Denel G5 Mk III 155mm towed howitzer remains mainstay of Malaysian Army artillery
In 2000, the Malaysian Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with the Denel Group from South Africa to acquire 22 units of 155mm/45 cal G5 MKIII howitzers, Defense Studies recalls. According to an official statement from Denel, the agreement for the 22 guns also covered the acquisition of the Fire Control System (FCS), ammunition, logistical assistance and training.
From its procurement in 2000 until now, the South African-made G5 MKIII howitzer remains the largest caliber cannon in the possession of the Malaysian Armed Forces. And the Ministry of Defense has made a follow-up acquisition to increase their number.
The GC-45 155mm cannon was designed in the 1970s by Space Research Corp (SRC) owned by the famous and controversial cannon designer, the late Gerald Bull. Gerald Bull, who is a famous Western cannon designer and the “brain” behind the Babylon Project to create Saddam Hussein’s giant cannon (super gun) was shot dead in his apartment in Brussels, Belgium, believed to be by Israeli Mossad agents.
The design of the G5 cannon is based on the Canadian GC-45 but it has been modified so that it can operate according to the environmental conditions in South Africa and its regional countries. It is a battle-proven asset owned by the Malaysian Army because, since it began operating in 1983, the South African-made howitzer has been used extensively in various conflicts from the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War and conflicts involving South Africa.
With a weight of about 13.75 tons, the G5 MKIII by Malaysia is also equipped with an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to make it easier for it to move alone (for a limited distance) at a speed of 16km/h without its towing vehicle. The APU enables the “shoot and scoot” mode to a limited extent to avoid the threat of enemy artillery counterattacks partly thanks to the information channeled by the counter-battery radar.
Using the AS2000 Fire Control System, the G5 MKIII can fire three rounds per minute. If it fires Extended Range Full Bore (ERFB) shells, the howitzer can hit a target as far as 30km away; if it uses Base Bleed shells, the distance can reach 39km. If using Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP) ammunition, the G5 MKIII cannon can hit targets up to 50km away.
The weight of the G5 Mk III enables its transport by C-130 and, of course, Airbus A400M Atlas.
Over the past few years, Denel has developed a variant of the G5 that is more capable in terms of accuracy and firing range, called the G5-2000, which uses a 52 caliber cannon.
The forthcoming induction of 18 self-propelled howitzers “Yavuz” 155mm/52cal manufactured by the Turkish company MKE will reinforce the Artillery Regiment.