Turkey has donated 24 M114 155mm
howitzers to Afghanistan. The U.S. made, towed guns were first introduced
during World War II, and continue to be used by over a dozen nations. The M114
was replaced by the M198 in the 1980s, and that weapon is now being replaced by
the M777 in some countries. The newer 155mm howitzers were lighter, and had
numerous mechanical improvements. But, basically, the M114 still gets the job
done, because it can fire all NATO standard 155mm artillery ammo. The Turkish
M114s were well maintained, and the Afghans can, if they take care of them, get
another decade, or more, of service out of them.
The six ton M114 is towed by a tractor or large
truck, and requires a crew of eleven. The Turks are also sending 2,000 shells,
as well as spare parts for the guns. The tires and hydraulic components are the
ones that wear out the most.
Turkey also has 1,150 troops serving as
peacekeepers in central Afghanistan.