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DECEMBER 2020

Weapons Of Karabakh War: The Soviet D-30 122mm Howitzer

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Weapons Of Karabakh War: The Soviet D-30 122mm Howitzer

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The 122-mm howitzer D-30 is a Soviet howitzer that first entered service in 1960.

It is a robust piece that focuses on the essential features of a towed field gun suitable for all conditions. The D-30 has a maximum range of 15.4 kilometers, or over 21 km using RAP ammunition.

Both Azerbaijan and Armenia employ these howitzers in the war for Nagorno-Karabakh.

The D-30 is designed to defeat unsheltered and covered manpower, weapons and military equipment of the enemy at the forward edge of the battle area and to the regiment mission depth.

The D-30 has been widely exported and used in wars around the world, notably in the Middle East, and particularly in the Iran-Iraq War.

The D-30 uses the 2A18 gun which is also used by the Russian 2S1 tracked self-propelled howitzer. The maximum rate of fire of the D-30 is 6-8 rounds per minute, and about 75 rounds per hour.

The D-30 fires FRAG-HE and HEAT-FS variable-charge, case-type, separate-loading ammunition. There are at least two chemical projectiles for the D-30, with the CW agent is dispersed by the explosion of a TNT bursting charge.

The Sarin projectile weight 22.2 kg with 1.3 kg of Sarin agent. The 122 mm Lewisite projectile weight 23.1 kg with 3.3 kg of viscous Lewisite agent. Using this at this point is prohibited by the OPCW.

The 122 mm howitzer is mounted on a three-trail carriage with all-round traverse. To raise the wheels, clear of the ground, a hydraulic jack with baseplate is used. The D-30 howitzer is loaded manually.

A pair of large tires is suspended on a single trailing arm; maximum towing speed is 60 km/h on the road.

On road position the D-30 howitzer can be towed by a military truck or tracked vehicle. In firing position, the crew of eight unhitches the gun, lowers the central firing jack, raising the wheels high enough to clear the trail legs, and spreads the two outer trails 120° on each side.

The revolving mount permits 360° traverse and is equipped for high and low angles of fire, making it fully suitable for antitank defense.

Elevation and traverse are manual with the former being from -7° to +70º.

Fire-control instruments include a Type PG-1M panoramic sight, Type OP4M-45 telescopic sight and a Type K-1 collimator. The D-30 can also be equipped with an IR or passive night vision sights for direct fire.

Weapons Of Karabakh War: The Soviet D-30 122mm Howitzer

Click to see the full-size image

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