Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks

Model 1955 (D-20)

152mm Towed Field Howitzer System (1955)

Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 1
Image courtesy of the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Jump-to: Specifications

The D-20 can be towed by a variety of tracked and wheeled vehicles.

Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB and Dan Alex | Last Edited: 09/24/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Soviet Model 1955 (M1955 / D-20) 152mm towed howitzer was developed in the late 1940s, too late to see combat asction in World War 2 (1939-1945). During its time as a frontline weapon system, the M1955 showed itself to have inherently strong reliability and firepower through the numerous wars that it was fielded across. The Soviet Union design bureau awarded the contract to Petrov Artillery and the M1955 was built in Yekaterinburg, a city central to Soviet arms making production during the war as many heavy factories were forced there after the German invasion in the west (Operation Barbarossa, June 1941).

The M1955 utilized the existing carriage of the D-74 system. Field trials proved the new arrangement well-designed and rugged enough during field trails. An 8 man crew was used for the gun section and an AT-S medium tractor was the prime mover along with the URAL-375 6x6 heavy truck. The barrel was made to the length of 17 feet and capped by a large, double-slotted baffle to help reduce recoil. A gun shield was mounted ahead of the wheels to protect the breech, recoil mechanism and crew. A firing pedestal was lowered to the grown before the weapon was engaged and the "split-trail carriage", also rested on the pedestal, provided full 360-degree traversal. The base gun mounting hardware gave -5 degrees to +65 degrees of elevation with a traverse of 58 degrees from centerline.

The main projectile used by the howitzer was the HE-FRAG (High-Explosive, FRAGmentation) weighing 95.92 lb which led to the sustained rate-of-fire of one round-per-minute. Special ammunition types included an AP (Armor-Piercing) shell of 237 lb that could penetrate 124mm (4.88") of armor thickness out to 1,000 meters (1,095 yards). Smoke and illuminating projectiles are also available along with a shell containing steel flechettes for anti-infantry use. Another form dispersed anti-personnel mines over a target area. Still another projectile type has become the "Krasnopol" semi-active, laser-guided smart munition.

A trained and experienced gunnery crew could stand to make 5 to 6 rounds-per-minute (1 rpm sustained). Range for HE-FRAG projectiles was 19,040 yards while Rocket-Assisted Projectile (RAP) landed as far out as 26,245 yards.

Despite its Soviet origins, the Russian military still relies to some degree on the M1955 series with as many as 1,000 guns still thought available. Efforts were made to modernize the design and keep it a viable battlefield solution for decades to come. The "Khitin" is an example of this, having added an automatic rammer and sporting an increased RoF to eight RPM.

China copied the gun as the "Type 66" and this variant went on to see deliveries all around the globe. Type 66 was made with few changes, making most Soviet parts interchangeable along with using all types of in-circulation 152mm ammunition. The Type 83 became a self-propelled version, most likely influenced by the Soviet 2S3 series vehicle. Similarly, the SPH 152mm M1974 of North Korea sees either the M1955 or Type 66 gun fitted to a tracked chassis.

Current operators range from Angola and Armenia to Vietnam and Yemen. Romanian models are designated A411. Former operates included Albania, East Germany / Germany, Finland and the former Yugoslavia (as the M84 "NORA" gun-howitzer).


Service Year

Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union


No. 9 Plant - Soviet Union
National flag of Albania National flag of Angola National flag of Armenia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Belarus National flag of Bulgaria National flag of China National flag of Croatia National flag of Egypt National flag of Finland National flag of Georgia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Myanmar National flag of Nicaragua National flag of Nigeria National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Russia National flag of Serbia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Syria National flag of Turkey National flag of Turkmenistan National flag of Ukraine National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yemen National flag of Yugoslavia Albania; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bulgaria; China; Georgia; Cambodia; Congo; Croatia; East Germany; Egypt; Finland; Hungary; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Myanmar; North Korea; Moldova; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Poland; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Syria; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia
(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.

26.6 ft
8.1 m
7.7 ft
2.35 m
8.3 ft
2.52 m
12,566 lb
5,700 kg
6.3 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Model 1955 (D-20) production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: None. This is a towed artillery system.
10,818.1 mi
(17,410.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Model 1955 (D-20) production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 152mm gun barrel.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an artillery gun tube/barrel

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Varies. Typical 152mm ammunition type is Frag-HE, OF32. Other types include smart munitions, incendiary, mine dispersal, chemical, anti-infantry flechette and rocket-assisted types.

D-20 - Base Model Designation
152mm Towed Gun Howizter M1955 (D-20) - Formal Designation.
52-P-546 - GRAU designation
Type 66 - Chinese copy of the D-20 system
Type 83 - Chinese D-20 gun on tracked chassis
A411 - Romanian Army designation
M84 NORA - Yugoslavian model

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of the Bulge
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Kursk
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental military vehicles

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-