ARTILLERY and ANTI-AIRCRAFT
The G5 is a South African towed howitzer of 155 mm calibre manufactured by Denel. Initial versions of it were
based on the 45-calibre GC-45 howitzer designed by Gerald Bull, though it has gone through many modifications
and variations to reach its latest model: the 52-calibre G5-2000.
It is mounted on a slightly-modified version of a towed chassis design by NORICUM, which also includes a
small APU to allow it to dig itself in and move short distances at up to 16 km/h. Using the normal Extended
Range, Full Bore ammunition the normal range is 39 km, which can be extended to about 53 km with the use
of base bleed or rocket assisted rounds. It is regarded as one of the most potent artillery pieces on the modern battlefield.
The G5 gun has been placed on an OMC 6×6 chassis to produce the fully self-propelled G6 howitzer, and won
major export sales in this form to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. In response to a request from India it
has also been tested on the back of a 4×4 wheeled truck, a combination known as the T5-2000.
It has also been fitted into a turret that can be placed on any suitable vehicle. The turret is marketed as the
T6 which has already been fitted on the T-72.
The South African Army at the start of the Angolan conflict was equipped with WW2-era artillery
pieces, notable the G1 (25pdr) and the G2 (5.5 inch or 140 mm). With the help of the Canadian scientist
Gerald Bull and his company, Space Research Corporation, they developed the GC-45 howitzer. As a stopgap
the G3 155 mm gun (American WWII vintage M-2 “Long Tom”) and the G4 155 mm gun (Israeli
SOLTAM M-68) was secretly operated. Deliveries of the G5 (developed from the GC-45) started in 1982.