Closeup of the T-12 aiming mechanism, with blueprints showing its proper lubrication in the background.
T-12, rear view.
The T-12 entered service in 1961, replacing the BS-3 100 mm field gun. It was typically deployed in the anti-tank units of armoured and motor rifle regiments to protect flanks against counter-attacks during rapid advances.
In 1970, it was replaced in production by the T-12A or MT-12 "Rapira", which features a new smoothbore gun, the 100 mm 2A29 gun, as well as a redesigned carriage and gun shield to protect the crew from machine gun fire and shell splinters. Thanks to the redesigned carriage, which has a bigger wheel base, the MT-12 can be towed by the MT-LB, at speeds up to 60 km/h on road or 25 km/h cross-country.
The 2A29R "Ruta" or MT-12R is a version with a RLPK-1 radar for engaging targets in a poor visibility environment (smoke/fog). From 1981, the gun could fire laser beam-riding guided missiles 9M117 Kastet (weapon system 9K116) and carried the new designator 2A29K "Kastet" or MT-12K.
The weapon was planned to be superseded by the 2A45 Sprut-B 125 mm smooth bore anti-tank gun. Modern western tanks' frontal armour protection is in excess of what can be penetrated by a 100 mm gun from anything but point-blank range – even using the most modern APFSDS round. For a tank that can manoeuvre to take advantage of the enemy's weaknesses this is less of a problem – but for a weapon that is primarily defensive, this is a serious problem. Today, the T-12 is applied mostly in the role of ordinary artillery, using FRAG-HE shells.
In 2017, the Algerian military displayed a locally developed variant mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Zetros truck. It includes four stabilization legs to absorb firing impacts.
The gun requires a crew of six: commander, driver of the towing vehicle, gun layer, loader, and two ammunition crewmen. When the MT-LB is used as the transporter, 20 rounds are typically carried (10 APFSDS, 4 HE-Frag, 6 HEAT). Since the weapon is a smoothbore, all the ammunition is finned for accuracy during flight.
The standard equipment consists of the panoramic PG-1M sight for indirect fire, and an OP4M-40U telescope for direct fire. The APN-5-40 or APN-6-40 are used for direct fire by night.
The gun can be fitted with the LO-7 ski gear for travel across snow or swampy ground.
A407 - This artillery system was designed by Arsenal-Resita and is very similar to the MT-12. It can fire the same range of ammunition as the T-54/55 tank and has a maximum range of 2,200 m (HEAT) or 4,000 m (APC-T). Subversions are the A407M1 and the A407M2. In Romanian Army service, the A407 is known as the 100 mm anti-tank gun M1977 (Romanian: Tun antitanc calibrul 100-mm Model 1977) and is normally towed by the DAC 887R truck. It can also be towed with the DAC 665T truck. The Model 2002 is an improved version, fitted with the automatic fire control system TAT-100.
People's Republic of China
Type 73 - This appears to be a copy of the Soviet T-12.
Type 86 - This is a 100mm smoothbore anti-tank gun that has some similarities with the 85mm Type 56 (D-44). It fires ammunition of the fixed type, including the Type 73 HE, Type 73 HEAT, Type 73 APFSDS and Type 86 APFSDS to a maximum range of 1,800 m.
^Zaloga, Steven; Luczak, Wojciech; Beldam, Barry (1992). Armor of the Afghanistan War. Armor 2009. Concord Publications. p. 67. ISBN 978-9623619097.
^Mantoux, Stéphane (December 2012). "Jours de tonnerre : L'Armée russe au combat en Ossétie du Sud et en Géorgie" [Days of thunder: The Russian Army in combat in South Ossetia and Georgia]. Batailles et Blindés (in French). No. 52. Caraktère. pp. 68–82. ISSN1765-0828.
^Nerguizian, Aram; Cordesman, Anthony (2009). The North African Military Balance: Force Developments in the Maghreb. Washington DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press. pp. 44–46. ISBN 978-089206-552-3.
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