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SP-70 Self-Propelled Howitzer

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In 1973 a joint project was started, under West German leadership, to produce a self-propelled version of the highly successful FH-70 155mm howitzer. The partners were Great Britain (turret and ammunition handling system), West Germany (hull and powerpack, and main ordnance) and Italy (auxiliary systems, including elevation system). Within the German part of the project Rheinmetall were responsible for the ordnance, MTU for the powerpack (an MB 871 8-cylinder turbocharged diesel) and MaK for the chassis. The prototypes were based on the automotive and suspension components of the Leopard 1, although some Leopard 2 parts were used, along with transmissions from the Marder Schützenpanzer. However, unlike the Leopard series the hull is of all-welded aluminium construction.
The project was not a success as it was found that the system had many teething problems, including an inability to sustain the high rate of fire required by the partners. In 1986, after a huge budget had been wasted, the project was cancelled. All that remained to show for it were 15 unreliable prototypes — the fate of the majority of them is not known.

Model Id:760
Manufacture:MaK, Kiel (Chassis manufacturer)

1) Erprobungstelle 51, Meppen, Germany

Number of Photos: 0
Sample Photo from Album Number 326

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Unique ID: 326
Serial Number:
Other Identification:

It is believed that there is an SP-70 prototype belonging to Munster in storage at one of the German Army’s test sites, such as Meppen or Trier. (Source: T. Royall).

2) Firepower Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich, Britain

Number of Photos: 2
Sample Photo from Album Number 325

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Unique ID: 325
Serial Number:
Registration: 99SP44: “99 SP 44” painted on lower nose.
Other Identification:

This is one of the prototypes of the SP-70. (Source: T. Royall, J. Harris).