When traveling, a two-wheeled dolly is used and the ordnance is withdrawn to the rear in order to reduce the overall length. A heavy truck or tracked prime mover must be used to tow the gun.
Its rate of fire is one round per minute at maximum, and one round per two minutes when in sustained fire. The effective range of HE projectiles has been reported to be 30,400 meters (33,245 yards), while rocket-assisted projectiles can reach within 43,800 (47,900 yards).
For more information on the 180mm S-23 towed gun, defense procurement services, or military training and education, contact the experts at UDC USA today.
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