During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) the Boers employed 155 mm Creusot guns which were nicknamed Long Toms. Seventy-five years later the need for a modern version of the Long Tom arose.
In 1975 the South African Defence Force found that its own artillery was being out-ranged by Soviet artillery used by the Angolan forces. The South African Defence Force (SADF) was in need of a new artillery system which would not only match the Soviet artillery used in Angola against them, but would also be superior in range and highly accurate. The SADF required a system that could deliver constant fire and could be moved quickly before the opposition could locate it. As close fire support had to be delivered, accuracy was vital.
A 155 mm howitzer was chosen as the gun that would fulfil the requirements of the SADF. One reason for this was that 155 mm is the accepted NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) standard for artillery. The 155 mm projectile is also more manageable for the gun crew unlike the 175 mm and 203 mm projectiles which are too heavy. It was also the next logical step from the 140 mm (5.5 inch) gun used by the SADF.(1)
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