The SU-122 had a diesel powered, V-12 engine that was capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 55 km/h. The SU-122 had a crew of five and had an armament that consisted of one M-30S howitzer. The chassis of the SU-122 was based on the T-34 and as such it had a christie suspension system.
Armor protection on the SU-122 varied from 45 mm to 20 mm throughout most areas of the vehicle. The total length of the SU-122 was 6.9 meters and the combat weight was just under 40,000 kg. The SU-122 was limited to a range of about 300 km if it was driving on roads, 150 km if it was driving off-road.
The fuel capacity of the SU-122 was about 690 liters if one includes the extra fuel tanks mounted on the sides of the vehicle. The SU-122 also had a 5 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission system and the gun elevation ranged from -3 degrees to +25 degrees. Ergonomics were not as bad as the T-34 Medium Tank, largely due to the increased crew compartment made specially to fit the howitzer, but conditions were still hot and humid.
The SU-122 had only three variants, but these were all prototypes that never saw service. The first of these variants was the SU-122M which was to have a new howitzer fitted with the D-11 howitzer. It also had an enlarged crew compartment. The next variant was the SU-122P which also had a new gun fitted. This variant was designed for the purpose of tank killing. The final variant is the SU-122 III which was supposed to have the lightweight D-6 howitzer mounted. All of these prototypes were cancelled because of the decision to go with the SU-85 self-propelled gun instead of the SU-122.
The SU-122 was developed in 1942 and was released into service in 1943 only to be replaced by the SU-152 in 1944. The SU-122 design won out against the SG-122, the competing prototype mainly because the SU-122 was based on the T-34 which at the time was mass production and readily available while the SG-122 was based on the Panzer III which was hard to acquire. When the SU-122 was released into service it had some success and was especially capable at destroying German fortifications such as like bunkers and pillboxes. However, it failed to outperform other SPGs when it came to tank-on-tank warfare; even when the special HEAT round was introduced, the SU-122 had to be quite close to its target and it could only take down tanks with little armor protection. In total, over 1,000 SU-122s were produced during World War II.
- ↑ http://www.onwar.com/tanks/ussr/fsu122.htm
- ↑ http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_SU-122_assault_gun.html
- ↑ http://www.o5m6.de/su_122.html
- ↑ Lüdeke, Alexander. Weapons of World War II. Parragon Books Ltd. (2007), Page 121
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=86
- ↑ http://www.wwiivehicles.com/ussr/self-propelled-guns/su-122.asp