Venezuelan army M40A1 106mm antitank guns get updates


According to InfoDefensa, the Venezuelan Army is adapting its aging 106mm M40A1 recoilless guns with new sights used in Russian-made SVD-63 Dragunov precision rifles and high explosive ammunition type HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank).
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Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
The Venezuelan Army has developed the prototype of a vehicle called Ontos (by reference to the original U.S. vehicle) armed with six 106mm recoilless guns, based on the chassis of an AMX-13 tank (Picture source: Venezuelan army)


The information was provided by the commander of the Strategic Operational Command of the National Armed Forces (Ceofanb), General-in-Chief (Army) Domingo Antonio Hernández Lárez, through Twitter: “Today we adapted Anti-Tank gun number 180! With new Dragunov scopes and HEAT ammunition that will increase combat power (...) . In relation to the “Dragunov scopes”, these are the 4x24 PSO-1 telescopic sights designed for the Dragunov precision rifles, of which Venezuela acquired nearly 5,000 units in the middle of the first decade of this century.

The U.S.-made 106 mm M40A1 recoilless antitank gun has been used by the Venezuelan Army and Marine Corps, since the early 1960s. This gun can be either operated from the ground or mounted on various vehicles. Hence, the Venezuelan Army has developed the prototype of a vehicle called Ontos (by reference to the original U.S. vehicle), based on the chassis of an AMX-13 tank that originally served as a platform for the IMI Systems LAR-160 multiple rocket launcher system. This Venezuelan version of the Ontos, armed with six M40A1 recoilless guns, was unveiled last May.


Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
The Venezuelan Army is adapting its aging 106mm M40A1 recoilless guns with new sights used in Russian-made SVD-63 Dragunov precision rifles (Picture source: Venezuelan army)


The original U.S. Ontos

Ontos, officially "Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50", was a U.S. light armored tracked anti-tank vehicle developed in the 1950s. It mounted six 106 mm manually-loaded M40 recoilless rifles as its main armament, which could be fired in rapid succession against single targets to increase the probability of a kill. Although the actual caliber of the main guns was 105 mm, it was designated 106 mm to prevent confusion with the ammunition for the 105 mm M27 recoilless rifle, which the M40 replaced. It was produced in limited numbers for the U.S. Marines after the U.S. Army canceled the project. The Marines consistently reported excellent results when they used the Ontos for direct fire support against infantry in numerous battles and operations during the Vietnam War. The American stock of Ontos was largely expended towards the end of the conflict and the Ontos was removed from service in 1969.

A proposed upgrade was replacing the GMC engine with a newer Chrysler 361 cu in (5.92 l) V8 engine. This upgrade was implemented and the variant was named Rifle, Multiple 106 mm, Self-propelled, M50A1. However, of the 297 vehicles initially accepted by the Marines, only 176 were converted between 1963 and 1965 to this standard.


Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
M50 Ontos of the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam war  (Picture source: USMC)


 

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