MT-12 (anti-tank gun)

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100 mm anti-tank gun MT-12

The 100-mm anti-tank gun MT-12 is in the Soviet Army introduced in 1955 anti-tank gun . It is primarily used to fight armored moving targets. The Russian designation is 100-мм противотанковая пушка МТ-12 , the GRAY index 2A29. The name Рапира ( rapier ) is also often used. It was developed from the 100 mm T-12 anti-tank gun , which it largely replaced. The weapon was used in all major conflicts at the end of the 20th century, such as the various military clashes between the Arab states and Israel. In 2015, their use in the war in Ukraine was observed since 2014 . In the regular armed forces, it has meanwhile been replaced by anti-tank guided missiles, as the ballistic performance is insufficient for fighting modern armored vehicles.


The T-12, introduced in 1961, had fundamentally proven itself. With it, the Soviet Army and other armed forces had at their disposal a powerful and mobile anti-tank device for the time. Nevertheless, the weapon showed shortcomings in practical use. The mount, which was in principle adopted unchanged from the 85 mm D-48 anti-tank gun, showed inadequate properties in the field. Use in poor visibility was also not possible. Ultimately, the weapon also had to be adapted to the new ammunition types that had been developed in the meantime. Like its predecessor, the weapon was developed in the design office of Plant No. 75 in Jurga .

The basic construction was retained, but the carriage was redeveloped. Off-road mobility was improved by widening the track width, and use with the MT-LB chain hoist was now possible. In the field, the maximum permissible speed could be increased from 15 km / h to 25 km / h. The tube and plug remained unchanged, but an additional third tube retrieval device was installed. The protective shield was also changed, which increased the height to the upper edge of the shield from 1,565 mm to 1,600 mm. From 1981, anti-tank guided missiles 9M117 Kastet could be fired with the weapon . The ability to fight at night and with poor visibility has been improved in the MT-12R version by using a RLPK-1 (РЛПК-1) radar device . The weapon was initially named T-12A, but due to the profound changes it was changed to MT-12. At the same time, the GRAY index was changed to 2A29. Production began in 1970. The ballistic performance made it possible to combat the then most modern western main battle tanks, the Leopard 1 and M-60 , but as early as 1967 Soviet specialists came to the conclusion that the MT-12 could only be used against the Chieftain and the 70 main battle tank, which was under development would be of limited effectiveness. On the basis of this assessment, OKB -9 was commissioned in January 1968 to develop a 125 mm smoothbore cannon with the ballistic performance of the D-81 tank cannon . This development ultimately led to the 125 mm anti-tank gun 2A45 .



The bottom section with the loading cradle and lock, the tube brake and the tube retractor are above the bottom section, note the tube retractor that has been changed compared to the T-12
Directional drives, also note the changed protective shield

The T-12 is a smoothbore cannon ; the pipe has neither fields nor trains. The one-piece barrel has a length of 63 calibers and has a multi-hole muzzle brake . A vertically running semi-automatic drop block lock is used as the lock , in which a spring supports the opening of the lock. The breech only needs to be closed manually before the first shot is fired, after which the semi-automatic breech opens after each shot. The charging cradle, in which the grenade cartridges to be fired are inserted, is located behind the lock. The hydraulic pipe brakes and the hydraulic pipe retractor are located at the level of the base piece, directly above the pipe. The construction allows a rate of fire of 6 to 14 rounds per minute. The weapon is aimed purely mechanically in terms of height and side, the aiming drives are to the left of the breech.


The riflescope OP4M-40U (ОП4M-40У) is used as a sight . The scope has a field of view of 11º at 5.5x magnification. The aiming device S71-40 (С71-40) with the panoramic telescope PG-1 (ПГ-1) and the collimator K-1 (K-1) are used for shooting in indirect aiming . The night vision devices APN 6-40 (APN 6-40) or APN 5-40 (APN 5-40) are available for combat at night . These are passive infrared vision devices. While the APN 5-40 has a 6-fold magnification with a field of view of 5 ° 30 ', the APN 6-40 magnifies 6.8-fold with a field of view of 6 ° 50'.


Spars with earth spurs and locking

The mount has been redesigned. The clearest difference is the widened track width to 1,900, which reduces the risk of tipping sideways off-road. The enlarged diameter of the running wheels to 1,034 also contributes to the increased off-road mobility. The spars are longer, which results in a wider spread and thus increased stability in combat situations. The expanding carriage is a welded box-spar construction. Both spars are each provided with a ground spur . For the march, the bars are folded up and locked, the lock also takes the eye for the towing vehicle. In the marching position, the pipe is lashed to the stiles at the base. For easier maneuvering without a towing vehicle, a foldable wheel is attached to the left handle. The chassis has torsion springs with hydraulic shock absorbers. The crew is protected against rifle ammunition and fragments by a shield, the shape and size of the shield have been changed compared to the T-12. The LO-7 (ЛО-7) ski chassis is available for use in winter conditions.

In the march position the gun is 9,650 mm long, 2,310 mm wide and 1,600 high, the ground clearance is 380 mm. The MT-LB chain pulling device was primarily used as the pulling device . On the road, the carriage construction allows a cruising speed of 70 km / h, in the field a maximum speed of 25 km / h must not be exceeded.


Wing-stabilized BM2 sub-caliber grenade

Wing-stabilized cartridged ammunition is fired . The ammunition types developed for the T-12 were initially available: UBM1 / BM1 and UBM2 / BM2 sub-caliber shells and UBK2 shaped charge grenades. For the fight against semi-hard and soft targets, fragmentation grenades UOF3 are available.

The BM2 sub-caliber shells penetrate armor with a thickness of 230 mm at a distance of 500 m, 180 mm at a distance of 2,000 m and 140 mm at a distance of 3,000 m. The shell weight 19.34 kg, the bullet 5.65. These shells reach a muzzle velocity of 1,575 m / s and an effective range of 3,000 m.

A UOF3 fragmentation explosive grenade weighs 28.9 kg with a projectile weight of 16.7 kg. These shells reach a muzzle velocity of 700 m / s and a maximum range of 8,200 m.

Improved types of ammunition were later introduced. The BM-24 sub-caliber shells penetrate 400 mm of armor steel at 1,500 m, the BK-16M hollow charge grenades from 350–400 mm armor steel. The latter weighs 23.1 kg with a bullet weight of 9.5 kg and has a muzzle velocity of 975 m / s.

A typical combat set that was carried on the traction device consisted of:

  • 10 BM-24 sub-caliber shells
  • 6 BK-16M shaped charge grenades
  • 4 fragmentation explosives 3OF-35 .

With the version MT-12K (2A29K) introduced in 1981, anti-tank guided missiles 9M117 Kastet can be fired. These missiles are so-called beam riders . The guided missiles are controlled by a modulated laser beam emitted by the 1K13 telescopic sight. Different types are now available for the MT-12. The guided missiles 3UBK10 and 3UBK10M have a range of 4,000 m with a flight time of approximately twelve seconds. The 3UBK10 penetrates 650 mm of armor steel, the 3UBK10M, which is equipped with a tandem shaped charge warhead, penetrates 650 mm. The improved 3UBK23 has a maximum range of 6,000 m and penetrates 750 mm of armor steel with its tandem shaped charge warhead.



The MT-12 was the name of the first version of the cannon, also known as the T-12A and built from 1970.


Version equipped with radar RLPK-1 (РЛПК-1) (GRAU index 2A29R). By using the radar device, the possibilities for use in poor visibility, i.e. in fog and smoke, have been improved.


The version introduced in 1981 (GRAU index 2A29K) with a modified sighting device enables anti-tank guided missiles to be fired.


Romanian 100 mm anti-tank gun M1977

Name of the weapon system developed in Romania from 1975 . The original M1975 version largely corresponded to the MT-12, but the breech block slid horizontally. With the M1977 model, a vertically running shutter like the MT-12 was changed. Due to its mount, the M1977 can also be used as a field cannon, the maximum range is 20,600 m. The breech block was used in the 100 mm drawbar cannon designated as A308 in the Romanian modernizations of the T-55 TR-77 and TR-85 . The M2002 is a further modernized version with the TAT-100 fire control system . The A430 developed from this weapon is used as turret armament on various Romanian warships.

PT-73 / Type 86

The PT-73 and Type 86 are China-made versions of the cannon.


Topaz is the name of the version developed in Yugoslavia . The barrel with the lock and the barrel recovery device was placed on the mount of the 122 mm D-30 howitzer .

Technical specifications

100 mm anti-tank gun MT-12
General properties
classification Anti-tank gun
Chief designer
Name of the manufacturer MT-12
Manufacturer Zavod No. 75 (Plant No. 75, Russian Завод № 75) in Jurga
Weight in firing position 3,100 kg
Weight in driving position 3,050 kg
team 6 men (gun leader, K1 directional gunner, K2 locking and loading gunner, K3 ammunition and fuse gun, K4 ammunition gunner, driver)
Years of construction from 1970
number of pieces
caliber 100 mm
Pipe length 6,300 mm (L / 60)
Fire dates
Elevation range –6 ° to + 20 °
Side straightening area 53 °
Maximum range 8,200, direct shot 1,880 m
Maximum muzzle velocity 700-1,575 m / s
fire rate 6-14 rounds / min
Top speed in tow 70 km / h


Ukrainian MT-12 with MTLB during the war in Ukraine 2015
MT-12 and MT-LB of the NVA 1977 on the occasion of the parade for the anniversary of the founding of the state of the GDR in Berlin

Operational principles

Basically, the MT-12 was used in the Soviet Army in the tank destroyer departments of the army corps and the various division types. The main task of these associations was to protect their own flanks in the event of successful breakthroughs and to seal off enemy breaches. The successor to the MT-12 is the 125 mm 2A45M Sprut-B cannon .

The weapon was exported to numerous countries and some of it is still in use there today.

Use in the NVA

The NVA began using the T-12 in the early 1970s. Only the basic version MT-12 was procured, the variant MT-12R with radar device was not used by the NVA. The introduction of new types of ammunition was also dispensed with, the types of ammunition that had already been procured when the T-12 was introduced were fired. The MT-12 was used in the tank destroyer departments of the military districts and motorized rifle divisions and some tank hunter batteries of the motorized rifle regiments.

While the tank destroyer departments had both MT-12 batteries and anti-tank guided missile batteries, the MT-12 in the tank destroyer batteries of the motorized rifle regiments served as a replacement armament for the insufficient number of anti-tank missile complexes. In the 1980s, MT- 12s that became available were assigned to the mobilization divisions.

The guns were not taken over by the Bundeswehr in 1990.

User states

Current users

  • AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria - As of January 2018, there are 10 MT-12 in service.
  • BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria - As of January 2018, there are 126 MT-12s in service.
  • China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China - As of January 2018, 1308 PT-73s (based on the T-12) are in service.
  • GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia - As of January 2018, an unknown number of T-12s are in service.
  • KazakhstanKazakhstan Kazakhstan - As of January 2018, there are 68 M / T-12s in service.
  • KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan - As of January 2018, 18 M / T-12s are in service.
  • Moldova RepublicRepublic of Moldova Moldova - As of January 2018, there are 37 MT-12s in service.
  • MongoliaMongolia Mongolia - As of January 2018, an unknown number of MT-12s are in service.
  • RussiaRussia Russia - As of January 2018, there are 526 MT-12s in service.
  • TurkmenistanTurkmenistan Turkmenistan - As of January 2018, there are 60 M / T-12s in service.
  • UzbekistanUzbekistan Uzbekistan - As of January 2018, 36 M / T-12s are in service.
  • UkraineUkraine Ukraine - As of January 2018, there are approximately 500 M / T-12s in service.
  • VietnamVietnam Vietnam - As of January 2018, an unknown number of T-12s are in service.

Web links

Commons : MT-12  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Wilfried Copenhagen : The land forces of the NVA. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-613-02297-4 .
  • Christopher F. Foss (Ed.): Jane's Armor and Artillery 2003-2004. Jane's Publishing Company, London / New York 2003, ISBN 0-7106-2539-1 .
  • 100-мм противотанковая пушка МТ-12. Руководство службы. Военное издательство Министерства обороны СССР, Москва 1980. (Russian)
  • А. Б. Широкорад: Энциклопедия отечественной артиллерии. Харвест, Минск 2000, ISBN 985-433-703-0 .
  • А. Б. Широкорад: Отечественная противотанковая артиллерия.

Individual evidence

  1. Индексные обозначения военной техники ГРАУ МО (Russian)
  2. Information according to the RWD technical catalog
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS): The Military Balance 2018 . 1st edition. Routledge, London 2018, ISBN 978-1-85743-955-7 (English, January 2018).