A Vickers-Armstrong design originally intended for the Brazilian battleship Riachuelo, which was cancelled in 1914. Between 1929 and 1935, Spain purchased eighteen of these guns for use as coastal artillery where they were employed in active batteries for about seventy years.

A total of four guns still survived in 2005 with three of these in working condition. As modernized at the time, these emplacements were equipped with radar, infrared and laser range finders for fire control.

On 24 September 2008, the sole remaining gun still in working condition was fired for the last time and then placed into inactive reserve. Thus ended the era of large-caliber naval weapons in active service.

Constructed of A tube, three B tubes, C tube and jacket with a short breech ring, shrunk collar and breech bush screwed into the jacket.

Gun Characteristics

Designation Vickers-Armstrong: 15"/45 (38.1 cm) Mark B
Spain: 38.1 cm/45 (15") Model 1926
Ship Class Used On Brazil: Riachuelo (cancelled in 1914)
Spain: Coastal Artillery
Date Of Design 1912 (?)
Date In Service 1929
Gun Weight 86.9 tons (88.3 mt) including BM
Gun Length oa 695.7 in (17.671 m)
Bore Length N/A
Rifling Length N/A
Grooves 76
Lands N/A
Twist N/A
Chamber Volume 21,655 in3 (355 dm3)
Rate Of Fire about 2 rounds per minute


Type Bag
Projectile Types and Weights APC: 1,951 lbs. (885 kg)
HE: 1,951 lbs. (885 kg)
Bursting Charge APC: about 40 lbs. (18 kg)
Projectile Length APC: about 55.9 in (142.0 cm)
HE: about 67.0 in (170.2 cm)
Propellant Charge 432 lbs. (196 kg)
Muzzle Velocity APC: 2,500 fps (762 mps)
Working Pressure 19 tons/in2 (3,000 kg/cm2)
Approximate Barrel Life N/A
Ammunition stowage per gun N/A


Range with 1,951 lbs. (885 kg) APC Shell
Elevation Distance
40 degree 39,390 yards (35,100 m)

Mount/Turret Data

Designation Single Coastal Defense Mountings
Weight 223 tons (227 mt)
Elevation -5 / +40 degrees
Rate of Elevation N/A
Train 300 degrees total
Rate of Train N/A
Gun Recoil N/A
Loading Angle Power-ramming: +13 degrees
Hand-ramming: +0 degrees

Additional Pictures

External Pictures


"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
Special help from Javier Villarroya del Real

The Coastal Defences of Cartagena, information and pictures about the guns still in existence

Page History

15 October 2008 - Benchmark
18 February 2012 - Updated to latest template
15 April 2015 - Fixed link
02 December 2015 - Changed Vickers Photographic Archive links to point at Wayback Archive
05 February 2021 - Converted to HTML 5 format