Denel has revealed that the South African Army will be getting three “artillery platforms,” which are almost certainly T5-52 self-propelled howitzers.
This is according to the latest Denel annual financial report which stated that among Denel Land Systems’ key highlights for the 2016/17 financial year were “successful client demonstration on the T5 artillery project, followed by three artillery platforms buy-off contract with the SANDF.”
This comes on the heels of earlier reports which indicated Denel Land Systems would deliver T5-52 self-propelled artillery systems to the South African Army as replacements for six G5s that were sold to the United Arab Emirates. News of the possible transaction first emerged in 2016.
The United Arab Emirates was one of the first customers for the G6, and ordered 78 in 1990, which were delivered between 1991 and 1993. The six G5s were delivered to the UAE in 2014 after being modernised by Denel.
The T5-52 mounts the G5 155 mm, 52 calibre, artillery piece aboard a Tatra 8×8 T815-7 truck, which has a range of 600 km and speed of 85 km/h. The whole system weights 28 tons. Denel Land Systems brochures say that the indirect fire flexibility of the system ensures that it can be employed in the traditional gun, howitzer and mortar roles.
The projectiles are the extended range type – using base bleed projectiles, the weapon has a range of 42.5 km at sea level.
The system carries 27 on board projectiles and 26 on-board charges. A crew of four is needed to bring the gun into or out of action within 60 seconds. In the event that the power unit of the hydraulic system fails, another T5-52 can be used as a back-up system, enabling the crew to bring the T5-52 into action.
The Command and Control System, consisting of the Automatic Laying and Navigation System, Telecommunication System, Muzzle Velocity Radar System and Gun Management Computer are used to lay the gun for indirect fire.
A panoramic optical-mechanical sight forms a backup for indirect fire. A telescopic sight for direct fire is mounted to the compensation system and gives a direct fire range of up to 3 000 metres.