Towed Artillery Match-Ups: India Vs. Pakistan


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Towed artillery might seem to be something of an anachronism in modern warfare, but that impression is dead wrong. Even though the US military loves its jets and helicopters for fire support, in some situations it finds that nothing beats good old fashioned tube artillery. Artillery is at its best for getting in close with an operation, and laying down fire on the demand of the troops slugging it out at the front. If nothing else, the shells are cheap, which makes them perfect for sustained fire support (such as harassment and interdiction), or for armies that cannot afford to solve most of their problems with a JDAM precision bomb. Pakistan and India understand that very well.


By far the primary towed artillery piece of the Indian Army is the M-46 130mm field gun. This is a Soviet-designed gun that was first introduced into that country's armed forces in 1954. It's high muzzle velocity makes it an excellent field gun, meaning it can be used for the usual indirect fire, but also has the power to serve as an anti-tank gun. It was a maximum range of 27,490m in indirect fire, and 1,140m in direct fire. As a field gun, it usually comes equipped with a 7mm gun shield to offer the crew a little protection from rifle fire across the frontal arc.

The venerable M-46 is supported by the Indian-made 105mm Indian Light Field Gun (IFG/LFG). Made with a high strength steel alloy, it is designed to be heli-lifted into combat, including in the mountainous terrain the Indian Army often finds itself fighting in during Kashmir conflicts. It has a maximum indirect fire range of 17,000m.


Pakistan's two main towed artillery pieces are held in roughly equal numbers. First is the World War Two era, American-made M-101 105mm howitzer. It has a maximum range of 11,200 m.

The other artillery piece is the Soviet-made M-30 122mm gun. This weapon also dates to World War Two, and was manufactured until 1955. It has a maximum range of 11,800m.

Result: INDIA WIN! Comparing the two armies' 105mm pieces, we see the Indian IFG/LFG is a lighter weapon with more flexible applications, and has more reach to boot. In the M-46, the Indian Army is using the weapon that partly replaced the M-30 in Soviet artillery service. It has more than double the range of the Pakistani piece. Finally, India is the only country of the two to be deploying recently manufactured artillery pieces. While tube artillery is very robust, reliability is an issue when using a gun that was made around the time your grandfather was born.
source:Global security
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