Return to Hammers Slammers Galleries page
The M53 “Hog” Rocket assisted Artillery - Specifications
The Slammers - and their original employers the government of Nieu Friesland - use mobile artillery based exclusively on a ‘blower’ chassis. Although Nieuw Friesland kept the older M18 15cm Rocket Assisted Howitzers systems in service in certain areas, from year 330TW, in the Slammers all of these earlier had been replaced in service by either the M46 or M53 20cm weapon. The M53 howitzer uses the same turret as the earlier M46 but on a new built hull with a more powerful fitment of lift fans - six instead of four. This spacious 2.5 metre tall turret is manufactured from aluminium and ceramic composites and gives protection from shell splinters and small arms fire to its crew. The gun requires eight crew in total, four of whom can be accommodated on the move in the turret (with some discomfort) and with three next to the driver. The turret has a half height, loading door at the rear, which - like the M18 15cm howitzer that preceded this model - is usually left open when firing for any length of time. A loading ramp is part of the turret design of the M53 (and M46). All up combat weight, depending on model, armour packages and ammunition stowage, can vary between 40 and 60 tonnes and its manoeuvring ability and cross country performance is only slightly degraded from the other "blower" vehicles it accompanies - and this is due more to having a higher centre of gravity than because of any particular degradation of its power to weight ratio. The AL27 20cm weapon mounted on the M53 (and earlier M46) chassis uses a similar technology to the smaller, 15cm AL22. Ammunition is kept in a 6 round ready drum which can be emptied, in a rapid burst of fire, in 15 seconds. Sustained fire rates are around ten rounds per minute. The effective range is 130 kilometres with standard rounds, increasing to 170km with the extended range driver motors (with a commensurate loss of warhead mass). All shells have the same type of rocket motor fuelled by powdered beryllium with a ramjet sustainer combination as the smaller calibre AL22. Velocity of rounds for the AL27 is around 880m per second depending on warhead type.  
M53 20cm Rocket Assisted Howitzer in service with Hammers Slammers