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M-46 130-mm Towed Gun
Type 59 130mm Field Gun

The 130-mm field gun M-46 is distinguished by a long, thin tube with a cylindrical, perforated (pepperpot-type) muzzle brake and has a hydropneumatic recuperator and a recoil cylinder located above and below the tube, respectively. When in travel position, the tube is withdrawn from battery to reduce the overall length of the weapon, and the recuperator above the tube may then be hidden from sight by the rearward-angled, winged shield. The gun has a manually operated horizontal sliding wedge breechblock and fires case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition. It has night direct fire sights (IR and/or passive in nature).

The gun is mounted on a two-wheeled split trail carriage with large sponge-filled rubber tires on each of the single wheels. For travel, it is provided with a two-wheeled limber and can be towed by a truck or armored

The M-46 is found in gun battalions of artillery regiments/brigades organic at front and army level. These battalions may be assigned to maneuver divisions as part of a divisional artillery group (DAG).

The M-46 is an excellent indirect fire weapon with high muzzle velocity and exceptional range (27,490 meters); it is also a formidable antitank weapon with impressive armor penetration capability. The tactical role usually is counterbattery.

The M-46 was first seen in public in May 1954 and originally was known in the West as the M1954. Since 1978, two new nuclear-capable guns, the 152mm field gun M1976 and the 152mm self-propelled gun 2S5, began to replace the M-46 in Soviet forces. Today it is still found in the armies of many countries.

The M-46 gun crew is provided limited frontal protections by virtue of a frontal V-shaped shield (approximately 7-mm thick). Otherwise, the crew, ammunition supply, and equipment are vulnerable to casualties and damage from small arms fire, artillery fire, and bomb shrapnel.

The first 130 mm field gun produced by China was the Type 59, a virtually direct copy of the Russian M-46. The Type 59 130mm gun, with maximum rate of fire is at 8-10 rds/min, fires an HE projectile capable of penetrating 250mm of armour set at 0 degree at a range of 1,500m. The Type 59 gun also fires enhanced range projectiles: the MP-130 RAP that weighs 33.4kg with a maximum range of 34,360m; and an ERFB HE that weights 32.7kg with a maximum range of 30km. The Extended Range Full Bore-Base Bleed round was specifically designed by NORINCO Industries (China) for use with the Chinese 130-mm Type 59 Field Gun. However, this round may be fired by the M-46.


Date of Introduction 1954
Proliferation At least 25 countries
Crew 8
Carriage M-46
Combat Weight (mt) 8.45
Chassis Length Overall (m)
Travel Position 11.73
Firing Position 11.10
Height Overall (m) 2.55
Width Overall (m)
Travel Position 2.45
Firing Position INA
Towing Speed (km/h)
Max Road 50
Max Off-Road 20
Max Cross-Country 10
Fording Depths (m) INA
Emplacement Time (min) 6
Displacement Time (min) 7
Prime Mover AT-S 59, KrAZ-255 or equivalent
Main Armament
Caliber, Type, Name 130-mm, canon
Barrel Length (cal) 52 (approximately)
Rate of Fire (rpm)
Burst 8
Normal 6
Sustained 5
Loader Type Manual
Breech Type Horizontal sliding wedge
Muzzle Brake Type Multiperforated (pepperpot)
Traverse ()
Left 25
Right 25
Total 50
Elevation () (-/+) -2.5/+45
Indirect Fire PG-1 Panoramic Telescope (PANTEL)
Direct Fire OP 4-35
Collimator K-1
Gun Display Unit None
Fire Control Computer None
Caliber, Type, Name
130-mm Frag-HE, OF44
Indirect Fire Range (m)
Minimum Range INA
Maximum Range 22,500
Complete Projectile Weight (kg) 33.40 (OF33)
Muzzle Velocity 930 m/s
Fuze Type V-429 PD
130-mm, APC-T
Direct Fire Range (m)
Minimum Range 0
Maximum Range 1140
Armor Penetration (mm) INA
Complete Projectile Weight (kg) 33.49 (BR-482B)
Muzzle Velocity INA
Fuze Type DBR BD
130-mm Frag-HE, OF-43
Indirect Fire Range (m)
Minimum Range INA
Maximum Range 27,500
Complete Projectile Weight (kg) 33.40 (OF-33)
Muzzle Velocity 930 m/s
Fuze Type V-429 PD
130-mm Frag-HE, ERFB-BB
Indirect Fire Range (m)
Minimum Range INA
Maximum Range 38,000
Complete Projectile Weight (kg) 33.40
Muzzle Velocity 940 m/s
Fuze Type ML-5 PD
Other Ammunition Types Smoke, Chemical, Illumination

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, June 19, 1999 6:37:33 AM