D-30 122mm Howitzer
Caliber: 122mm (4.8 inch)
Weight: Combat – 3,210 kg (7,080 lbs.)
Rate of Fire: Maximum – 10-12 rpm, Sustained – 5-6 rpm
Barrel Length: Bore: 38 calibers
Effective Firing Range: 15.4 km (9.6 mi), 21.9 km (13.6 mi) with rocked-assisted projectile
Photos By: UDC USA Inc archives
The D-30 122mm howitzer originated in the Soviet Union and first entered service in the 1960s. This weapon was developed in the 1950s during World War II as a field-suitable piece complete with all of the features that are required of a gun that would be towed through all kinds of conditions. The D-30 replaced the M-30 howitzer, which was widely used in divisional and regimental artilleries, as well as the 76mm M1942 gun in motor rifle regiments. While the specific requirements that led to the building of the D-30 are not fully known, it’s role supporting the tank and motor rifle regiments suggest that indirect fire was its primary role, while direct fire anti-tank capabilities were also very important.
The D-30 has been exported all over the world and used in wars across the globe, most notably in the Middle East and the Iran-Iraq War. The gun remains a key player in the artillery forces of developing countries, and has also been deployed in the War in Afghanistan. Western army soldiers have been trained on this weapon so that they can instruct the Afghan soldiers how to effectively use it.
Distinctive features of the D-30 include its above-barrel recoil system and its low mobile mounting. It also features a three-legged mobile mount, which is unusual for field artillery, with clamped stabilizers for towing. D-30s are also unusual in the fact that the large to linkage is fixed to the muzzle; when being transported, all of the stabilizers are folded away and the barrel acts as a trail.
The D-30 is cleared to fire standard FRAG-HE (Fragmentation, High-Explosive) and HEAT-FS (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank, Fin-Stabilized) rounds. It is also capable of launching TNT-detonated Sarin gas types and other chemical rounds. RAPs (Rocket-Assisted Projectiles) extend the range of the weapon to approximately 21,900 meters (13.6 miles). The weapon features many unique features, such as:
- A conspicuous box-like shield mounted above the tube for the recoil-recuperator mechanism
- Unique three-trail carriage
- Multi-baffle muzzle break
- Small protective shield fitted between the wheels
Variants of the D-30 122mm howitzer include:
- 2A18 or D-30 – basic model
- 2A18M or D-30M – new double baffle muzzle brake, square central base plate, towing lunette assembly
- 2A18M-1 or D-30M-1 – with semi-automatic loader
- D-30A – modified recoil system, new muzzle brake
- 2S1 – self-propelled version
- Type 85 or D-30-2 Chinese self-propelled version of the D-30.
- D-30-3 – Chinese upgrade of the Type 85 mm field gun with 122 mm weapon.
- Type 86, variously, Type 83, Type 96 – Chinese license-production or derivative of the D-30.
- D30 RH M-94 – Croatian built version, new muzzle brake, redesigned trail, improved hydraulic break
- D 30-M – Egyptian license version of the D-30.
- SPH 122 – Self-propelled version, mounted on a modified M-109 chassis
- T-122 – Self-propelled version, mounted on a modified T-34 chassis.
- HM 40 Iranian version
- Khalifa – Sudanese licensed version of the D-30
- Saddam – Iraqi version
- Shafie D-30I or HM-40 – Iranian version
- D-30J – Yugoslav/Bosnian version of the D-30M
- D-30JA1 – Improved Serbian version
- M-91 “Mona” – Yugoslav variant with the 100 mm ordnance of the MT-12. Prototype only
Contact UDC USA for additional information on this weapon, defense procurement services, military training and education, and more.
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