Loving that 106

Ran across these images from the Chilean Army while researching a piece on the IWI Galil Ace which the Chileans have adopted. Fans of the venerable old M40 106mm recoilless rifle, especially when mounted to a Land Rover, should be overjoyed.

106mm recoilless rifle, Regimiento N°19 Colchagua, exercise Ojos de San Pedro, Oct 2021. In this case, the gun could be used for avalanche control. 

106mm recoilless rifle, Regimiento N°19 Colchagua, exercise Ojos de San Pedro, Oct 2021

106mm recoilless rifle, Batallón de Infantería Motorizado Nº 15 “Calama” exercise Ojos de San Pedro Oct 2021. Likely not avalanche control…

Compañía Antiblindaje “Karut” del Destacamento Motorizado N°14 “Aysén” with M40 106mm recoilless rifle Aug 2021

Same unit and date as above, with the Land Rover, dug in

Now that is a good ambush position that American anti-armor teams of the 1950s and 60s will easily recognize.

While the M40– first fielded just after Korea cooled down in 1955– was in production at Watervliet Arsenal for the U.S. and her allies until 1970 when the TOW system was standardized, licensed copies were made by Lohner in Austria, Kia in South Korea, and SBS in Spain since then (along with unlicensed copies made in China, India, Iran, and Pakistan). Still, with a 1,500-yard maximum effective range and the ability to penetrate 700 mm of armor with advanced HEAT rounds, it has proved popular as a sort of low-tech mobile artillery as it can be carried by any vehicle capable of toting 500 pounds on a rear platform without squatting. 

On a further side note, Chile also fields 48 more capable M109 155mm SPGs (to accompany their 270 German/Dutch surplus Leopard tanks and 800 Marder/M113 APCs) while towed artillery includes three dozen Israeli 155mm Soltams and about 75 Vietnam-era M101 105mm howitzers. Further, Chile, which fields four serious battalions of Andean mountain infantry, is one of the few countries that uses the very cute OTO Melera M56 105mm pack gun (largely because neighboring Peru and Argentina have the same guns for their respective mountain men).

105mm OTO mountain gun pack howitzer, La Batería de Artillería de Montaña N°2 Maturana, Oct 2021.

Dig that snow camo

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