August 8, 2022

Review of the Turkish modified T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzer

The Turkish concern ASELSAN has developed a modified 155-mm T-155 Firtina “Storm” self-propelled howitzer. From the basic version, the self-propelled installation differs in a modernized tower and chassis, as well as improved Turkish-made fire control, communication and navigation systems.

The self-propelled howitzer T-155 Firtina is equipped with a 155-mm gun with a barrel length of 52 caliber (a little more than 8 meters). It is capable of firing at targets both from closed firing positions and direct aiming. Moreover, it fires both a standard M107 high-explosive high-explosive projectile, and an actively reactive M549, and even an extended-range MOD 274 extended range (ER) munition.

In 2019, its modernized version appeared – the T-155 Firtina II self-propelled gun, which received the designation New Generation Firtina. An improved fire control system equipped with a more powerful computer was installed on it. The gunner received improved control and guidance devices.

The navigation system is capable of automatically determining the location of the Firtina II ACS and its height above sea level. This information is entered into the ballistic computer, which also receives data on the temperature of the projectile, howitzer barrel, wind speed and direction, air humidity and atmospheric pressure. Based on the received data, the computer determines the vertical and horizontal aiming angles, and then automatically aims and controls the balancing of the gun.

Hydraulic drives for vertical and horizontal guidance have been replaced by electric ones. There is also a semi-automatic mode of operation (guidance is carried out using the gunner’s control devices and charging) and manual guidance.

The projectile loading system is fully automated with the selection of the type of ammunition from the commander’s or gunner’s remote control. At the same time, the manipulator moves the projectile in the combat compartment and lowers it onto a tray moving in a vertical plane. The tray with the projectile rises to the level of the shutter, the projectile is sent into the barrel. The modernized reloading system allows you to increase the rate of fire to 8 shots per minute.

A remote-controlled SARP weapon module is installed on the tower of the advanced self-propelled gun, which also serves as a sight during direct-aiming howitzer fire. It is a stabilized platform for mounting 7.62 or 12.7 mm machine guns and 40 mm automatic grenade launchers. The module can be equipped with an automatic target tracking device, which provides firing during movement both at stationary and moving targets. In the retracted position, the module folds back and is fixed on the rear wall of the self-propelled height reduction tower.

The crew of the modernized ACS consists of four people, each of whom has his own control panel with displays. The driver-mechanic received front and rear view cameras, and they can be made in both television and thermal imaging versions.

At the same time, the length of the new version of the machine increased from 12 to 13.1 m (due to the weapons module located in the extended position on the aft wall of the tower), and the combat weight increased from 46.3 to 48 tons.

An increase in the efficiency of the Firtina II self-propelled guns is provided by the transport and charging machine, named Poyraz “Northern Wind”. It is equipped with a power unit from the M48A5T1 tank with a 12-cylinder V-shaped AVDS-1790 diesel engine connected to an Allison CD-850 automatic transmission.

The crew consists of three people: the commander, the operator, who controls the operation of the mechanisms for transferring projectiles and charges to the self-propelled guns, and the driver-mechanic. In the lower part of the hull there are four mechanized conveyors that provide storage and movement of 96 shells, and the charges are stored in the upper compartment of the cabin. The curb weight of the machine is 47 tons, the length is 9.5 meters, the width is 3.4 meters, and the height is 3.49 meters.

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