January 26, 2022

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South Korean KH-179 155mm Field Howitzer Artillery In Action

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Video shows the South Korean KH-179 155mm field howitzer artillery in action during several South Korean military live fire exercises.

The KH-179 is a 155 mm towed howitzer produced by Hyundai WIA, a South Korean military manufacturer. The field gun is currently operated by Korean Army and has been exported to several South-East Asian countries. The KH-179 is a redesigned version of the US M114A2 howitzer that was actively used during Korean War of 1950-1953, both by US soldiers and South Korean army. Therefore, having significant experience of its operation, maintenance and repair, in 1975, then Kia Heavy Industries began developing of conversed version of the M114A2, that was already aged. The main goal was to improve ballistics of the M114A2. By 1982 development was complete and since 1983 the new KH-179 howitzer has been in service with the South Korean army. All operational South Korean M114 howitzers were upgraded to the KH-179 standard.

Basic structure of this howitzer is similar to that of the US M114A2. However the South Korean howitzer has a longer barrel. The previous 23-caliber barrel was replaced by a new 39-caliber barrel. As a result it has a 24% longer fire range than the M114A2. It can fire at ranges up to 30 km with rocket assisted projectile. Range of direct fire is up to 1.5 km. This howitzer is easier to maintain and uses new 155 mm ammunition. It is compatible with standard NATO 155 mm ammunition. It has precision strike capabilities with M712 Copperhead guided projectiles. Though it seems that South Korea no longer uses this type of munitions. The KH-179 howitzer has night firing capabilities.

A double baffle muzzle brake was fitted, as well as more capable hydropneumatic recoil mechanism with two pneumatic equilibrators in order to reduce the recoil.

The FH-179 was fitted with new sights. This howitzer used panoramic telescope for indirect aiming. There is also an alignment device that replaces conventional method of bore sighting. The telescope is also used for direct firing.

The KH-179 can be airlifted by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, or C-130 Hercules military transport airplane.

Credits: ROK Ministry Of Defense

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