M44 (self-propelled howitzer)
|M44 (self-propelled howitzer)|
Self-propelled howitzer M44
|crew||5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)|
|Dimensions||28.35 t with 0.66 kg / cm² ground pressure|
|Armor and armament|
|Armor||Max. 12.7 mm|
|Main armament||1 × 155 mm howitzer L / 23|
|Secondary armament||1 × 12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun|
|drive||air cooled 6-cylinder gasoline engine Continental AOS-895-3
500 hp (368 kW) at 2800 min -1
|Top speed||56 km / h (road)|
|Power / weight|
To replace the previously used M7 self-propelled howitzer by the US Army , the development of a successor model began in 1947, which was initially called the T99 . After a short time it was decided, for reasons of standardization in a substantial amount of components Spähpanzers M41 Walker Bulldog to use. The resulting model then went into production as the T99E1 and was put into service in 1952. Significant defects in the vehicle led to further improvements and a renaming to T194 . The 250 T99E1 units produced so far have been converted to the T194 . It was not until 1953 that the device received its final military designation as the M44 . In 1956 the previous carburettor engine was exchanged for an injection engine, whereupon the type designation M44A1 was introduced. The vehicle was produced by Massey-Harris - today AGCO .
The welded hull of the M41 reconnaissance tank served as the basis, the original pulley of which was moved down as the sixth roller. The direction of travel was reversed so that the M44 , in contrast to the M41, now had front-wheel drive. However, this had a disadvantageous effect because the driver and the rest of the crew were in the exhaust gas flow of the exhaust system. The drive had six rollers and four support rollers, the ground pressure was 0.66 kg / cm². The hinge chain was padded with rubber. The engine was an air-cooled 6-cylinder gasoline engine of Continental with a power of 500 hp at 2800 min -1 . This allowed a maximum of 56 km / h on the road. The M44 was able to overcome an obstacle up to 0.76 meters high, trenches up to 1.83 meters wide and gradients of up to 60 percent. The landing gear was capable of forading up to 1.07 meters. A closed, pivoting tower was not used as a fighting area, but a rigidly attached steel box open at the top. This could be closed weatherproof with the help of tarpaulin and bows . The driver sat in the front left of the fighting area and was completely unprotected against enemy action. Firing was only possible with the rear shield lowered. The 155 mm howitzer could be aimed from 5 ° to + 65 ° in height. The lateral straightening range was 30 ° on both sides. 24 rounds of 155 mm ammunition could be carried (ammunition types HE, FOG, CHEM, NC, CA).
On the rear of the fighting compartment there was a ring mount with a 12.7 mm machine gun , for which 900 rounds were held ready. The vehicle offered no protection against the effects of NBC weapons .
The successor model was the M109 self-propelled howitzer .
Countries of operation
- Tanks and other combat vehicles from 1916 to the present day. Buch und Zeit Verlagsgesellschaft, Cologne 1977.