The Triple Threat Family
The T145 175 mm Gun has the distinction of being part of two different families. The first of these is the Annie Family, which saw it's birth formally during World War II with the German's Anzio Annie. The second family was known as the Triple Threat family - or Triple Threat weapon system. The T145 was accompanied in production and development by a 203 mm and 240 mm counterpart that both were mounted on the T76 carriage - the same as Atomic Annie.
The T145 is more affectionally known as "Baby Annie." The reason for this is that her predecessor and source of development was the 280 mm heavy motorized gun known as Atomic Annie. The smaller 175 mm gun was designed to be more mobile and flexible to deploy than the larger 280 mm relative. The 175 mm gun was placed on a modified T76 carriage, the same one that the 280 mm used. The modified carriage included a more portable design and was able to be transported by a single prime mover. Another attractive feature of the 175 mm gun over the larger 203, 240, and 280 variants was it's ability to be more easily transported long distances, such as by air. Development on the gun began sometime in the early 1950s, and by the mid 1950s at least three guns had been produced. It was in widespread service by 1960, and retired from defensive deployment by 1970 (all dates approximate).
The gun was marketed also to be more rapidly deployed and emplaced juxtaposed to previous systems which took over three hours. The T145 could be emplaced and prepared to fire in as little as ten minutes. Like it's larger counterpart, the T145 was capable of firing an adjustable atomic shell capable of producing a yield of up to 15 kt. It was also capable of firing conventional and high-explosive shells, which were the only shells to actually be fired from any T145. These shells were typically between 100 and 150 lbs. and had a range of about twenty miles and was lethal up to almost a mile away from the blast site.
A majority of information on the T145 is wrapped up in the Triple Threat Weapon program. Few documents have survived that point to the gun directly. The T145 was eventually used for additional research on multiple other programs such as HARP, the M107 Self Propelled Howitzer, and further development with both the 203 mm M115 howitzer, and the 155 mm M198 howitzer. The most resembled modification went to the conventional T145E1 variant and the 7-inch HARP gun.
No known examples of this gun exist to scale and the only known picture of the gun is in it's HARP configuration. The gun exists in some (incomplete) pieces at Fort Sill, but no complete assemblies exist that are known.
Two U.S. Army scale models of the gun are known to exist.
Quick Facts & Specifications (T145)
|Dimensions:||45'10" L, 10'4.5" W, 10'2" H|
|Firing Range:||~20 miles|
|Yield:||5-15 kilotons (Adjustable)|
|Rate of Fire:||Up to 60 RPM|