Self Propelled Gun
by Paul D. Handel
The AS 90 155mm Self Propelled Gun system
originated as a private venture by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering
and the first prototype was shown at the British Army Equipment
Exhibition in 1986.
Following the demise of the joint Anglo-German
SP70 155mm project, the AS90 was selected by the British Army in 1989 to
meets its self-propelled artillery requirements. The first equipment
entered service in 1993. 179 units were completed under the initial
The AS90 uses a specially developed chassis and
turret. The vehicle has a welded steel hull and turret. The power pack,
comprising a Cummins V8 diesel engine developing 660 bhp and a ZF
automatic transmission, is mounted at the right front of the vehicle.
The driver sits at the left front. A door at the rear of the hull
allows access and loading of ammunition. The suspension is
hydropneumatic allows long roadwheel travel and enables the vehicle to
maintain a high cross-country speed.
The all steel turret with a turret ring diameter
of 2700mm mounts the main armament of a Royal Ordnance 155mm gun, 39
calibres long. The vehicle commander sits on the right of the turret and
has a cupola to allow vision when closed down. The gun layer sits in
front of him. The shell and charge loaders stand on the left of the gun.
A hatch is located above these personnel permitting the use of a pintle
mounted machine gun for air defence purposes. A large hatch is also
located in the left side of the turret. The turret can traverse a full
360 degrees using electric power.
The turret incorporates a Shell Transfer Arm and
flick rammer for the projectiles, of which 48 are carried, 31 being
housed in the turret bustle. The gun has a range of 24700 metres using
standard ammunition. Three rouns can be fired in 10 seconds, with a
sustained firing rate of 2 rounds per minute.
AS90 PHOTO ALBUM
The photos accompanying this article
were taken by the author at the British Army display at Larkhill in July 2002.
My thanks to Mr Max Richards for organizing and facilitating my attendance at
the event, and to the British Army and in particular the staff of the Royal
School of Artillery at Larkhill for their assistance and professionalism.
the thumbnails in the table below to view the images full size.
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Article Text and Photographs Copyright ©
2004 by Paul D.
Page Created 27 April, 2004
Last Updated 27 April, 2004
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