The World’s Biggest Gun Super Gun Builder Gerald Bull

02 Jun 2015 by admin in Documentary, Flicks

As reported over past months in The Wednesday Report, Canadian born Dr. Gerry Bull and his Canadian-based Space Research Corporation (SRC) were directly responsible in the late 1970s for the development of advanced guns as well as full-bore and base-bleed ammunition technologies within South Africa. Later, from the early 1980s until recently, he brought more advanced expertise to Iraq. A key product of Bull’s endeavours, the G-5 155mm self-propelled howitzer has surfaced in original form or in variants within Chile, Austria, Germany, Belgium and perhaps most significantly, Iraq.
In 1980 on June 16, Bull was convicted on criminal charges in a Rutland, Vermont court for smuggling gun barrels and ammunition to South Africa. He later pleaded guilty in Montreal, on August 14 of the same year, to violating U.N. arms sanctions also against South Africa. The Quebec court fined SRC $55,000. The Canadian convictions involved “shipments of howitzer parts” both directly and indirectly to South Africa. On the U.S. charges, Bull eventually served a short prison sentence in the United States and paid several thousands of dollars in fines.
On March 22 of this year, Gerry Bull was murdered in his Brussels apartment. Shortly afterwards, a series of revelations tied him and SRC to voluminous arms dealings with Iraq, including development of the fabled Iraqi 600 kilometer-range, forty-meter-barrel “Supergun”. Evidence of the monstrous gun surfaced when British officials on April 11 intercepted shipments of barrel parts destined for Iraq. The sections were made by Sheffield Engineering, a subsidiary of Sheffield Forgemasters. SRC had arranged for their purchase.
SRC’s technology development ties with the Iraqis included the Scud B, extensive 155mm gun and ammunition development, as well as 210mm self-propelled howitzers currently manufactured in facilities north of Baghdad, and the overall 155mm GC-45 artillery system. Other developments Bull is believed to have been helping Iraq with included the amazing 1000/405mm (1000mm smooth bore saboted down to 405mm) Ultra Long Range (ULR) gun with a 2.32 meter long shell having a mass of around 1,800 kilograms. (See The Wednesday Report, April 18 and August 15.)
Iraq first acquired the G-5 155mm artillery piece in the early 1980s from South Africa. Later in 1986-87, a time when Bull’s influence increased in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein, who was at the time angry with South Africa, switched to Austria as a principal supplier. The first of Iraq’s G-5s were built by South African firm Lyttelton Engineering Works of Verwoerdberg and sold through Pretoria’s roguish export firm, Armscor. The original gun barrels were built by Krykor while Summerset Chemicals (both of South Africa) built the explosive charges for the gun. With technology transfers from South Africa and later Austria, coupled with Gerry Bull’s direct assistance, the Iraqis now have the complete manufacturing capacity for powder, shells and barrels. It is estimated that Iraq can manufacture 1,000 replacement barrels per year.
Today more than two hundred G-5 155mm howitzers exist within the arsenals of Iraq. The gun is capable of firing a shell some 40 kilometers, greater than any modern artillery of its type. The G-5 and its ammunition employ one of Bull’s favourite techniques. The accuracy of the gun is greatly enhanced by firing base-bleed ammunition. Extra powder is burned at the base of the projectile as it exits the barrel, thus stabilizing the shell. The technology of the gun is brilliant.
Once asked why he did not pursue sales of such products to Canada, Bull told The Wednesday Report, “Anything with my name on it you can forget for the Canadian government.”