by Max Barry

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by The Dutch Democratic Republic of Knootoss. . 54 reads.

Stadtholder Self-Propelled Artillery Platform (S15 SPG)

The 2015 mid-life refit of the Stadtholder Self-Propelled Artillery Platform (S15 SPG) is a tracked, self-propelled gun platform featuring a high-profile hull superstructure mounting a potent main gun and a tracked hull design. Originally developed in 1995, the vehicle is built on the chassis of the Stadtholder III Main Battle Tank. An exception to the usual Knootian preference for towed guns, it is designed to perform counter-battery duties and support armoured and mechanized infantry divisions on the move.


155 mm Round

Maximum Range

Conventional High-Explosive

34,400 meters
21 miles

Peil55 High-Explosive Base Bleed

58,500 meters
36 miles

Peil M9703A1 V-LAP-equivalent

85,400 meters
53 miles

The S15 SPG is characterised by its significantly longer-than-average steel penis 155 mm Autoloading Howitzer Artillery Gun Barrel, which is optimised for non-standard Peil55 High-Explosive Base Bleed munitions to achieve superior range capability. While its minimum firing range of 3,600 meters (3,937 yards) and the sixty degree forward-facing movement arc of the turret are a limitation, the unit is able to engage enemies at long ranges with a relatively high degree of accuracy. (See table.) This renders it capable of outranging most conventional enemy artillery batteries in a counter-battery duel.

A box-like turret enclosure, which can be traversed thirty degrees in either direction, houses the breech of this gun, allowing for engagement at all elevation angles. It uses indirect fire to lobs its projectile in a trajectory against a given target area (as opposed to a direct fire field gun). An automatic loader permits a rate-of-fire of eight rounds per minute. The main gun is cleared to fire a variety of ordnance options, but is typically equipped with thirty Peil55 High-Explosive Base Bleed rounds. A Peil M9703A1 V-LAP-equivalent may be employed when a battery of these units is serving counter-battery duties and smoke shells may be issued to cover troop movements.

Defensive options are provided by a 12.799mm heavy machine gun that can be remotely controlled from the commanders' station. It sits atop the turret and can be used against enemy infantry, vehicles, buildings, low-flying aircraft and light fortifications, carrying 200 rounds that are ready to fire and storing 400 more. This heavy machine gun has an effective firing range of 1,800 meters (2,000 yards) and a maximum firing range of 6,800 meters (7,400 yards). Four close-range smoke grenade dischargers are fitted in pairs at the extreme lower corners of the turret front.

Battlefield awareness
Hidden digital camera's have been dispersed throughout the hull, allowing the commander to 'see through' the hull using the HUD that is typically issued to Knootian Landmacht officers. Contact points exist for the crew's PDA's, allowing en-route charging and networking capabilities, including use of an internal communications system, with the option to use short-range wireless headsets that have been built into the crew's ballistic helmets. A Battlefield Management and Navigation computer is installed, allowing interface with the national CAESAR Battlefield Management System. This allows the on-board displays to display and network accurate real-time information not only of friendly forces, but also of hostile forces, terrain conditions and more.

The S15 SPG has a modular passive armour scheme that uses the Stadtholders' original composite design whilst shedding significant unnecessary weight in the turret, where armour protection is 20 millimetres at its thickest. The base of the vehicle is able to absorb the blow from most mines and explosive devices and the crew compartments are protected against shrapnel and small arms by a Kevlar Spall Liner.

Iron Tide and Electronic Countermeasures
The 2015 upgrade of the S15 SPG saw it equipped with Iron Tide APS, a piece of technology that was originally developed by the AFV division of Schwerpunkt in Nachmere. This modular soft and hard kill system has been reconfigured to operate with the CAESAR battle management system and take full advantage of the systems of each specific vehicle it is mounted on. Infrared sensors located on sensor mast, a laser warning system and the Spiegel ground RADAR system are used to identify incoming threats in a 360 degrees arc around the protected vehicle. A speed compact processing unit is then used to allow the tracking, classification and engagement of threats. The software can use the data from the radar to identify threats and choose which threats to engage and which threats not to engage. It also chooses what counter measure to use against a threat. The processing unit is linked to the CAESAR system, allowing one unit to network with others.

2 twin-barreled automatically reloading, fully stabilized, rotating launchers fire combustible, fin-stabilized 80mm projectiles that explode at less than 1 meter from the threat, causing it to destabilize and either fall apart in the air or go off target. This method is effective against both CE threats and KE threats. 12 projectiles are carried in the auto-reload magazines of the system. It is moreover able to fire smoke grenades if needed (requiring only a confirmation from the commander).

The Stadtholders engines have been designed by Peacock Motors and are produced in Pantocratoria. The liquid cooled turbocharged V12 diesel engine is installed in the rear of the hull and the transmission provides seven forward gears and one reverse gear. While the unit is able to keep up with mechanised infantry at 80 kilometres per hour on roads and flat lands (such as those in Knootoss), it has been known to struggle with steep climbs and difficult terrain. Instead of merely losing traction, the vehicle is at risk of tipping over if its centre of gravity is not taken into account by the driver, necessitating occasional repositioning of the gun in transit. The Knootian Defence Forces' ammunition trucks that typically accompany the unit have been equipped with towing capability for that reason. While it can ford streams of up to 1 meter (3 feet and 3 inches), this is not recommended.

Technical Details



3 (Commander, Driver, Gunner)

Length (chassis)

7,75 meters (305 inches)

Length (gun forward)

12,88 meter meters (507 inches)


3.75 meters (148 inches)

Height (turret)

3,55 meters (140 inches)

Weight (combat ready)

62 tons


Spaced, multi-layered composite armour (20mm)

NBC Protection

NBC air filtration system


Iron Tide Hard/Soft Kill Active Protection System

Main Armament

155 mm Autoloading Howitzer Artillery Gun
(30 rounds)

Secondary Armament

Commander's 12.7mm heavy machine gun
(200 ready to fire, 400 stored)

Tertiary Armament

4 x 80mm smoke grenade launchers


Peacock Motors Liquid cooled turbocharged V12 diesel engine
1500 hp

Power-to-weight ratio

33,87 hp/ton

Operational range

450 kilometres (280 miles)


80 kph road
50 kph off-road


1 meter (3 feet and 3 inches)

Ground Clearance

0.38 meters

Price per unit