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122mm D-74


Towed Field Gun (1955)


Land Systems / Battlefield

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Image from the Public Domain.

Jump-to: Specifications

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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/01/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.
Overall weight of the complete combat system was 12,400 lb with a length measuring 30 feet and width of 7.8 feet. With its wheeled carriage and tow arms, the gun was simply transported behind a mover vehicle and could be pulled/pushed by the gunnery crew over short distances.

A trained crew could sustain between eight and ten rounds a minute. Range was out to 1,180 yards for direct line-of-sight fire. The gun also held an inherent in-direct fire capability and, in this way, could reach out to target areas as far as 15 miles though with decreased accuracy.

The D-74 went on to see considerable combat service for its time as a frontline weapon. Beginning with exposure in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) to the various Asian entanglements thereafter. The series was also used in the Chinese-Indian War (1962) as well as the Indo-Pak war (1965). Other battlefields included the South African Border War (1966-1990), the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).

While still maintained in inventory by the armies of Egypt, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the 122mm caliber of projectile eventually fell out of favor with modern powers. This is why the 130mm M-46 series guns went on to have a much more long-standing and illustrious service career.

Specifications



Service Year
1955

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Crew
8
CREWMEN
Production
3,000
UNITS


State Factories - Soviet Union
National flag of Angola National flag of China National flag of Egypt National flag of Iran National flag of North Korea National flag of Pakistan National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Syria National flag of Zimbabwe Cambodia; Angola; China; Egypt; Iran; North Korea; Pakistan; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Syria; Zimbabwe
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
Support allied forces through direct / in-direct fire, assault forward positions, and / or breach fortified areas of the battlefield.


Length
32.2 ft
9.8 m
Width
7.7 ft
2.35 m
Weight
12,390 lb
5,620 kg
Tonnage
6.2 tons
LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base 122mm D-74 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Range
14.9 mi
(24.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base 122mm D-74 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 122mm gun barrel.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an artillery gun tube/barrel


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon ammunition resupply vehicles.


D-74 - Base Series Designation.


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