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155-mm Self-Propelled Gun

F-1 GCT

Entered service in 1977
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Total weight in combat order  42 t
Overall length 10 250 mm
Chassis length 6 700 mm
Overall width 3 150 mm
Overall height 3 250 mm
Armament
Main gun 155-mm gun
Barrels length 40 calibers
Machine gun 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm
Traverse range  360 degrees
Elevation range - 4 to + 66 degrees
Maximum rate of fire 8 rounds/min
Combat load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine gun 2 000 cartridges
Projectile's weight 42 kg
Projectile's initial speed 810 m/s
Maximum range of fire 30 km
Mobility
Engine power 720 hp.
Maximum road speed  60 km/h
Autonomy on roads 500 km
Maneuverability
Slope 60
Vertical step  0.93 m
Trentch 2.9 m
Ford 2 m
   The F-1 GCT Self-Propelled Gun (GCT - Grand Cadence de Tir - high rate of fire) was developed by Bourget Scientific-Production Center since 1969. It's first test example was built in 1972. Serial production lasted since 1977 till the end of 1993. Overall there were built 250 F-1 GCT Self-Propelled Guns for French armed forces. Some of these guns was exported to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.

   Self-propelled gun is based on the AMX-30 Main Battle Tank. The F-1 GCT features very similar arrangement. Driving compartment is placed front, combat compartment is right behind it. Combat compartment features 360 traverse rotation armored turret. Engine-transmission compartment is placed rear.

   Hull and turret are welded from rolled armored plates. Vehicle's armor protects crew from light firearms bullets,1 artillery projectiles and mines splinters.

   F-1 GCT crew consists from 4 crew members including commander, gunner, loader and driver. All of the crew members except the driver are placed in the turret. Turret's boards feature two wide doors and two hatches on the roof.

   The main vehicle's armament is a 155-mm gun with 40 calibers barrel length. Gun is completed with a high effectivity muzzle brake. High rate of fire in 8 rounds per minute is achieved by a loading mechanism. Loading mechanism consists from 2 modules arranged from the both sides of the barrel. On of them loads powder load while the other loads projectile. loading mechanisms are based on hydraulics and electric principles. The first projectile is loaded in 15 seconds and every other is loaded in 8 seconds. If the loading mechanism is damaged or failures the main gun is loaded by manually. In this case rate of fire is 1-2 rounds per minute.

   Main gun fires separately loaded rounds with high-explosion fragmentation, ordinary and active-reaction, armor-piercing, smoke and tracer projectiles.

   At the end of 80-ties French scientific-production association developed for 155-mm gun ADC Guided Artillery Projectile with autonomic guidance system. This projectile is intended to defeat armored vehicles. The ADC projectile was first presented at "Satory-90" Military Exhibition in France. It is fired like an ordinary artillery projectile and later during the flight it's rotation is decreased to 10 rounds per minute by aerodynamic brakes. In this stage it's trajectory is provided by brake parachute. Later projectile's protectional front streamline is blasted away and stabilizers are spread. At the last trajectory stage radiolocation guidance warhead seeks target and destroys it. It's cumulative part is tandem arranged.

   The ADC projectile instead of the M712 "Copperhead" features operation principle without any additional control after projectile leaves gun. Furthermore it uses more advanced guidance warhead based on millimeter band. This feature allows to use projectile in extreme meteorological condition and when there are used radioelectronic counteraction systems. Accordingly the ADC is more perspective than the M712 "Copperhead".

   F-1 GCT ammunition load consists from 42 rounds. Loads and projectiles are placed in separate combat loads at the rear part of the turret. Ammunition is loaded threw the 2 hatches closed by armored lids.

   Fire control system consists from electronic-optical angle finder and it's stabilization is vertical plane, control deck with ballistic computer and digital indicators, gun's operation handle, hydraulic guns operation devices, optical sight for straight firing, supply unit. Control deck can be connected with digital field artillery automatic fire control system based on battery command point. In this case gun's inclination and azimuth levels are automatically inserted on control deck preventing inaccuracy. Furthermore this system always keeps artillery gun in touch with command point. Fire control system provides quiet accurate fire. Commander and gunner operate extreme inaccurate aiming devices. The main gun is aimed 360 in traverse range and from -4 to +66 in inclination range.

   Additional armament consists from 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm Machine Gun intended to defend against air and ground targets. Machine gun is mounted over loader's hatch. Two dual smoke grenade launchers are mounted on the frontal armor.

   The F-1 GCT engine and transmission are similar to the AMX-30 Main Battle Tank. HS-110-2 multi-fuel 12-cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine was developed by "Hispano-Suiza" company. It reaches maximum power of 720 hp. under 2 800 rounds per minute. Artillery unit's power per tone ratio is 22.1 hp/t. Multi-fuel engine uses diesel, kerosene or other light petrol. 5S200 transmission features 5 gears.

   Driving sprocket is placed rear. Suspension is individual, torsion. There are 5 doubled rubber bearing rolls from the each board. Track is all-metal, fitted with removable rubber pads. Maximum road speed is 60 km/h, and autonomy on roads is 500 km.

   F-1 GCT Self-Propelled Artillery Gun is equipped with radio and navigation equipment, filtering system and automatic fire prevention system.

   The F-1 GCT artillery gun's turret can be mounted on various main battle tanks. French designers developed analogical to the F-1 Artillery Systems mounted on the German "Leopard-1" and Soviet T-72 Main Battle Tanks.


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