The South African G6 155mm Self propelled Gun Background
South Africa had been fighting in the Angolan Bush War AKA the South African Border War, from the mid 1960’s to the late 1980’s. It saw the apposing belligerents backed up by the Former USSR and Cuba.
The war set the requirement for some more modern and effective Armoured Fighting Vehicles, which lead to the indigenous development and production of such vehicles as the Casspir, Ratel, and Rooikat, which were all wheeled AFV’s.
South Africa had learnt that wheeled AFV’s were not susceptible to the sandy desert conditions, like tracked vehicles were. It meant that the wheeled vehicles were more mobile and more ideally suited for dashing across the boarder to make strikes against the enemy. It also meant the vehicles could drive to their target areas, rather than being delivered by transporters or railway like tracked vehicles are.
Land mines were a great concern to the S.A.A., and it was found to be quicker and easier to replace a damaged wheel than it was to replace damaged track’s.
SA Firm Denel Land Systems had manufactured a 155mm towed howitzer for the SA Artillery Corp and went on to develop a Self Propelled Gun around an almost identical main gun (both are 45 calibre Length). First prototypes were completed in 1981 and first production vehicles were completed in 1988. The wheeled chassis was manufactured by OMC.
The South African G6 155mm Self propelled Gun Firepower
The main gun is loaded via a semi automatic loader. It can be elevated from -5 to +75 degree’s. The turret has a 180 degree traverse. 45 x 155mm rounds are carried in the vehicle ( plus 50 x charges 64 x primers and fuses) as is 1000 x 12.7mm rounds.
It fires a number of rounds and can fire a base bleed (a small gas generator in the base of the round to counter the vacuum behind the round caused by drag, thus reducing the drag so as to increase range) High Explosive round to a range of 39km. Denel Ordnance have further developed a number of HE rounds with varying ranges of up to 67km+ for the vehicle. It can fire 155mm rounds from other NATO nations using its own charges.
During firing, four arms (2 each side, front and back) are lowered to the ground, lifting the vehicle of the ground to stabilize it for increased accuracy. Its also equipped with a Fire Control System. Rate of fire is 4 round per minute and 2 round per minute sustained fire.
The bottom of the vehicle is heavily armoured and shaped to defeat landmines. The wheels are connected to a central tyre pressure regulator so it can inflate damaged wheels. The internals are fitted with NBC protection system, fire detection and suppression system. It also has a bank of four smoke grenade launchers on either side of the turret. The general armour (made of steel) can withstand artillery shrapnel and 20mm MG fire.
The main engine is a diesel, which generates 518hp. This provides a top road speed of 90km/h and operational range of 700km.
The South African G6 155mm Self propelled Gun Operators
South Africa: 43 vehicles (Locally AKA the GV6 Rhino)
United Arab Emirates: 78 vehicles
Oman: 24 vehicle