Land Weapons

ATS / ARE

155 F3-Am

The 155 F3-Am (often referred to as the 155 Mk F3) was designed as a more powerful follow-up to the 105 AU 50, intending to replace US-supplied M41 vehicles that were supplied in the immediate post-war years. Also based on the AMX-13 light tank chassis, the 155 F3-Am is remarkable for being the smallest and lightest 155-mm SPG ever built. Changes to the chassis involved the removal of the rear idler and modification to support the larger mount of a 155-mm 33-caliber gun which was designed by the Atelier de Construction de Tarbes (ATS). The turret-less hull is made of all-welded steel armor which offers some protection against small arms fire, with no other defensive armament provided. Because of its small size, the vehicle only has a crew of two (driver and commander) and requires an accompanying ammunition carrier/gun crew transport, although up to four members of the gun crew can be carried for short distances. The gun has a rate of fire of three rounds per minute (or one round sustained) with a range of up to 25.3 km using base bleed ammunition. However, the small size of the vehicle required some compromises, notably the lack of NBC protection. Despite these limitations, the small size of the 155 F3-Am and low cost made it highly successful in the export market with a dozen foreign users, notably Morocco with nearly one hundred units acquired. This allowed it to remain in production into the 1980s, and despite its replacement in French Army service by the 155 AUF1, it remains in widespread use abroad.

Despite its relatively large production run, the 155 F3-Am was only built in its original variant although some export versions featured a Detroit Diesel 250-hp powerplant which raised speed to 64 km/h and range to 450 km. Plans to equip it with a longer 39-caliber gun never materialized.

155 F3-Am

Preceded by:

None

Related:

AMX-13 (1953)

Succeeded by:

155 AUF1 (1977)

Datafile

Design155 F3-Am
TypeSelf-Propelled Gun
Year1963
Crew2
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)?
Width2.70 m
Height2.09 m
Weight
Loaded17,400 kg
Ground Pressure0.84 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion bar
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)60 km/h
Range (Off-Road)300 km
AmphibiousNo
Fording1 m
Vertical Obstacle0.60 m
Trench1.50 m
Gradient40%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 250-hp
SOFAM
Model 8GXb
FuelGasoline: 450 L
Power/Weight14.37 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 155-mm L/33
CN-155 F3
Howitzer (0)
↑ 67° / ↓ 0° / ↔ 50°

Secondary-
Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness10 - 20 mm
Max Effective26 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front15 mm / 55°
Hull Lower Front15 mm / 55°
Hull Upper Sides20 mm
Hull Lower Sides20 mm
Hull Upper Rear15 mm
Hull Lower Rear15 mm
Hull Top10 mm
Hull Bottom20 mm
Production
Built621
Total621

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