Gun-howitzer M84 NORA
Gun howitzer NORA (Serbian: Топ — хаубица НОРА, tr. Top — haubica NORA) is a Yugoslav and Serbian 152mm and 155mm gun-howitzer developed by the Military Technical Institute (MTI) for the Yugoslav People's Army, Serbian army, and export. Gun-howitzer NORA (Serbian: Ново оруђе артиљерије, tr. Novo oruđe artiljerije or New Artillery Weapon) has few basic version M-84, M-84B1 and M-84B2 and they are usually towed by FAP 2026 BS/AV truck.
|Gun-howitzer 152mm M84 NORA|
|Place of origin||Yugoslavia, Serbia|
|Used by||Serbia and numerous others|
|Designer||Military Technical Institute Belgrade|
|Manufacturer||Complex Battle System factory in Velika Plana, Serbia BNT Novi Travnik, BiH|
|Mass||6880 kg or 7030 kg up to 7680 kg|
|Length||9.67 m (31 ft 9 in)|
|Width||5.73 m (18 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)|
|Caliber||152.4 mm (6 in)|
|Breech||Vertical semi-automatic sliding wedge|
|Recoil||hydraulic buffer and hydropneumatic recuperator|
|Elevation||-5° to 65°|
|Rate of fire||Burst: 6 rpm A1 version 8 rpm|
Sustained: 4 rpm
|Muzzle velocity||810 m/s (|
|Effective firing range||24,0 km|
|Maximum firing range||34,5 km |
(base bleed M-84/GG)
|Sights||direct fire ×5.5 optical sight and ×3.7 panoramic sight|
After producing domestic howitzer H155 mm M65 based on the US M114 155 mm howitzer, Yugoslav People's Army was not satisfied with the maximum range of that gun and current artillery weapons at disposal. Decisions were made to start domestic production of new large caliber guns. In same time construction documentation of 152 mm towed gun-howitzer M1955 (D-20) with few D-20 guns was bought from the Soviet Union. Dissatisfied with a range of both US 155mm and Soviet 152mm gun and after analyzing both US 155mm and Soviet Union 152mm guns and considering the lack of desired features, a number of specifications were defined with characteristics that new domestic gun-howitzer should have:
- range with unassisted projectile of 24 km (155mm howitzer M65 had range 14,9 km, and 152mm gun D-20 had range of 17,4 km)
- design new extended range ammunition (28 to 34.5 km)
- new weapon should be able to fire all types of old ammunition for 152mm gun D-20
- weapon should have wider elevation range (from -5° to +65°)
- rate of fire should be minimum 4, achieved by development of new semi-automatic wedge-type breach mechanism (155mm howitzer М65 has rate of fire of only 1 to 2 rpm).
It was planned that during the whole development phase of new artillery weapons three versions of NORA should be made:
- NORA-A gun — howitzer 152mm with 39 caliber barrel
- NORA-B self — propelled 152mm gun with 45 caliber barrel based on FAP-2832 as carrier for more see Nora B-52
- NORA-C Auxiliary power unit 152mm gun — howitzer 152mm with 45 caliber barrel — parts of this project was planned to be used with new 203mm gun code named KOLOS with max range of more than 50 km that was not realized due to lack of funds.
Work on NORA project began in 1975, and in May 1980 first prototype of NORA-A was sent to Technical Testing Center. In 1984 development was finished and NORA-A designated as M-84 NORA was accepted by Yugoslav People's Army. In 1989 M-84 powder chamber was redesigned and mass of gun was reduced with and new designation was adopted as M-84B1. The M-84B2 version is fitted with a pneumatic loader which is operational at all gun elevations, with the capacity of over 30 work cycles from one standard compressed air tank mounted on one of the trails.
Development of NORA-C was abandoned in 1991 and NORA-B had almost similar fate. But after 2001 decision was made to continue NORA-B project and development was reactivated and after few years in 2006 and with many new improvements and modifications a new self-propelled gun was developed known as Nora B-52. Today latest version of Nora B-52 has little similarities with the original NORA-B project as new self-propelled artillery gun system is much more modern and automated.
On basis of NORA M-84 development conversion was set for up-gunning Soviet 130 mm towed field gun M1954 (M-46) to bigger caliber and new gun was developed for that purposes. In 1986 it was accepted by Yugoslav People's Army under designation M-46/86 in 152mm caliber and in same time it was developed one more version for export as M46/86 with 155mm gun caliber.
Two more versions of Nora M-84 was developed after 2008 known as:
With the introduction of new gun new munition was developed. In 1984 new ammunition with base-bleed was tested with a range of 34.5km on Nora M84 152mm. In 1986 serial production of ammunition started under the designation of M84/ГГ It has a maximum muzzle velocity of 895 meters per second and was most sophisticated 152mm an at time of introduction ahead of Soviet ammunition for 152 mm howitzer 2A65.
There are a few variants of Nora artillery systems now in use or offered for sales or export:
Basic variant that was accepted in the armament of the YPA in 1984. Small quantities are in use.
Variant with 18 liters redesigned powder chamber and reduced mass to 6.88 tones. Most used variant. Range 34.5km.
Variant fitted with a pneumatic loader which is operational at all gun elevations, with the capacity to fire over 30 round.
Converted M-46 130mm gun to Nora standard using 152mm or 155mm 45 caliber barrel and other parts developed through Nora program. In 155mm M46/84 variant range of 39 km is achieved with ERFB/BB ammunition's with 2078 square meters lethal zone compared to 27 km standard range and 630 square meters lethal area for the original M-46 130mm gun.
Lightweight variant with 155mm 39 caliber barrel and high rate of fire(8 rpm), new counter-recoil system and the possibility of use of semi-automatic loader.
M08 represents a further development of M46/84 gun and it is 152mm gun with 45 caliber barrel having a range that is exceeding 40 km with new M05 155mm projectile.
152mm Nora is capable to fire M84/GG projectile with a range of 34.5 km and all other ammunition developed for D-20 gun and Nora gun. Nora guns in the caliber of 155mm are capable to fire all domestic and foreign counterpart ammunition developed for 155mm guns within pressure allowed in chamber and barrel. The illumination round for Nora gun 152mm is designated M88.
Transportation and use
Nora gun-howitzer is transported by FAP-2026 or Kamaz 43118 6x6 cross-country trucks. From traveling into combat position and vice versa it takes about 3–5 minutes. A crew of 9 is needed to operate it successfully in combat within designed parameters.
- Bosnian Army is equipped with 17 M-84 152mm Nora.
- Croatian Army is equipped with 21 M-84 152mm Nora
- The Serbian Army is equipped with 52 M-84 152mm Nora, most of them are in Mixed Artillery Brigade with some in reserve.
- Video about Nora in combat action during 1999. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNrybl88Ud0
- "155 mm / 39 CAL. NORA-A1 LIGHT GUN-HOWITZER — SDPR — Yugoimport".
- "M08 152mm / 45 cal. towed gun — SDPR — Yugoimport".