×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
ARMOR
MODERN ARMIES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
VIETNAM WAR

M53 SPH


155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (1952)


Land Systems / Battlefield

1 / 1
Image from the United States Army image archives.

Jump-to: Specifications

The M53 155mm SPG system utilized components taken from M46 and M47 Patton medium tanks.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/28/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The M53 Self-Propelled Assault Gun was developed via automotive components taken from existing M46 and M47 Patton medium tanks appearing during the Cold War. The M53, with its 155mm main gun, provided long-range fire support to allied positions and its self-propelled tracked nature ensured that it could keep pace with mechanized formations and provide cross-country capabilities. The series was adopted in 1952 and went on to see service with both the United States Army and Marine Corps. Production of the type was handled through Pacific Car & Foundry Company.

Unlike the M46/M47 combat tank series, the M53 saw her internals rearranged to make space for the addition of a turret superstructure. This meant that the engine and transmission system were now fitted to the front of the vehicle as opposed to the rear. Additionally, the driver was relocated from his front-left hull position to the front-left of the boxy turret superstructure. The entire crew complement was six personnel including the driver, commander, gunner and ammunition handlers. The main gun was a 155mm M46 series fitted onto an M86 mounting and afforded 20 projectiles. A .50cal Browning M2HB heavy machine gun served as a self-defense measure and given 900 rounds of ammunition (the gun fitted to the turret roof at the commander's cupola). Armor protection included a rolled homogenous steel hull with welded assembly which secured against small arms fire and artillery spray. The hull utilized many flat, vertical and horizontal faces with a very shallow glacis plate over the powerpack. The turret consisted of several vertical panels and a flat roof with a squared-off rear. The 155mm gun barrel was of a particularly lengthy design and lacked any sort of recoil-reducing muzzle compensator. A large toothed spade was fitted to the rear of the turret structure for stabilization when firing. Access to the turret was through a rectangular door fitted along the right side and roof hatches were present as well. One of the key limitations of the M53 design was its turret which allowed for only 30-degrees traversal to the right or left through a manual-/hydraulic-powered system. Elevation ranged from +65 to -5 degrees.

The vehicle was powered through a Continental AV-1790-5B 12-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine outputting at 810 horsepower and mated to a General Electric CD-850-4 transmission with 2 forward gears and 1 reverse. Steering was initially through a "wobble stick" arrangement. Top road speed was 35 miles per hour with an operational range of 150 miles. As the M46 and M47 designs were improved, the M53 absorbed some of their improvements in turn. This included use of the Continental AV-1790-7B series engines and CD-850-4B series transmission systems. A steering wheel eventually replaced the wobble stick steering arrangement.

The base running gear of the M53 incorporated seven double-tired road wheels to a track side with the drive sprocket at the front. There was no dedicated track idler at the rear of the vehicle which gave the track linkage system a "drooped" appearance at the rear. Three track return rollers guided the upper track regions.

With the arrival of the newer M55 (mounting a 203mm main gun), the United States Army upgraded its M53 fleet to the standard (beginning in 1956). However, the USMC decided to retain their smaller-caliber M53 systems for the interim.

Specifications



Service Year
1952

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Crew
6
CREWMEN
Production
550
UNITS


Pacific Car and Foundry Company - USA
National flag of the United States United States
(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
31.9 ft
9.72 m
Width
11.7 ft
3.58 m
Height
7.9 ft
2.4 m
Weight
100,090 lb
45,400 kg
Tonnage
50.0 tons
HEAVY
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base M53 SPH production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Continental AV-1790-5B/-7B 12-cylinder gasoline engine developing 810 horsepower.
Speed
21.7 mph
(35.0 kph)
Range
93.2 mi
(150.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base M53 SPH production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 155mm M46 main gun
1 x 0.50cal Browning M2HB heavy machine gun


Supported Types


Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
20 x 155mm projectiles
900 x 0.50cal ammunition


M53 - Base Series Designation


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


2021 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-