Denel GV5 Luiperd (G5 Leopard) Towed Heavy Field Howitzer
The G5 howitzer appeared in 1983 and has seen combat action in the South African Border War and the Iran-Iraq War.
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During much of the Cold War, apartheid reigned in South Africa. This official policy movement - with origins in colonial times - attempted to sequester the rights of non-white peoples in the country. Violence naturally broke out against the movement over time and the United Nations instituted a trade embargo that severely limited the defense procurement abilities of the African country. As such, a move was enacted to circumvent the arms embargo by developing military equipment through indigenous means. This gave rise to the South African defense industry that - despite the end of apartheid in 1994 - continues today in making excellent pieces of military hardware, from small arms to tanks, attack helicopters to strike aircraft.
In 1966, the South African Border Wars erupted (also known as the Angolan Bush War) and this placed stress on the South African Army who were still utilizing aged stocks of World War 2-era military equipment. Since the established arms embargo restricted any new legal purchases of military equipment, internal development began. One initial requirement became the need for a new artillery field gun of 155mm - a rather standard battlefield offering anywhere in the world. South African combat actions shown this to be a real limitation when dealing with enemies utilizing the latest in Soviet-inspired weapons. Up to this point, primary South African Army experience came from the use of British and American-originated artillery gun systems. Design work (with assistance from Canadian engineer Gerald Bull) began in 1976 under the direction of the Lyttleton Engineering Works and this spanned into the early 1980s. The end-product - in effect a derivative of the GC-45 howitzer series developed by Gerald Bull's Space Research Corporation in the 1970s - became the "G5" 155mm gun which underwent a lengthy period of testing and evaluation before being adopted by the modern South African Army. Production was charged to Denel Land Systems (this formally Lyttleton Engineering Works) with the first units being delivered in 1983.