Indian Army Rocket Artillery, Field Guns, Howitzers and Mortars

WolfPack86

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Tracing The Common Lineage Of NORINCO’s ASH-1 & Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd’s Bharat-45

In terms of both external looks and performance parameters, NORINCO of China’s ASH-1 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer and the Bharat-45 166mm/45-cal towed howitzer from India’s Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd (KSSL) are identical. And that’s because both are derivatives of the baseline GC-45 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer that was originally designed by the Canada-based Space Research Corp (SRC), which was created and owned by the legendary ballistics expert, Dr Gerald Bull, since the mid-1970s.

The GC-45’s general design emerged after two decades of work by Dr Bull with fin-stabilised, extended-range full-bore(ERFB) ammunition: a pointed shell with much lower dragat supersonicspeeds. For long-range applications Dr Bull had added a base-bleedsystem (originally invented in Sweden) that could be screwed onto the standard shell, as well as an even longer-range artillery projectile with a rocket booster. The GC-45 towed howitzer designed by Dr Bull to fire such projectiles had a 23,000 cubic cm (1,400 cubic inches) chamber, a 45-calibre rifled barrel with 1/20 right-hand twist fitted with a conventional muzzle-brake.Its breech was a conventional screw with interrupted thread. In 1977, Dr Bull came in touch with South Africa’s state-owned ARMSCOR holding company, which subsequently designed a new mobile mounting that was able to handle the increased recoil. It used a sole-plate to lift the gun-carriage to take the four wheels off the ground. The chassis had the option of being powered by a small diesel engineacting as an auxiliary power unit, driving the hydraulicsthat could set up the howitzer in two minutes, and move it short distances. The resultant 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer became known as the G-5. Meanwhile, Dr Bull outsourced series-production of 155mm ERFB projectiles from the Spain-based Santa Barbara under a US$30 million contract. These were later shipped directly from Spain to South Africa in order to avoid the then prevailing international arms embargo against South Africa. The G-5 entered service in 1982.

In 1982 itself, NORICUM, the subsidiary of Austria’s VOEST-Alpine AG, purchased the design rights to the GC-45 after SRC moved to Brussels from Canada. NORICUM made a number of design re-engineerings to the baseline GC-45 design, and as a result the GHN-45 155mm/45-cal towed howitzer emerged. First export customer of this howitzer was Iraq, which placed a $300 million contract for 110 GHN-45s, along with 41,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition whose production was outsourced by Dr Bull’s SRC from Belgium-based PRB. Deliveries were made in 1984 and 1985. The number of GHN-45s supplied to Iraq was eventually 200.Since both Iran and Iraq were under a UN-imposed arms embargo at that time, the GHN-45s were shipped to Iraq via Jordan.

Meanwhile, three years earlier, in 1980, in response to an engineering contract awarded to SRC by China’s state-owned China North Industries Group Corp (NORINCO), Dr Bull began fabricating the155mm/45-cal GC-45’s prototypes with the help of Santa Barbara of Spain. By 1983 these were successfully field-tested by China’s PLA Army in the desert region of Baotou in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, following which NORINCO began series-producing them under the designationPLL-01.

NORINCO’s 674 Factory (Harbin First Machine Manufacturing Limited Company), 123 Factory (Heilongjiang Hua’an Industry Group Company) and 127 Factory (Tsitsihar Heping Machine Shop) were the principal production authorities of the PLL-01 and its related ammunition family since 1987. This was the PLA Army’s first field artillery howitzer to have adopted the NATO-standard 155mm barrel diameter instead of the Soviet-/Russian-standard 152mm.


 

WolfPack86

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For export, the PLL-01 later became known as the ASH-1, with 18 of these being sold to Algeria in 2014 along with NORINCO-supplied Type 702D meteorological radars, Type 904-1 weapon locating radars, and Battalion/Battery Command Post vehicles.
 

WolfPack86

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In 1986, NORICUM was renamedNORICUM Maschinenbau und Handels GmbH, and in October 1989 it was renamed again as Maschinenfabrik Liezen AG (MFL). Now, fast-forward to 2012 when India’s KSSL imported from MFL a service version of the GHN-45 (which has since been renamed as the Bharat-45), and at the same time also bought, knocked down and transported to India an entire field artillery industrial production facility from RUAG of Switzerland.

At Mundhwa near Pune, a previous heat-treatment workshop is today a facility for making 125mm and 155mm barrels, breeches and muzzles, making it India’s only private-sector company, and the second one in the country, apart from the Kanpur-based production facility of the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board, to have this capability. Production-engineering machinery imported from RUAG can produce barrels up to 9 metres in length, while the rifling and autofrettage machines can make bores ranging from 105mm to 8-metre long 155mm/52-cal. High-strength steel alloys for the barrels are sourced from the neighbouring Kalyani Carpenter Special Steels.



Thus, the only major difference between the ASH-1 and Bharat-45 today is in the arena of vectronics suites: while the former uses NORINCO-developed vectronics, for the Bharat-45 the vectronics suite comes from Israel’s ELBIT Systems. But while both towed howitzers are comparable in performance, in the global export market, NORINCO undoubtedly has a distinct edge, thanks to its ability to provide total solutions, i.e. not only field artillery howitzers, but also a wide range of 155mm ammunition, guided-projectiles, their electronic fuzes and bi-modular charges, along with command-and-control/fire-direction systems


http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2016_06_01_archive.html
 

WolfPack86

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M777 Ultra Light Howitzer Deal Update

→25 to be delivered within 6 months of signing the contract
→The assembly centre is ready to assemble the rest of the 120 guns
→All these guns will be transfered to the newly raised Mountain Strike Corps , which has been established to counter the Chinese threat
 

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