The Vietnamese People’s Army has unveiled its new domestically-developed truck-based self-propelled howitzer (SPH) called PTH130-K225B. The howitzer developed by the Military Technical Institute, appears to be an M-46 130 mm field gun, a cold-war era artillery piece produced by the Soviet Union from 1951 to 1971, mounted on a heavily modified KrAZ-255 6×6 truck chassis. PTH130-K225B is also known that its development was carried out by the country’s Military Technical Institute since 2017.
The howitzer strongly resembles Cuba’s Jupiter V self-propelled howitzer and is implied to be based upon it due to technology transfer from Cuban-Vietnamese military cooperation. The Jupiter V is a Cuban combination of a Soviet M-46 130 mm field gun, mounted on a heavily modified KrAZ 6×6 truck chassis. This low-cost upgrade improved capabilities of an out-dated field gun. Such developments are typical for countries with limited military funding. This self-propelled howitzer was first publicly revealed in 2006.
Both self-propelled guse the older Soviet M46 130mm towed field howitzer as their main weapon. The M-46 is a manually loaded, towed 130 mm artillery piece, manufactured in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. It was first observed by the west in 1954. For many years, the M-46 was one of the longest range artillery systems around, with a range of more than 27 km (38 km with a rocket-assisted projectile) and a rate of fire between 5 to 8 rounds per minute – depending on fire mode.
The M-46 was developed from the M-36 130 mm naval gun used on ships and for coast defence. It is a true gun, being unable to fire much above 45° and having a long barrel and a single propelling charge. The hydro-pneumatic recoil system comprises a buffer below the barrel and a recuperator above the barrel. The long barrel enables a substantial propelling charge by providing more length in which to achieve ‘all-burnt’ and hence projectile acceleration space and thus achieve its 930 m/s muzzle velocity.