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MT-12 / 2A19 (Rapira)

100mm Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun

Soviet Union | 1955

"The T-12 series anti-tank gun entered service in 1955 and continues in a frontline role with several armies in the current decade."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/11/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Soviet Army learned the value of tank-killing, armor-defeating weapons during World War 2 (1939-1945) when it squared off against the might of the Wehrmacht armored divisions. Most of the solutions centered around high-velocity, towed field guns with effective penetrating projectiles and it was this sort of thinking that continued for Soviets into the Cold War period (1947-1991). In 1955 was debuted a new, towed ant-tank gun and this product quickly became the standardized weapon of the Army and other Soviet-aligned nations and foreign allies followed in equipping the type. The MT-12 "Rapira" series was in operation service with Soviet forces up until the latter part of the 1980s but went on to serve a plethora of global operators from Algeria and Armenia to Ukraine and Uzbekistan - many of which continue to field the weapon even today (2017).

The MT-12 has also been recognized by the formal designation of "2A19" and also as the "T-12". The type was taken into service to replace the aging line of 100mm BS-3 series field guns which had been in service since 1944 (World War 2).

At the core of the T-12 design was its chosen 100mm projectile fired from a smoothbore barrel assembly. Compared to the BS-3, the MT-12 was given an all new gun tube and revised two-wheeled carriage to go along with a gun shield - all based on lessons learned from the fighting of World War 2. The barrel measured 63 calibers which made up a good portion of the overall length of 31 feet for the complete weapon system. The gun shield held a three-sided, angled appearance and was sloped for basic ballistics protection - a vision port being cut-out from the upper left side for the aimer. The carriage was of a traditional two-wheeled, rubber-tired design with tow arms located towards the rear. The wheels were elevated from the ground when the system was made ready-to-fire. The gun mounting hardware allowed for an elevation span of -6 to +20 degrees and traversal of 27-degrees right or left of centerline.

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A trained gunnery crew could fire (theoretically) fourteen rounds-per-minute though a four-to-six rpm rate was realistic. The crew numbered six personnel and the gun system required a mover vehicle for long-range travel though the gunnery crew could make due somewhat over very short distances (the complete weapon weighed over 6,000lb).

The MT-12 fired an APFSDS-T ("Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot - Tungsten") projectile of 12.5lb at a muzzle velocity of 5,170 feet per second out to a range of 3,300 yards. Since the gun tube of the MT-12 was smoothbore (not rifled), the projectiles required built-in, spring-loaded fins for in-flight stabilization. Penetration at 3,300 yards was 5.5 inches of armor. At 550 yards, the weapon could defeat nearly 10 inches of armor.

Beyond the typical armor-piercing, fin-stabilized round, the weapon supported a HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) and HE-FRAG (High-Explosive, FRAGmentation) projectile as well as the 9K117 "Kastet" beam-riding, laser-guided missiles.

The MT-12 "Rapira" was the debut form designation and this was followed by the MT-12R "Ruta" which equipped the RLPK-1 series radar for improved accuracy under smoke conditions. The MT-12K "Kastet" was introduced in 1981 and supported the firing of 9M117 "Kastet" missiles.

Over 6,000 MT-12 guns have been in service with the Soviet Union / Russians. The next largest operator became Ukraine with some 400 units in inventory at one point. Iraq is a former operator of the product and many were lost in the Gulf War of 1991 and the final stock was all destroyed during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and subsequent occupation. The former nation of Yugoslavia had its MT-12 supply passed on to successor states (mainly Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Croatia ) following its dissolution.

The A407 marks a locally-designed Romanian model influenced by the MT-12 series. China copied the MT-12 as the Type 73 and the Type 86 is believed to be a sort of related offshoot, also of 100mm caliber

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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 MT-12 Rapira 100mm Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun.
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Installed Power
2 miles
3 km
The physical qualities of the MT-12 Rapira 100mm Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun.
31.1 ft
9.48 meters
O/A Length
5.9 ft
1.8 meters
O/A Width
5.1 ft
1.56 meters
O/A Height
6,063 lb
2,750 kg | 3.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the MT-12 / 2A19 (Rapira) 100mm Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun.
1 x 100mm gun tube.
Dependent upon ammunition carrier.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the MT-12 / 2A19 (Rapira) family line.
MT-12 - Base Series Designation
T-12 - Alternative Designation
MT-12A / T-12A (2A29) "Rapira" - Original Production Models
MT-12R (2A29R) "Ruta" - Modernized model
MT-12K (2A29K) "Kastet" - Guided munition support (9M117 Kastet missile).
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the MT-12 / 2A19 (Rapira). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 7,500 Units

Contractor(s): State Factories - Soviet Union / China
National flag of Algeria National flag of Armenia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Belarus National flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina National flag of Bulgaria National flag of China National flag of Croatia National flag of Cuba National flag of Georgia National flag of Hungary National flag of Iraq National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Mongolia National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Syria National flag of Turkmenistan National flag of Ukraine National flag of Uzbekistan National flag of Yugoslavia

[ Algeria; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cuba; Georgia; Hungary; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Kyrgystan; Moldova; Mongolia; Russia; Soviet Union; Syria; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Yugoslavia ]
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 MT-12 / 2A19 (Rapira) 100mm Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun appears in the following collections:
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