Notes:  In the late 1960s, Syria was unable to receive regular shipments of 2S1 self-propelled howitzers from Russia.  Needing more mobile artillery, it used obsolete T-34 tank chassis and D-30 field guns and created a self-propelled howitzer.  The first such modification was done in the late 1960s and they were out of service by 1974, rapidly replaced by more advanced Soviet-supplied vehicles and field guns. The design work and gun-vehicle matings were actually done by the Czechs at the behest of the Russians, rather than being a Syrian idea.  However, Syrian ordnance was used; the Syrians at the time had plenty of D-30 field gun/howitzers and T-34/85s in reserve at the time. Though not the best vehicles in the world, the T-34/122 was one of the first mobile artillery designs for the Syrians, and they took great pride in them.  They were generally known as the “T-122” in Syrian service.

     The entire turret is removed from the T-34/85 base, leaving only the chassis.  Also removed was the ammunition racks for the 85mm tank gun ammunition, the bow machinegun, and essentially all the turret-related equipment.  While they were at it, the engine and transmission were overhauled and essentially brought to “zero miles” standards.  New welds and the additions made to the vehicle were professional-looking; they did not look ad-hoc in nature.  When the engines came out of overhaul, they were somewhat upgraded, developing 493 horsepower.

     The hull exterior was modified with the addition of a large steel plate that ran from the glacis to just behind where the back of the turret was (just in front of the engine grills are). Five steel ammunition boxes were added to each side of this plate; each box held four 122mm rounds.  Another steel plate and mounting equipment were added on top of the main plate, to mount the D-30.  The gun trails were removed, and the wheels and carriage were locked down, allowing for a small amount of deflection. The gun shield remained attached to the mounted D-30. The gun can be rotated through 360 degrees, but due to the light weight of the chassis, firing could be done only facing the rear in a 60-degree arc to the right or left. Around the gun platform, with the ammo bins inside of it, was a raised section of thick steel plate about 35 centimeters high.  The front section could be swung down to allow the engagement of direct-fire targets.  Armored louvers were mounted over the air intake and radiator openings.  Often, the gun crew would mount poles with a tarp or camouflage net over the position to obtain some measure of camouflage, but more to get some protection from the sun and the heat coming off the engine. Gun controls are manual, including the use of elevation and deflection manually-cranked wheels.

     Personal equipment was normally carried at the rear of the gun platform, where there was less gun equipment, as were generally 3-5 jerry cans of water.  One T-34/122 in each battery was equipped with a Passive IR sight.  The rear fenders were equipped with clusters of four smoke grenade launchers.

     T-34/122s were encountered by Israeli forces as late as 1983 in the hands of pro-Syrian militias in Lebanon.  The T-34/122 was generally easy to operate and maintain, which was a good fit in the Syrian Army of the 1970s, which had a low-level of technical expertise.



Fuel Type


Veh Wt



Night Vision**



D, A

768 kg

29 tons






Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons










TF1  TS1  TR1  HF16  HS6  HR4


Fire Control






122mm D-30 Howitzer L/38, PKT (C)

40x122mm, 1000x7.62mm

*For turret armor, the “turret” has a low parapet of armor plate, which can be hid behind and otherwise protects the legs of the gunners.  This has an AV of 3.  In “front” of the gun (which faces to the rear), the gun also has a gun shield, which protects two gunners (one on each side of the breech), completely if crouching and all except the upper chest and head is standing, with an AV of 2. If the “turret” armor in front of the gun is raised, the AV3 level of protection is also gained, with both the gun shield and “turret” armor both applying, depending on the attitude of those behind the armor and gun shield.

**If this is a vehicle with an IR scope, the gun commander generally uses it at night when aiming.  This device is Passive IR, with a small IR searchlight. Such a vehicle costs $14,000 more, and has an increase of 140 kilograms in weight.