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122mm D-74 Towed Field Gun

First combat actions for the Soviet-era D-74 122mm field gun were in the long-running Vietnam War.

 Updated: 7/10/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

Even before the final shots of World War 2 (1939-1945) were ever fired, the Soviet Army cast its eye towards the future 'Cold War' and began several projects to modernize its war-making capabilities. In the immediate post-war world, there arose two new designs of field guns, one in 122mm caliber flavor and the other in 130mm caliber flavor. The former was designated as the "D-74" and the later became the storied "M-46".

Production of the D-74 began in 1955 and the product was publically unveiled that same year. Its design was attributed to F.F. Petrov who lent his wide-reaching wartime expertise to the project. In time, the D-74 was standardized in the Soviet ranks and went on to see adoption by other fighting forces of the world loyal to the Soviet Union at the time - these to include Cambodia, Angola, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Syria, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

At its core, the weapon was a traditionally-arranged artillery piece comprised of a two-wheeled, rubber-tired carriage unit (the unit also shared with the D-20 gun series of 152mm caliber), mounting hardware containing the elevation and traverse functions, and the gun tube itself. A horizontal sliding wedge was used at the gun breech to access the chamber. Elevation was limited to +45/-5 degrees and traversal was 45-degrees from centerline. An optional thin gun shield offered limited protection to the gunnery crew that numbered between seven and nine men.

122mm D-74 Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1955
Type: Towed Field Gun
National Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Soviet Union
Production: 3,000

Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

Operating Crew: 8
Length: 32.15 feet (9.80 meters)
Width: 7.71 feet (2.35 meters)

Operating Weight: 6 tons (5,620 kg; 12,390 lb)

Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: None.
Nightvision Equipment: None.

Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

Engine(s): None. This is a towed artillery piece.

Engagement Range: 15 miles (24 km)

Armament and Ammunition

1 x 122mm gun barrel.

Dependent upon ammunition resupply vehicles.

Global Operators / Customers

Cambodia; Angola; China; Egypt; Iran; North Korea; Pakistan; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Syria; Zimbabwe

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

D-74 - Base Series Designation.

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