This is the suggestion post for the Finnish 155GH52-SP-T55 SPG! This unique prototype was developed as a part of the export sales of the Finnish 155GH52 gun-howitzer to Egypt.
In the finalized contract between Patria and Egypt besides the sale of the howitzers and their licences there was also an obligation to develop a prototype SPG for the Egyptian Armed Forces, using the T-55 chassis and the 155GH52. And thus the 155GH52-SP-T55 SPG was born.
In War Thunder this vehicle would add to the increasing number of artillery vehicles with niche but fun uses, it might also function as a kind of “Finnish VFW” as it could possibly have a modification to go into battle with the sides raised or lowered to make players consider a slightly faster reload and turret traverse at the cost of being way more vulnerable.
In the contract Egypt had also specified that the prototype should share as much commonality with the towed version of the howitzer as possible. Because of this it was impossible to use a modern turret assembly for the prototype, since it would have had to get rid of too much of the original mechanisms used. Hence the reason why the “turret” is basically just the gun with some light armorplates around it to shield it from shrapnel.
When set up to fire, the top cover had to be opened so that the gun could operate properly (the sides weren’t completely lowered so they still provided some shrapnel protection), and the hydraulic spade at the rear had to be dug in to stabilise the chassis. If fired outside of the frontal 30 degree arc, there was also an extra pair of hydraulically lowered support legs that helped stabilize the vehicle, they were added to the prototype later on.
The prototype went through extensive trials, but in the end it was never procured, despite the Egyptian military having been quite satisfied with its performance.
- Crew: no certain sources on this one, but it was most likely to have been 5 or 6 (driver, gunner, 2-3 loaders and a commander), if you have any information relating to this I would be extremely glad if you could share them!
- Combat weight: again no certain sources but combining the T-55’s and the 155GH52’s weight it would have been somewhere around 50 tonnes
- Engine: V-55 12-cyl diesel (582 hp)
- Speed: forward 50 km/h reverse 7 km/h
- Armor protection: the armor on the chassis is identical in layout to the one used on the T-55A, and whilst the exact thickness of the armor used on the gunshield isn’t listed on any sources (that I could find) we can still make a reasonable assumption that it would have been between 5-15mm in thickness, because it was only meant to protect the crew from shrapnel and small arms fire.
- Gun elevation: -6 to 66 degrees
- Turret traverse: 360 degrees
- Armament: 155mm 155GH52
- Ammunition: a maximum of 45 shells could be stored with 49 pieces of propellant
- Ammunition types: no certain sources again, but considering that the 155GH52 was designed to fire all types of 155mm ammunition and that its predecessor was the 155K83 which was produced by Israel as the Soltam M-68 and later the Soltam M-71 which is designated as the G4 in South Africa. So the characteristics of its HE shell would probably be very similar to those found on the G5 howitzer that the G6 Rhino uses. (sorry for the lengthy theorization)
- Fire rate: 6-8 rounds per minute
155GH52-SP-T55 during firing trials in Katajaluoto
More firing trial pictures, here you can see the hydraulic legs that have been deployed to help with the vehicles stabilization
Picture of direct firing trials
Here we can see the sides in the lower position up close
155 K 98 – Wikipedia
155 GH 52 APU - Wikipedia
IMRA - Tuesday, November 25, 2003 EGYPT TO PRODUCE FINNISH TOWED HOWITZERS
Toivonen, Vesa (2003) Tampellasta Patriaan: 70 vuotta suomalaista raskasta aseenvalmistusta — From Tampella to Patria. 70 years of Finnish heavy weapons production. Apali Oy.
Pictures are mostly from the book mentioned above.
Note that this post is almost a direct copy of my existing post on the old forums with a few updates here and there. That said if you have any information about this vehicle feel free to share it in this post, I’d really appreciate it. I would also be interested in hearing your thoughts on this funky vehicle, thanks for reading!