D-30 122mm Howitzer
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
The D-30 is the last of the major Soviet era 122mm weapons to be designed and fielded. Originally designated 2A18 by GRAU, the D-30 was designed by OKB-9 (F.F. Petrov) in 1954, and was accepted for service as the standard light howitzer in 1960. It was specifically designed to be emplaced in less than two minutes and packed up to go in the same period of time, in order to provide mobile firepower to motorized rifle divisions. It was later supplanted by the 122mm 2S1 howitzer, which used a ballistically identical howitzer as its main armament. With minor changes, it became the D-30M in the late 1970s. This weapon was made by the thousands and sold to all of the countries of the Warsaw Pact and most of the Soviet client states, and was produced by Poland and Yugoslavia among others. The Iraqis call their kit-built Yugoslavian models the "Model 1978 Saddam Howitzer".
The kit provided by SKIF is not really a D-30, but actually a D-30M. The original 2A18 tube had a five-baffle muzzle brake which appeared to be an evolution of the one on the 152mm ML-20 of WWII fame. The new one used a simple, cast two-baffle muzzle brake and had some other minor changes.
The kit faithfully provides for most of the features of the D-30M, such as the tripod trail arrangement and the option of wheels up or wheels down. The gun tube is not on a slide, and ergo recoil cannot be positioned out of battery without a great deal of work.
Most curious was a comment in other reviews that it suffered from an apparent lack of a breechblock, a failing often found on Tamiya and Italeri artillery pieces and open topped combat vehicles. Actually, it is there as part No. 28A in step 18, and is provided as an "option" as the breech with the vertical block down appears as it does in the kit minus the block.
Overall, a good effort, and if you don't mind "buttoning it up" it provides something to tow behind the ICM Ural-4320.
Cookie Sewell AMPS
Review Copyright © 2000 by Cookie