Soltam M-68

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Soltam M-68
Soltam M-68 Singapore.JPG
Retired M-68 howitzer of the Singapore Army
Type Howitzer
Place of origin Israel
Service history
Used by See users
Production history
Designer Soltam Systems
Designed 1968
Manufacturer Soltam
Produced 1970
Variants Soltam M-71
Specifications
Weight 9,500 kg (20,900 lb)
Barrel length 5.115 m (16 ft 9 in) L/33
Crew 8

Caliber 155 mm NATO
Breech horizontal block
Carriage split trail
Elevation -5°/75°
Traverse ±20° from centerline
Maximum firing range 21.0 km (13.0 mi)

The M-68 was a 155 mm L33 caliber towed gun howitzer manufactured by Soltam Systems of Israel, and used by the Israeli Defense Force.

Design[edit]

The M-68 is based on the Finnish designed 122 K 60 and 155 K 68 cannon series, first developed in the mid-1960s by the company Tampella Oy. Twelve Finnish cannons were built between 1970-1975, with more guns later built of later designs. These Tampella gun formed the basis for Soltam's production of the M-68 and later "Tampella series" guns. Before the 155 K 68 (Tampella), the 155HX prototype was shipped to Soltam for trials.[1]

The first prototype was completed in 1968 for trials and evaluations by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), who were satisfied with the performance of the howitzer. Subsequently, an order was placed with Soltam and a production line was initiated in 1970. The gun entered IDF service in time to serve IDF artillery corps during the Yom Kippur War of 1973.[citation needed]

Description[edit]

The barrel of the M-68 was fitted with a simple muzzle brake while the recoil mechanism with its two pneumatic cylinder jacks are positioned on the back-end of the barrel.

The gun mount chassis, breech and recoil system were to see further use in the next development of this gun — the Soltam M-71, which has a slightly longer barrel (39 calibers versus 33 calibers of the M-68) and a compressed air-driven rammer to ease loading.

Variants[edit]

IDF Ro'em self-propelled gun, mounting a L/33 M-68

In the mid 1970s, the Israeli Defense Forces engineered an improvised self-propelled gun known as the Ro'em / L-33 to complement the towed M-68. It mated an M-68 to a large, enclosed, turret atop the chassis and drive train of an M4 Sherman tank.

Users[edit]

In addition to Israel, this weapon has also been exported to Chile, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Vesa Toivonen. From Tampella to Partia. Karisto 2003 pp. 145-149 ISBN 952-5026-26-4
  2. ^ "Singapore artillery pieces". United States, Library Of Congress. 

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kinard, Jeff (2007). Artillery: An Illustrated History of Its Impact. Weapons and warfare. ABC-CLIO. p. 312. ISBN 9781851095568. 

External links[edit]