|Entered service in||1988|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight in combat order||47 t|
|Overall length||10 400 mm|
|Chassis length||9 200 mm|
|Overall width||3 400 mm|
|Overall height||3 300 mm|
|Main gun||G-5 155-mm Gun-Howitzer|
|Barrel length||45 caliber|
|Machine gun||M2HB 12.7-mm|
|Traverse range||360 degrees|
|Elevation range||- 5 to + 75 degrees|
|Maximum rate of fire||4 rounds/min|
|Main gun||47 rounds|
|Machine gun||2 000 cartridges|
|Projectile's weight||47.6 kg|
|Projectile's initial speed||897 m/s|
|Maximum range of fire||39 km|
|Engine power||525 hp.|
|Maximum road speed||90 km/h|
|Maximum cross-country speed||35 - 40 km/h|
|Autonomy on roads||600 - 700 km|
|Vertical step||0.45 m|
The 155-mm artillery
gun-howitzer's development in South Africa Republic began in the late
70-ties. The artillery gun itself was developed by Canadian Space Research
Corporation, by the requirements of "Armscor". The first
test example was built in 1981. Since then it passed army trials and
participated in military operations in Angola.
Furthermore it was one of the most important weapon system in the Angolan
War. Self-propelled gun-howitzer
entered service with South African army in 1988 and was designated as G-6
"Rhino". Recently there are approximately 40 these artillery
units operational with South Africa Republic. The G-6 is also in service with United Arabian Emirates
army. It is considered as one of the most successful artillery
unit of the world.
Instead of a great number of modern self-propelled artillery units the G-6 is based on wheel chassis. This feature is mostly determined by a dessert terrain where this self-propelled gun is used. Driving compartment is placed at the front part of the hull, engine-transmission compartment is right behind it. Combat compartment, including armored 360° rotation turret is mounted rear.
Commander, gunner and two loaders are placed in the armored turret. They enter and leave turret by using right mounted side doors and two hatches on the roof. From the each board there are two armor covered openings to fire from the R-4 5.56-mm Automatic Rifles. Observation periscopes are mounted over them. Commander turret features 360° observation periscopes.
Hull is built from the steel armor plates protecting crew from firearm fire and projectiles and mines splinters. Moreover the frontal hull and turret armor protects crew from 20-mm rounds. Hull bottom features improved armored protection against anti-tank mines. It stands up to 3 mine hits (against TM46 Anti-Tank Mines). The driver also has bullet-resistant windscreen that can be further protected by armored shutters. Vehicle commander has limited steering and braking capability if the driver becomes a casualty.
Vehicle is armed with the G-5 155-mm Gun-Howitzer mounted in the armored turret. It has elevation range from -5 to +75° and 360° traverse range. Artillery unit features load assistant mounted from the left side. Powder loads are loaded manually. A well trained crew provides rate of fire in 4 rounds per minute during 15 minutes period.
The G-5 Artillery Gun-Howitzer fires high-explosion fragmentation, smoke, illumination and incendiary projectiles. Standard ammunition load consists from 47 projectiles and 52 loads. Artillery unit is fully compatible with a standard NATO ammunition. Maximum range of fire of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile is 30 kilometers and the same type but rocket assisted projectile - 39 kilometers. Preparation time for combat order is 1 minute, while preparation for march position is only 30 seconds.
Fire control system contains day and night sights, laser rangefinder and ballistic computer. It allows to fire on the move. Artillery unit can be connected with a field artillery battery and get all required data on target location and sighting. Each battery of G-6 consists from 8 artillery units and three batteries form a regiment.
Additional armament consists from M2HB 12.7-mm Machine Gun mounted over the gunner's hatch. It is intended to defend from air and ground targets. On the front armor there are placed 81-mm, 4-barrel smoke grenade launchers from the each side.
The G-6 Self-Propelled Artillery Gun-Howitzer is based on "Ratel" Armored Vehicle. It is powered by 525 hp. diesel engine. Furthermore vehicle is fitted with 45 hp. auxiliary power unit for turret operations and other functions when the main engine is shut down. The main engine is connected with an automatic transmission. Transmission provides 6 forward and 2 backward gears. Vehicle chassis features all wheel drive formula. It employs large 21 x 25 run-flat tires for mobility over sand and soft terrains.
Suspension is torsion, independent with hydraulic absorbers. When vehicle is firing, suspension is turned off. Before firing it is also necessary to ground 4 spades for better fire stability.
The G-6 "Rhino" is greatly mobile notwithstanding on it's heavy weight. Maximum road speed reaches up to 90 km/h and cross-country speed is 35-40 km/h. Autonomy on roads is 600 kilometers. Vehicle manages 60° slopes, 0.45 meter height vertical steps, 1 meter wide trenches and fords up to 1 m depth water obstacles.
The G-6 Self-Propelled Artillery Gun-Howitzer is equipped all necessary radio equipment, navigation and topographical positioning system, automatic fire extinguishing system, air conditioner. There is also ability to complete vehicle with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system.
The G-6 "Rhino" features powerful caliber and good fire accuracy. Furthermore it has a long range of fire. Artillery unit is fully compatible with standard NATO ammunition. Short preparation time to combat/march order and high mobility both allow to support motorized and mechanized troops. Great survivability against mines.
Great combat weight makes it harder to transport and maintain. Vehicle has a limited cross-country maneuverability, however this disadvantage is not sufficient for a dessert type terrains.