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Soltam M-71

155mm Towed Howitzer

Israel | 1975

"The Soltam M-71 utilized many of the same components as the preceding Soltam M-68 gun design and improved on all-around battlefield performance."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/06/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Soltam M-71 155mm heavy field howitzer was born from the experience garnered in the design, development and manufacture of the preceding M-68 gun series (detailed elsewhere on this site). The weapon was given a longer gun tube and an air-driver loading rammer while retaining much of the form and function of the original. The result was a much more effective heavy artillery piece and one that has more than proven its worth to the Israeli Army. Additional operators have been seen in the army services of Burma, Chile, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Slovenia. The South African Army designates its guns as the G-4 and Slovenia knows it as the M839.

Design work on the M-71 began in 1974 and production followed in 1975.

In its finalized form, the gun features a weight of 20,300lb with a barrel measuring 19.9 feet. A crew of eight personnel must be committed to the weapon for maximum efficiency. The system fires conventional and specialized 155mm projectiles with loading handled by way of a horizontal breech block. The carriage is made up of four road wheels attached to a split-trail carriage assembly which serves as both the transport mounting and gunnery mounting. The hardware allows an elevation span of -5 to +75 degrees to be accessed and traversal reaches +/- 20 degrees from centerline. Each outgoing shell is delivered at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second with engagement ranges (using conventional shells of 96lb) out to 14.6 miles.

Compared to the earlier M-68, the M-71 has a faster reloading function, is slightly lighter and has greater engagement ranges.

The "L-39" was a proposed M4 Sherman Medium Tank development arranged as a Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) system featuring the M-71 howitzer. A hull superstructure was added to the existing Sherman chassis. Despite the viability of the vehicle, it was not adopted for service. The M-72 was another SPG development that came to naught, this involving the British Centurion Main Battle Tank (MBT) chassis.

Chile became one of the largest users of the M-71 outside of Israel with some thirty-six total examples taken on. They were followed by South Africa and Thailand.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Soltam M-71 155mm Towed Howitzer.
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Installed Power
15 miles
24 km
The physical qualities of the Soltam M-71 155mm Towed Howitzer.
20,283 lb
9,200 kg | 10.1 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Soltam M-71 155mm Towed Howitzer.
1 x 155mm main gun barrel
Depedent upon ammunition carrier.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Soltam M-71 family line.
M-71 - Base Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Soltam M-71. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 550 Units

Contractor(s): Soltam Systems - Israel
National flag of Chile National flag of Israel National flag of Myanmar National flag of the Philippines National flag of Singapore National flag of Slovenia National flag of South Africa National flag of Thailand

[ Chile; Israel; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Slovenia; South Africa; Thailand ]
Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Soltam M-71 155mm Towed Howitzer appears in the following collections:
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