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Sp70 Howitzer

Volume 100: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1986

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the technical problems delaying the SP70 howitzer's entry into service; and when he expects them to be overcome.

[pursuant to his reply, 23 June 1986, c. 25]: The main problem faced is the reliability of the equipment in particular in the areas of the turret and ammunition handling system. A review of the programme is currently being undertaken to determine the best way ahead. This is being pursued as a matter of urgency but it is not possible to say when decisions will be reached.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the precise dates of the concept stage, of the feasibility study stage, of the project definition stage, and of the full development stage of the SP70 155 mm howitzer; and if he will list the specific reasons of the delay at each stage.

[pursuant to his reply, 23 June 1986, c. 25]: Because it is a collaborative project, SP70 does not fit exactly into the framework in the question. The main milestones in its history are:

1969Start of collaborative studies
1970Start of formal project study
1973Start of Phase A developmentDesign changes to overcome deficiencies in meeting the required performance.
1977Phase A development suspendedDifficulties in meeting the operational requirement.




1978Start of Phase B developmentThis followed a design review aimed at improving the design, increasing reliability, and reducing costs.
1985Germany ceased development funding following evaluation trials. Phase B suspended.System reliability inadequate.