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Patria Has Maintained Its Strong Expertise in Field Gun Manufacture

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Patria Has Maintained Its Strong Expertise in Field Gun Manufacture

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Patria Has Maintained Its Strong Expertise in Field Gun Manufacture
Patria Has Maintained Its Strong Expertise in Field Gun Manufacture

Patria has full readiness to restart the production of field guns. One of the lessons learnt from the war in Ukraine is that traditional artillery still plays a key role in modern warfare. Compared to other European countries, Finland has strong artillery. The 155 millimetre 155K98 field cannon currently used by the Finnish Defence Forces is based on decades of development at Patria and its predecessors Tampella and Vammas. the next big step in product development was taken when the barrel diameter was enlarged from 122 mm, which had been found to be inadequate, to its current size of 155 mm. The Finnish designation 155 K 98 (155 mm kenttäkanuuna 1998 or “155 mm field gun 1998), is a Finnish towed artillery piece developed in 1998. It can be moved on the field short distances with its own auxiliary diesel engine, which is used in all 56 units used by the Finnish defence forces, is a 78-kilowatt Deutz diesel engine.

“This has maintained Patria’s gun know-how and manufacturing capabilities. Patria has the capability to restart gun production in a relatively short period of time, if this is desired. A field gun integrated into the vehicle’s platform is a mobile and versatile unit. In addition to land forces, it can also be deployed to enhance coastal defence capabilities,” says Pekka Ruutu, Executive Vice President, Portfolio at Patria.

“Nevertheless, Patria has maintained strong know-how in gun production and development. It all started in the early 1950s when the Defence Forces asked Tampella to develop a general-purpose gun suitable for a range of applications. This work resulted in the 122K60 field gun. The next significant development phase was the lengthening of the barrel to increase the range of the shell. One of the greatest changes was the introduction of a new towing bar. Ensuring its durability and functionality called for careful design at Patria,” says Vesa Toivonen, Weapon Systems Testing Manager at Patria, who has been closely involved in field gun development work during his long career.

155 K 98
155 K 98 155 mm 52 calibers towed howitzer. (Photo by Patria)

The 155 GH 52 is considered to be one of the most modern field artillery cannons to date and was originally manufactured by Oy Tampella AB industries (today a part of Patria, Patria Vammas Systems Oy). It has a high rate of fire (6 rounds per minute) and can fire all types of 155 mm ammunition. Several gun models have been developed over the years. The current Patria 155K98 field cannon was deployed by the Finnish Defence Forces in 1998 and produced until 2005. Until these days Patria has been developed and provided all component. It has a barrel length of about 8 metres and a range of 40 km. The weapon is towed close to the firing position by an off-road truck. It is then driven to the site under its own power. The gun has an engine that enables independent mobility. Since its establishment, Patria has delivered almost 200 field guns to the Finnish Defence Forces. The last of these guns was handed over in 2005. Since then, Patria has drawn on its deep expertise in gun maintenance, upkeep and upgrades in partnership with Millog.

Patria has sought to hold on to the expertise it has gained over the decades. This has been supported by Patria’s long experience in designing and manufacturing mortars. Patria’s current range includes the industry-leading Patria NEMO mortar system. The mortar is breech-loaded and shares structural elements with guns. Patria has long experience in integrating a variety of weapon systems into different vehicle platforms, including field gun integration. Guns are installed on vehicles such as the Sisu 8×8 off-road truck used by the Finnish Defence Forces. Patria is fully prepared to integrate guns into a vehicle — the company has robust experience in integrating a variety of weapon systems into a wide range of platforms and command systems. One good example is the Nemo turreted mortar system, which can be integrated into armoured vehicles and marine vessels, for example. Gun manufacturers around the world have equipped their products with increasingly advanced technology. For example, the war in Ukraine has shown that dependable basic guns continue to play an important role in land warfare. Though need for increased mobility capability is needed. In addition, Finnish users have become very familiar with the 155K98 over the years, as it is part of the training programmes and maintenance systems of the Finnish Defence Forces.

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