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M-46 (Model 1954)


130mm Field Gun System


Soviet Union | 1954



"The Soviet M-46 towed field gun system has been widely distributed around the globe since its introduction in 1954."



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 M-46 (formal designation of "130mm Towed Field Gun M1954) was a Soviet Cold War-era battlefield implement designed to fulfill a variety of roles in support of infantry and armor actions. The system was first unveiled to Western observers in 1954 (hence its "M1954" designation) and subsequently went on to be fielded by a myriad of countries with relations to the Soviet Union. This included many military forces in the Middle East, across Africa and in South America as well as allied states in Eastern Europe. Despite its early Cold War roots, the M-46 still maintains a battlefield presence in the inventories of countries even today with modernization programs designed to increase the longevity and tactical usefulness of such a system.

Its success has been proven by the plethora of operators using the weapon system and the countless wars that she has participated in. Her notable operators have included (or still do) Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, China, Croatia, Cuba, Finland (as the "130 K54"), India, Iraq, Iraq, Israel, Laos, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia (Soviet Union), Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Vietnam, Yemen and Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia, Finland and Serbia have all phased their M-46 systems out. Israel only received their M-46s as spoils from their many Middle East conflicts, with approximately 100 examples captured. The Chinese license production copy of the Soviet M-46 is designated as the Type 59-1 and produced under the NORINCO banner.

Her actions have seen the M-46 participate in the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009), the Sino-Indian War (1962), the Indo-Pak War (1965), the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002), the South African Border War (1966-1989), the Six Day War (1967), the Sino-Soviet Border Conflict (1969), the Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975), the Vietnam War (1959-1975), the Yom Kipper War (1973), the Sino-Vietnamese War (1979), the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979-1989), the Gulf War (1990-1991), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001) and the Invasion of Iraq (2003).

Design of the M-46 is typical of weapons in this class. Her long, slender barrel sits out and over her base and carriage, sporting two large road wheels for transport (and additional pair of road wheels is sometimes added). The weapon system is supported by legs that fan out aft, semi-recessed into the ground to accept the violent recoil. There is an angular shield to either side of the barrel base for limited protection to the operating crew from small arms fire. Her muzzle brake is vented and noticeably large at the barrel end. Her size is such that she can be transported into action with relative ease when compared to her larger cousins and set up just about anywhere that her size allows.

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Operation of the M-46 field gun revolves around a crew of eight personnel. The weapon system is towed by whatever means necessary to her pre-determined target zone and set up to fire. She weighs in at roughly 16,975lbs and features a 130mm caliber barrel. The breech is of a horizontal sliding wedge design and projectiles are manually loaded by the operating crew. The barrel can elevate from -2.5 degrees to 45 degrees and traverse up to 50 degrees. A rate-of-fire by a trained crew can reach six rounds per minute under normal conditions with five being reported for the sustained fire role. In the burst role, eight rounds per minute can be achieved. Muzzle velocity is 3,051 feet per second. Maximum range is out to 17 miles though this can be padded through the use of specialized ammunition and reach out to over 23.5 miles. The M-46 is provided with a night sight for direct fire.

Since most any artillery piece makes its name on the battlefield based on its adaptability and firepower, the M-46 proves no different in the types of projectiles she is designed to fire. This includes the Frag-HE (Fragmentation, High-Explosive), OF-43 and the Frag-HE, OF-44 rounds, ranged out to 27,500 and 22,500 meters respectively. The Frag-HE, ERFB-BB (Extended Range Full Bore - Base Bleed) round offers a range up to 38,000 meters. The APCBC-HE-T, BR-482 (along with its cousin the BR-482B) is ranged out to just 1,140 meters but is still effective for the given role. Other projectile types run the gamut of basic uses including illumination rounds, smoke rounds and chemical rounds. Projectiles feature variable charge.

The M-46 has since been replaced in the Russian inventory by the 2A36 Giatsint-B. This weapon system is further supported by the self-propelled 2S5 Giatsint-S as well.

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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 Model 1954 (M-46) 130mm Field Gun System.
None. This is a towed artillery piece.
Installed Power
17 miles
27 km
Range
Structure
The physical qualities of the Model 1954 (M-46) 130mm Field Gun System.
8
(MANNED)
Crew
38.5 ft
11.73 meters
O/A Length
8.4 ft
2.55 meters
O/A Height
18,629 lb
8,450 kg | 9.3 tons
Weight
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the M-46 (Model 1954) 130mm Field Gun System.
1 x 130mm main gun
AMMUNITION:
Depdendent on ammunition carrier.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the M-46 (Model 1954) family line.
M-46 - Original Soviet Designation
Type 59 - Chinese Designation
M1954 - Western Designation of M-45 system.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the M-46 (Model 1954). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 6,500 Units

Contractor(s): State Factories, Soviet Union
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Angola National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Cameroon National flag of China National flag of Croatia National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Eritrea National flag of Ethiopia National flag of Finland National flag of India National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Israel National flag of Lebanon National flag of Libya National flag of Mongolia National flag of Morocco National flag of Mozambique National flag of Myanmar National flag of Nigeria National flag of North Korea National flag of Oman National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of Russia National flag of Serbia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Sudan National flag of Somalia National flag of Syria National flag of Tanzania National flag of Thailand National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yemen National flag of Yugoslavia National flag of Zambia

[ Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Bulgaria; Cambodia; China; Cameroon; Ivory Coast; China; Croatia; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Finland; Guyana; India; Iraq; Iran; Israel; Lebanon; Libya; Laos; Mongolia; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nigeria; Oman; North Korea; Pakistan; Peru; Republic of the Congo; Russia; Serbia; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syria; Tanzania; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Soviet Union; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia; Zambia ]
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Image of the M-46 (Model 1954)
Front left side view of an abandoned Iraq M-46 field gun
2 / 5
Image of the M-46 (Model 1954)
Rear right side top view of an M-46 field gun towed behind a Ural utility truck; note second set of transportation wheels on the M-46 frame
3 / 5
Image of the M-46 (Model 1954)
Left side view of an abandoned M-46 field gun in the Iraqi desert
4 / 5
Image of the M-46 (Model 1954)
Rear left side view of a damaged Iraqi M-46 field gun
5 / 5
Image of the M-46 (Model 1954)
Front left side top view of an abandoned M-46 field gun near a defensive emplacement in Iraq

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
FIRE SUPPORT / ASSAULT / BREACHING
Recognition
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 M-46 (Model 1954) 130mm Field Gun System appears in the following collections:
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