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.
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
(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.
31.1 ft 9.48 m
5.9 ft 1.8 m
5.1 ft 1.56 m
6,063 lb 2,750 kg
3.0 tons LIGHT
(Showcased structural values pertain to the MT-12 Rapira production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
1.9 mi (3.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the MT-12 Rapira production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 100mm gun tube.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon ammunition carrier.
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).
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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.