If the Royal Artillery does end up replacing AS90 with a wheeled system the working assumption by many seems to think it will be a three-horse race between the Boxer RCH, BAE Archer on a MAN truck chassis, or perhaps a NEXTER CAESAR.
All good, am sure any one of them would be a fine addition to the long arm of the British Army, but how about another option?
The NORA-B52 K1 is the latest in a long line of truck-based self-propelled guns from Yugoimport in Serbia.
Basic data, reproduced from the manufacturer’s website include
- fire mode is 12 rounds in less than 4 minutes
- rate of fire – 4 rds/min in loading elevation
- barrel ballistic life – 1000 rounds with charge 10 as per the firing tables
- with autofrettage barrel – 2000 rounds with charge 10 as per the firing tables
- Range with ERFB projectile 32.5 km
- Range with ERFB BB projectile 41.5 km
- Range with VLAP projectile 52 km
It has been fitted to both a Kamaz 6560 and MAN TGS chassis so one would imagine a MAN HX/SX should not present any significant challenge. It has a crew of 4 and a gross vehicle weight of less than 40 tonnes. The autoloader includes 24 projectiles and propellant charges with an additional 12 stored on the vehicle for an immediate reload.
A slightly modified version is currently being evaluated by the US Army, alongside the Nexter Caesar, BAE Archer and ATMOS Iron Sabre as part of their towed M777 155mm replacement programme. The video below shows instrumented firings before shipping to the USA for the trials programme.
We can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of wheels v tracks and Boxer module v MAN truck all day long but let’s not ignore the potential of other manufacturers out there.