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  • Artillery, all aspects

    Russian Malva 2S43 self-propelled gun to begin trials in 2021

    POSTED ON FRIDAY, 22 JANUARY 2021 11:52

    As published by Army Recognition last 13 January, the wheeled self-propelled Malva 2S43 gun is beginning trials in 2021. The 152mm artillery system is mounted on the 8x8 Voshchina prime mover. Until recently, all Soviet and Russian howitzers were tracked. A whole family of new highly mobile guns and mortars is at the final stage of design. The transition to such hardware is a modern trend in global artillery and the new gun will be of interest for potential buyers of Russian weapons, the Izvestia daily writes.

    2S43 Malva 152mm 8x8 self-propelled howitzer (Picture source:

    Russian Defense Ministry sources said the trial schedule for this latest howitzer had been approved. The designers engaged in Nabrosok R&D had to test fire it by late 2020 and check the running capabilities by a multi-kilometer march. The gun will be finalized after factory trials and will be handed over for other tests to the Defense Ministry. The trials are likely to begin in the spring or early summer of 2021.

    Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Army General Oleg Salyukov earlier said the R&D had reached acceptance trials of highly-mobile mortars on various undercarriage. Some of them were designed for Arctic operations. The trials are to be completed in 2021.

    The first Malva images appeared in 2019. It was presented at Army-2020 forum at a closed display. It is armed with a 152mm 2A64 gun. Tracked Msta-S is also armed with it. The howitzer can destroy various targets at a distance of 24 kilometers.

    BAZ-60120-027 all-terrain 8×8 chassis of the Bryansk Automobile Works ensures Malva mobility. The open howitzer installation without additional armor or turret decreased the weight. It weighs 32 tons with 30 rounds of munitions. It is a quarter lighter than tracked the Msta-S with the same gun. “The transition to wheeled hardware is a modern trend. Wheeled artillery increases mobility. Tracked hardware is more expensive,” expert Alexey Khlopotov said.

    There are many such guns in the world armies today. They are ATMOS 2000 in Israel, CAESAR in France, Archer in Sweden. China and several East European countries have designed their own guns. The Warsaw Pact was armed with several hundred large-caliber wheeled Dana howitzers of Czechoslovak design. The Soviet Union tested them, but did not accept into service. “The Soviet Union several times designed self-propelled artillery on a wheeled undercarriage, but the work was limited to experiments,” Khlopotov said. “There was a concept that self-propelled artillery has to accompany tanks and should have a comparable cross-country capability. Today no combat is practically waged in dirt and cross-country terrain. Europe has a developed road network. There are many dirt roads, stony soil, steppes in the southern directions where wheeled hardware can properly operate,” he said.

    Russian designers now follow the trend: “The new wheeled howitzer is of interest for the world arms market. The world, including African and Asian countries, annually buys several dozens of guns. The Russian export portfolio lacks such self-propelled guns. We are only serially producing tracked Msta-S. Not all buyers are interested in it and we do not have lighter options,” expert Andrey Frolov said. Wheeled artillery can be engaged everywhere. As Malva is tested in various climates at various temperatures, any operational restrictions are unlikely.

    Burevestnik Company in Nizhny Novgorod is testing another wheeled self-propelled gun. It is Koalitsia-SV. Its tracked samples were supplied in 2020 for test operation. The armored turret with a 152mm gun is carried by 8x8 KAMAZ-6550 truck. The firing characteristics will not be inferior to the predecessor, the Izvestia said.

    © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL . All rights reserved.

  • #2
    NATO customer awards Rheinmetall multimillion-euro contract for artillery ammunition and propelling charges

    POSTED ON MONDAY, 25 JANUARY 2021 10:33

    -A NATO customer has awarded Rheinmetall an order for artillery ammunition. The Group’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd., will supply several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (Base Bleed and V-LAP) as well as M92 Assegai tactical modular charges. Delivery commenced in December 2020 and is to be complete by May 2021. The order is worth around €25 million.

    Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd. will supply several thousand conventional and extended-range artillery shells of the Assegai family (Picture source: Rheinmetall)

    Manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, the tactical modular charges of the Assegai Series are intended to propel artillery shells from 155mm gun systems. The charge system is fine-tuned to the customer’s specific weapon systems and artillery shells for maximum effectiveness. Their modular design simplifies logistics and makes handling in self-propelled artillery systems easier. They also offer other advantages: Assegai charges reduce barrel wear (RDM’s Barrel Wear Reducer/BWR) and produce lower muzzle flash (RDM’s Muzzle Flash Reducer/MFR); the former results in longer barrel life, the latter makes the artillery system harder for the enemy to detect.

    “Thanks to our current product portfolio and new products in the development pipeline, we want to offer customers the full range of possibilities for indirect fire support and maintain our lead in artillery ammunition technology. This applies especially to our new developments in artillery projectiles, which we aim to meet our goal of attaining ranges of over 155 kilometres with. In addition, Rheinmetall Denel Munition is eager to support the troops with our new uni-modular charges, which achieve better performance and simplify the logistics, especially in gun systems with automatic loading,” says Jan-Patrick Helmsen, Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s CEO.

    Rheinmetall and its South African unit Rheinmetall Denel Munition possess proven expertise in advanced indirect fire systems. At a test fire event held at the Alkantpan test range in South Africa in 2019, Rheinmetall and Rheinmetall Denel Munition achieved several new range records for indirect artillery fire with various guns, attaining maximum ranges of up to 76 kilometres. This display of technological achievement and capability sparked the interest of artillery users across the globe.

    Rheinmetall Denel Munition has embarked on a phased development approach, including the continuous improvement in range capability of artillery ammunition. The range demonstration showed the potential of the first phase and reinforces Rheinmetall Denel Munition’s goal of meeting a user-specified range requirement of more than 155 km.


    • #3
      Turkey presents its new Firtina 2 155mm self-propelled howitzer

      POSTED ON MONDAY, 25 JANUARY 2021 12:22

      On January 23, 2021, the Turkish defense industry has unveiled the latest version of its local-made Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis. In May 2019, during the IDEF defense exhibition in Turkey, the Turkish Ministry had already presented a modernized version of the Firtina 155mm howitzer.

      The New Firtina 2 Turkish-made 155mm self-propelled howitzer mounted on tracked armored chassis. (Picture source Turkey MoD)

      The T-155 Firtina is a Turkish-made 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on the South Korean K9 Thunder, featuring modifications requested by the Turkish Ministry of Defense and components developed in Turkey such as the turret design, parts of the chassis, the fire control system, the navigation system, and electronic systems. In 2001, two prototypes were ordered and the production was launched in 2002.

      The Firtina 2, the upgraded previous version of the Firtina keeps the same armament that includes one 155mm 52 caliber barrel. The gun of the Firtina is compatible with standard NATO 155-mm ammunition. The Firtina is fitted with an automatic ammunition loading system and the gun can fire at a maximum rate of three rounds in 15 seconds. The new version is now fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun mounted on the roof of the turret.

      The New Generation Fire Control System for T-155 Self Propelled Howitzers has been developed according to the feedback from the battlefield, taking into account the recent technological developments as well as the emerging requirements that showed up in parallel to new concepts on the battlefield.

      The Firtina 2 is also equipped with new a new generation of fire control system, new air conditioning including a new heating system mounted at the front left side of the turret. The upper part of the suspension is now protected by rubber plates.

      The T-155 Firtina is motorized with an MTU 881 Ka-500 water-cooled diesel developing 1,000 hp. coupled to an Allison X-1100-5 fully automatic transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The Firtina can run at a maximum top speed of 67 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 360 km.


      • #4
        No Time To Spare In Fielding Next-Generation Fires Technology

        Built on more than a century of excellence in advanced artillery solutions, Rheinmetall innovations offer ready now lethality solutions urgently needed to restore overmatch today and ensure it remains tomorrow.

        By RHEINMETALLon January 25, 2021 at 9:11 AM

        In 1896, Heinrich Ehrhardt, a German engineer and entrepreneur, patented the recoiling barrel system and started a revolution in field artillery. Nearly 125 years later, the company he founded, Rheinmetall, remains a global leader in the development of artillery solutions. Today, Rheinmetall continues to set the standard of excellence for the highest priority modernization needs of artillery systems, particularly in key aspects of long-range precision fires – firing systems, cannon-delivered projectiles and propellants. Rheinmetall’s PzH2000 52-caliber length (L52) 155mm howitzer tube is widely considered the best in its class and the celebrated Assegai family of 155mm munitions, paired with Rheinmetall’s new Extended Range Top Charge propellants, have substantially outperformed conventional artillery systems in recent live fire testing.

        Today the US Army is determined to modernize its fires capabilities – of the Army’s “Big Six” modernization efforts, Long-Range Precision Fires is number one. US Artillery has suffered years of neglect, particularly during the era of near constant counterinsurgency operations. As the National Defense Strategy has rightly pivoted to a new era of Great Power Competition focused on countering near-peer adversaries, the Army has acknowledged the unacceptable artillery range and lethality disadvantage that opened between it and potential adversaries. The Army is responding by heavily investing in improving the lethality and overmatch of its fires portfolio across the tactical, operational and strategic levels, as reported by Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr., of Breaking Defense.

        Recognizing challenges ahead for Western militaries, Rheinmetall has consistently invested in the artillery portfolio over the last 20 years. As armies now return to address the capability gaps that emerged, Rheinmetall has products and technologies that are ready now to solve the challenges of next-generation artillery fires such as those being confronted in the US Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program. Rheinmetall’s unmatched horizontal and vertical integration in weapon systems, charges and ammunition enable it to offer extended range artillery solutions today that deliver greater than 60km ranges with conventional 155mm munitions. In the very near future, Rheinmetall will achieve greater than 80 km firing ranges.

        Rheinmetall not only modeled these ranges, but also demonstrated the extended range capability in a November 2019 Long-Range Capability Demonstration (LRCD) conducted in the presence of international partners and customers at Alkantpan Test Range (ATR) in South Africa.

        Photo courtesy of Rheinmetall

        The LRCD generated three world-record-worthy range achievements. Rheinmetall’s integrated solutions achieved an astounding 76 kilometer range with the G6 Howitzer (L52 / 25L) test platform at ATR – the longest known distance with conventional 155mm ammunition in history. Using Rheinmetall’s PzH 2000 gun system (L52 / 23L), Rheinmetall achieved a range of 67 kilometers. The G3 Towed 155mm L39-system resulted in a range of 54 kilometers. In comparison, the US Army’s XM1113 Increment 1 projectile program is designed to achieve 40 kilometers range from a L39 system to replace the legacy M549A1 RAP’s current 30 kilometer range.

        Photo: Courtesy of Rheinmetall

        These three triumphs were the result of combining the newly developed Top Charge propellant from Nitrochemie Group (a Rheinmetall subsidiary) and Velocity-enhanced Long-Range Artillery Projectile (V-LAP) ammunition from Rheinmetall Denel Munition. The combination of Top Charge with conventional in-service boat-tail and base-bleed ammunition (such as the DM121 and M1711 artillery rounds) resulted in significant 10%+ range increases. The LCRD validated the lethality and overmatch that in-service self-propelled and towed systems can achieve with Rheinmetall’s next-generation artillery technologies.

        The LCRD, however, focused on achievable range, not precision. While the inclusion of course-correcting fuzes, like PGK, is therefore necessary for achieving precision when firing extended distances, PGK fuzes generate a penalty in the form of increased drag and a loss of range. The excellence of Rheinmetall’s Top Charge proves critical, in this regard, because it creates sufficient launch velocity for the projectile to compensate for this range loss while achieving a high degree of accuracy.

        Integrating Rheinmetall’s Top Charge and V-LAP technology would allow the US Army to meet lethality and overmatch requirements it seeks today for its M109A6/A7 and M777 fleet. In fact, if integrated in a non-JBMoU firing system, like the US Army’s M1299 ERCA platform that the US plans to put in service in FY2023 and features a L58 tube and larger chamber volume, it’s expected that this combination would achieve ranges even greater than what was displayed at the LRCD, and likely exceed current ERCA requirements.

        Photo: Courtesy of Rheinmetall

        Over 120 years after Heinrich Ehrhardt began delivering world-class artillery solutions to the market, Rheinmetall’s holistic approach to innovation – from gun tube, to projectile, to propellant – guarantee it will sustain its renowned heritage of delivering cutting-edge, next-generation artillery technology. As customers scramble to make vitally needed artillery modernizations, Rheinmetall’s world-class technologies have high technical readiness and are available today to ensure lethality and overmatch on today’s and tomorrow’s battlefield. American Rheinmetall Munitions, headquartered in Stafford, Virginia, provides a conduit for the US Army to access these technologies across Rheinmetall’s global enterprise and to charter a course for fully American solutions and production, including leveraging key partnerships such as those Rheinmetall maintains with US defense industrial and technology leaders Day & Zimmerman International and Northrop Grumman.


        • #5
          I imagine the Australian Army / NIOA are watching this very closely....


          • #6
            You would surely hope...
            It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
            It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
            It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


            • #7
              Hensoldt modernizes Cobra artillery location radars

              POSTED ON TUESDAY, 02 FEBRUARY 2021 15:18

              Sensor specialist Hensoldt will modernize the artillery location radar Cobra which is in service with several NATO armies. Under a contract awarded by the multinational procurement organization Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) – Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, Hensoldt will replace the Radar Target Gene-rator (RTG), a core element for the test environment of Cobra indispensable for determining optimum deployment and testing system performance.

              Cobra artillery location radar (Picture source: Hensoldt)

              The RTG is designed to generate primary radar returns and can be placed in the radar’s far field in order to simulate target trajectories. The RTG is the key element to test and verify the Cobra Radar performance with reproducible target trajectories.

              The new RTG takes into account changes of the user nations operational requirements such as long-term deployments in stationary locations, simultaneous operation of several systems and 24/7 surveillance missions. This contract also emphasizes the commitment of Hensoldt to a trustful partnership with the OCCAR Cobra System and demonstrates the support for the challenges ahead in the In-service support phase and the Cobra Mid-Life Update activities.

              Cobra is a mobile radar system for locating hostile artillery and missile positions and for cal-culating in advance the flight path of projectiles in order to give early warning and enable protective action. Its first configuration was developed by the EuroArt consortium comprising Hensoldt, Thales and Lockheed Martin around the turn of the century for the German, French and British armed forces. Today, a total of more than 40 systems of various configurations have been deployed by Germany, France and Turkey as well as several armed forces out-side Europe.


              • #8


                US Army Europe Wants New Hub for Artillery Fire

                A new targeting center and mobile artillery-and-cyber teams will dominate the way the Army conducts operations, says Gen. Cavoli.

                PATRICK TUCKER

                FEBRUARY 3, 2021 05:54 PM ET

                A “theatre fires command” could help find targets and direct long-range fire, and become a key part of tomorrow’s multi-domain operations in major conflicts, the chief of U.S. Army Europe said Wednesday.

                Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli told an AUSA audience that he was “excited about proposals'' for a command hub that would find and keep tabs on targets during peacetime for use during war.

                Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the head of U.S. Army Europe, said that he was “excited about proposals'' for what he called a “theatre fires command,” which would “develop and curate, hold custody of targets,” during peacetime and then fire on (or help artillery teams to fire on) those targets in the event of conflict. It would be part of a broader evolution to help the Army fight better on land and in the air and in cyberspace.

                Last year’s Defender Europe exercise brought in a rapid reaction corps to practice for a large war in 2035. The event emphasized the importance of concepts like theatre fires commands and multi-domain task forces, Cavoli said.

                The former will help forces “push away out of a close fight,” Cavoli said, “and be able to fight a little bit more at standoff [or at safe distance] so that when we do engage in a close fight it would be under much more advantageous circumstances.”

                The latter are small, highly mobile units that can attack with long-range munitions and electronic and cyber warfare tactics. The Army stood up its first permanent MDTF at Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord last year. It plans to establish one in Europe this year by combining the 41st Field Artillery Brigade with a cyber electronic warfare and space element.

                Such task forces are going to be very important for developing how U.S. forces operate in Europe “and we will be able to extend that to the African continent as well,” Cavoli said.


                • #9
                  Indonesian Marine Corps to get 8x8 self-propelled howitzers

                  POSTED ON THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2021 11:58
                  The Indonesian Marine Corps gets a budget allocation for the purchase of self-propelled howitzers, according to reliable sources echoed by Defense Studies. The selected model of howitzer will have a caliber of 155mm, which is bigger than the current 105mm LG1 towed howitzer and M1938 (M-30) 122mm howitzer.

                  Nexter CAESAR 8x8 as recently inducted in the Danish army (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                  Consequently, the plan to add French-made LG1 towed howitzers for the 2020-2024 period has been canceled. The purchase of self-propelled howitzers also completes the modernization of the Marine Corps’ defense equipment so that each unit will be mobile.

                  In contrast to the Kostrad Forces which required air-transportable capabilities for howitzers to move by themselves, which resulted in a Nexter CAESAR on 6x6 chassis, for the Marine Corps this limit did not exist because self-propelled howitzer transportation would use warships (LPD or LST). Thus, the size limitation is the gate for LPD and LST ships owned by the Indonesian Navy, Defense Studies reports.

                  So far, the Indonesian Marine Corps has not used heavy tracked artillery. So, choosing a wheeled SPH is more realistic. An 8x8 type is considered to provide wider operational capabilities than a 6x6.

                  Following the Marine Corps custom of purchasing products from the Eastern Bloc, the following is a selection of truck-mounted SP Howitzers available that adhere to NATO standards (weight, range of fire with original projectiles, number of projectiles carried, number of crew members) but we start the list with a French-made SPH, as the Indonesian armed forces are already familiar with a howitzer of the same origin:
                  * CAESAR 8x8 (28.4 to 32 tins, range 40 to 42 km, 3- to 5-man crew)
                  * Kryl 6x6 (23 tons, range 30 km, 5-man crew) made in Poland,
                  * Bohdana 6x6 (28 tons, range 35-40 km, 5 people) made in Ukraine,
                  * DITA 8x8 (29 tons, reach 39 km, 2-man crew) made in Czech,
                  * Suzana 2 8x8 (28.5 tons, 39.6 km range, 3-man crew) made in Slovakia,
                  * EVA 8x8 (28.1 tonnes, 41 km range, 3-man crew) made in Czech-Slovak,
                  * Aleksandar 8x8 (34 tons, range 37.5 km, 3-man crew) made in Serbia,

                  Compare with the Nexter Caesar 6x6 currently operated by Kostrad (17.7 tonnes, 42 km range, 5-man v-crew), it appears that all of these systems have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Considering the number of Marine Corps field artillery battalions is only 3 for 3 PasMars and even then composites, the Marine needs will not be much for this type of howitzer, Defense Studies concludes.

                  A self-propelled howitzer will equip the Indonesian Marine Corps (Picture source: Konstrukta)
                  Last edited by Bug2; 18-02-21, 10:30 AM.


                  • #10
                    So because they already operate Caesar, clearly they will go for something entirely different...


                    • unicorn11
                      unicorn11 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It's the Indon way...

                  • #11
                    Not entirely different, they are both CAESAR, just one is a stripped down, basic version, the 6x6, and the other is the far more sophisticated, and effective, 8x8 version. The 6x6 was chosen for air-transportability, not a factor for the other.


                    • #12
                      18 FEBRUARY 2021

                      L&T completes deliveries of K9 Vajra-T SPHs to Indian Army

                      by Rahul Bedi

                      The Indian Army (IA) has received all 100 K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) ordered from Indian private-sector defence manufacturer Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in May 2017.

                      L&T said in an 18 February statement that IA Chief of Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane took delivery of the final unit of the Vajra-T – a variant of Hanwha Defense’s K9 Thunder SPH – at the company’s Armoured System Complex (ASC) in the western coastal town of Hazira in the state of Gujarat.

                      The INR43.66 billion (USD601.6 million) SPH contract, which was awarded to L&T by India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), includes an engineering support package covering spares, documentation, and training. It also comprises the transfer of maintenance technology to the IA to support the 47-tonne SPHs during their entire service life.

                      Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on a K9 Vajra-T SPH during a visit to L&T’s Armoured System Complex in January 2020. L&T announced on 18 February 2021 that it has completed deliveries of all 100 K9 Vajra-Ts ordered for the Indian Army in May 2017. (Indian MoD)

                      L&T said the SPHs incorporate 50% indigenous content, which involved sourcing some 13,000 components from nearly 1,000 local manufacturers.

                      The Mumbai-based manufacturer said it has replaced 14 “critical systems” in the K9 Vajra-T to provide a “bespoke solution” for the requirements set out by the IA. No details were provided but industry officials told Janes that modifications were made to the platform’s automatic fire-control, direct-fire, and ammunition handling systems as well as to auxiliary powerpacks, air conditioning units, and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection kits.


                      • #13
                        IDEX 2021: Excalibur Army presents the new DITA 155 mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer

                        POSTED ON SUNDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2021 22:38
                        For IDEX 2021 exhibition EXCALIBUR ARMY in cooperation with EDGE Group partner company prepares the world premiere of a new artillery system - the new DITA 155 mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer. The new howitzer will extend the EXCALIBUR ARMY portfolio of its artillery systems on Tatra chassis.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        DITA 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Excalibur Army)

                        The DITA is equipped with a 155 mm L45 gun with firing range up to 39 km with NATO HE base bleed standard ammunition. There are 40 pieces of 155 mm ammunition in conveyors in turret. The DITA howitzer has a modular design, it means that the turret with a gun and ammunition in conveyors can be installed on various, partially modified, wheeled, or tracked chassis.

                        Another interesting feature of DITA howitzer is only a two-person crew. This is possible thanks to the high-level automation of gun control system and the ability of the turret to operate in fully autonomous mode. The crew consists only of the driver and the commander, and this crew operate the howitzer and the turret from the chassis cab. Aiming and setting the weapon in the firing position is fully automatic using the Automatic Setting of Action Position (A.S.A.P.) electronic guidance system with a ballistic computer.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        DITA howitzer concept is an independent superstructure based on TATRA 8×8 chassis. It is however capable of fully autonomous operation so the crew can operate the gun even in case of undercarriage failure or its deliberate shut down. Due to this feature the superstructre can also be placed on a different – e.g. tracked – vehicle (Picture source: Excalibur Army)

                        AUTOMATIC GUN GUIDING

                        The DITA howitzer is equipped with a special Automatic Setting of Action Position (A.S.A.P.), ammunition management and inertial navigation system which greatly enhance the speed of task execution and overall effectivity of the weapon.

                        155 mm caliber / 45 caliber barrel length

                        DITA uses a standard 155 mm caliber ammunition which is easily available and provides an extensive range of up to 39 km with HE BB shells.

                        Firing modes available:

                        1. Single round
                        2. Rapid fire (delay setting still available)
                        3. Programmed (first round, then accoridng to preset interval)
                        4. MRSI

                        MINIMAL CREW REQUIREMENS

                        Thanks to full automation of the system, the vehicle is operated by a crew of only 2 - driver and commander. Comfort and protection of the crew is ensured by a ballistic, low-type, overpressured cab featuring Level 1 protection according to STANAG 4569.

                        The superstructure offers an emergency operation workplace that can also be used to transport a third crew member according to user preference.


                        High performance heating, air-conditioning for the crew inside the cab. Dependent and independent A/C (8 and 3 kW) and independent hot water heater (20 kW).


                        An auxilliary 24 V hydraulic power unit serves as the main source for weapon systems and turret operation. Unit performing functions as follows:

                        - Battery check and recharge
                        - Hydraulic pressure for turret hydraulic circuit
                        - Hydraulic oil cooling, cooling of propelling charges
                        - Additional electronic interaction with other systems - pressure regulation, managing gun control and fire control system


                        • #14
                          The turret and gun are weirdly massive, compared to the vehicle...

                          Won’t sell. Doesn’t look good...


                          • Bug2
                            Bug2 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            With all the truck-mounted options now available, this DANA-derivative has less than zero chance of any kind of wide adoption.

                          • unicorn11
                            unicorn11 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I notice in that slick video, they didn't actually fire a single round.

                        • #15
                          24 FEBRUARY 2021

                          Hanwha Defense delivers third batch of K56 ammunition supply vehicles to RoKA

                          by Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim

                          South Korean company Hanwha Defense has completed delivery of a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), according to a 23 February announcement by the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

                          DAPA announced on 23 February that the RoKA has received a third batch of K56 automatic ammunition supply vehicles made by Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)

                          Delivery of the latest batch of these tracked vehicles, which supply the RoKA’s 155 mm K55A1 tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), was completed in December 2020, with the platforms now being deployed with self-propelled artillery units in the western region.

                          The army is expected to receive two more K56 batches by 2025. A KRW383 billion (USD345.5 million) contract for the fourth batch was announced in June 2020.

                          That said, the number of vehicles comprising each batch has not been revealed.

                          Development of the K56 was completed in October 2011 and the vehicle is believed to have entered service by 2015.

                          The DAPA announcement comes after Hanwha Defense secured a KRW137.4 billion (USD124 million) contract in December 2019 for the production of the fifth batch of K55A1s. The SPH is the upgraded version of the K55, which is the South Korean variant of the US-made M109A2.

                          According to Hanwha Defense, the K55A1 weighs 27 tonnes, has a maximum firing range of 32 km, a rate of fire of 4 rounds per minute, features semi-automatic loading, and can carry up to 36 rounds. It features the same fire-control and navigation systems as the locally designed K9 SPH, which is also made by Hanwha. The company also produces K10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles for the K9.


                          • #16
                            Ukraine's brand new Vilkha-M MLRS finds its first export customers

                            07.04.2021 12:31

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                            DKB Luch, a Kyiv-based design & development firm incorporated with the state-owned Ukroboronprom defense industries group, has announced it secured first export deals for its new multiple launch rocket system Vilkha-M.

                            According to Defense Express, in Ukraine, the Vilkha-M has continued through the Official Qualification Trials (OQT) process that is potentially leading up to Approval for Service Use.

                            "First export contracts for the MLRS Vilkha-M upgrade are there and signed," Luch has reported on its official Facebook account.

                            Interestingly, in this context, the Vilkha-M has been able to find its initial export customers even before it completes its ongoing OQT program and is officially adopted by the Ukrainian military, the report said.

                            The announcement came amid official reports that announced numerous extensions of the time frame for completion of the OQT program for the "Vilkha-M MLR launcher and the 300-mm missile R624M."

                            As at the start of last year, there was talk about Q2 2020, then this deadline was postponed till the end of 2020, and, finally, Approval for Service Use was preliminarily scheduled for some day in Q1 2021.

                            Currently available information reveals that the Vilkha-M was latest test launched on March 22-23 from Ali Bay testing range, outside of Odesa.

                            The latest test launches were most likely carried out with the R624M Vilkha-M missile, but there has been no official information published on whether the test launches were successful.

                            Any idea who's buying that? I'm guessing they're eastern Europeans bordering Russia.


                            • ADMk2
                              ADMk2 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Or Middle East / Algeria types....

                            • magnify
                              magnify commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Or even Armenia ...

                          • #17
                            KMW testing RCH155 howitzer on Boxer chassis

                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 16 APRIL 2021 10:20

                            The modular design of the Boxer enables one more variant: a self-propelled howitzer. KMW is testing its RCH 155mm artillery system, hence the Boxer RCH155 designation, RCH standing for Remote Control Howitzer.

                            Boxer RCH155 (Picture source: KMW)

                            The RCH 155 is a combination of automated artillery firepower and protected wheel mobility.A large stock of ammunition and quick reloading, the stable weapon platform, maximum accuracy in the target, the automated flow of ammunition, combined with autonomy in navigation and fire control make the RCH 155 a new benchmark in wheeled artillery systems.

                            KMW promotes various advantages of its RCH155: highest fully automated artillery efficiency, network-based system architecture with great growth potential, synthesis of the proven NATO-JBMoU 155 mm / L52 barrel weapon and the unmanned AGM on Boxer chassis results in unique artillery effectiveness up to currently 54 km range over 360° azimuth and elevation angles without the need for support.

                            Further developed from the "Combat of Combined Arms", the complete autonomy of the overall system in command, navigation and fire control, as well as its system-related stability, opens up completely new operational options (e.g. shooting at moving targets, camp protection, etc.). Thanks to the network-based system architecture of the RCH 155, autonomous driving and working (remote-controlled) can also be implemented in the future.

                            The future NATO ammunition types (JBMoU-compatible) can be taken into account in the fire control system and the ammunition matrix.

                            Boxer RCH155 (Picture source: KMW)

                            Boxer RCH155 being test-fired at the Klietz artillery range near Berlin (Picture source: KMW)


                            • unicorn11
                              unicorn11 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              54km isn't bad for a shoot and scoot weapon system that can keep up with the cav.

                            • magnify
                              magnify commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Still waiting for ADF to buy HIMARS here........................

                          • #18

                            Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman agree to strategic partnership for precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition

                            19 April 2021 – Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have formalized an agreement to cooperate in the field of precision-guided enhanced range artillery ammunition. Rheinmetall’s South African subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition and Northrop Grumman signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement to this effect in February 2021. During this period, the two companies plan to cooperate together in order to offer forward-looking ammunition technology to the international market, including the United States, to support future artillery operations.

                            The partnership will focus, above all, on achieving an enhanced range 155mm artillery round fitted with an integrated M1156 precision guidance kit (PGK), as well as on developing a new 155mm projectile with an improved integrated propulsion system.

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                            In service with a number of armed forces, the M1156 PGK is an inexpensive, immediately available means of enhancing the accuracy of existing types of artillery ammunition. In combination with Rheinmetall’s V-LAP projectile, which currently achieves the longest maximum range of any conventional artillery projectile, the M1156 PGK results in a swiftly available solution, proven in numerous combat operations, for long-range precision-guided munitions. The longest range ever attained by a conventional artillery projectile currently stands at 76 kilometres, achieved in 2019 at the Alkantpan test range with a non-NATO Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU)-conforming 52-calibre gun and RDM 155mm projectile.

                            The armed forces of more than twelve nations now use enhanced range Rheinmetall artillery ammunition from South Africa. The integration of tried-and-tested technologies results in a quick increase in capabilities and combat power. Furthermore, other NATO nations and non-JBMOU users can adopt this solution based on Rheinmetall’s existing artillery portfolio.
                            Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman have conducted testing of the V-LAP projectile variants and PGK in South Africa early in 2021, and are intending to demonstrate it later at the US Army proving ground in Yuma, Arizona.

                            Photos courtesy Rheinmetall


                            • #19
                              Rostec demonstrates coordination of 155mm Msta-S howitzer with Orlan-10E reconnaissance UAV

                              POSTED ON MONDAY, 19 APRIL 2021 15:04
                              Rostec has demonstrated the joint operation of Msta-S self-propelled howitzer, modernized for NATO-standard 155 mm caliber, and Orlan-10E reconnaissance drone to representatives of a foreign customer. During the demonstration, the artillery system created by Uraltransmash (a subsidiary of UralVagonZavod under Rostec State Corporation) fired at a maximum range of 40 kilometers and showed excellent coordination capabilities with the UAV. The demonstration took place at the Staratel training ground in the city of Nizhny Tagil.

                              Msta-S self-propelled howitzer in a live-fire demonstration (Picture source: Rostec)
                              “The combat capabilities of the modernized 155 mm self-propelled howitzer 2S19M1-155 were demonstrated to a foreign customer. It fired at a maximum distance of 40 km with laying recovery in automatic mode. Msta-S has also shown excellent results when used in coordination with a control system and Orlan-10E UAV, reported the Rostec armaments cluster.

                              Msta-S self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Rostec)
                              In this mode, Orlan-10E can transfer target coordinates to the control system, which calculates the proper firing arc and sends the data to the crew of the self-propelled howitzer.

                              Launching of an Orlan-10E reconnaissance UAV (Picture source: Russian MoD)
                              Rosteс State Corporation is one of the largest industrial companies in Russia. It unites more than 800 scientific and industrial organizations in 60 regions of the country. Its key areas of activity are aircraft engineering, radioelectronics, medical technologies, innovative materials, etc. The corporation’s portfolio includes such well-known brands as AvtoVAZ, KAMAZ, UAC, Russian Helicopters, UEC, Uralvagonzavod, Shvabe, Kalashnikov, etc. Rostec is active in the implementation of all 12 national projects. The company is a key provider of Smart City technology, it is engaged in the digitalization of public administration, industry and social sectors, and it is developing plans for the development of 5G wireless technologies, an Industrial Internet of Things, big data and blockchain systems. Rostec partners with leading world manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Daimler, Pirelli and Renault. The corporation’s products are delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide. Almost a third of the company's revenue comes from the export of high-tech products.


                              • magnify
                                magnify commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Orlan-10 ...The drone is usually used in a group of two or three, where the first one is used for reconnaissance in a height of 1–1.5 km, the second one for electronic warfare and the third one as a transponder that transmits intelligence information to the control center. One system can include up to 5 vehicles. More than 1000 Orlan-10's have been produced, with 11 different variations. The Orlan-10 features a composite hull that reduces its radar signature. It has seen action in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. According to media reports, an updated variant of Orlan-10 tactical UAV is to enter service with the Russia's ground forces in 2020. The updated variant is expected to have a laser designator to allow it to pinpoint targets for precision-guided artillery and aircraft munitions.
                                The third aircraft being the comms link is the one to target. NLOS range control is claimed to be 140 km max, using that three aircraft approach to allow a spotter ISTAR to work at distance. If the comms 'transponder' is frequency-hopping it will be hard to pin down exactly where it is via triangulation to cue a search, as it will not be out front but orbiting somewhere higher, in-between the spotter aircraft and the operator. They claim 16 hours endurance, but with a useful combat payload that's fairly unlikely. It will also be prone to and limited by icing conditions if the comms aircraft has to orbit at or above ~2,500 ft. It's ceiling is about 18,000 ft but very unlikely to ever operate above 12,000 ft. It has a flaperon which will allow a slow loiter speed orbit.

                            • #20
                              US Army picks 5 innovators to help increase its howitzer firing rate

                              By: Jen Judson   11 hours ago

                              U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground conducts developmental testing of multiple facets of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery project, from artillery shells to the longer cannon tube and larger firing chamber the improved howitzer will need to accommodate them. (Army)

                              WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has picked five small business innovators to build prototypes intended to help increase the rate of fire of self-propelled howitzers as well as in future systems, Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of the service’s Long-Range Precision Fires modernization efforts, told Defense News on April 15.

                              The SPARTN Fire Faster project is one of three lines of effort in which the Army is engaged to increase the rate of fire and smooth out the process of loading artillery pieces.

                              SPARTN stands for Small Business Innovation Research-based (SIBR) Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs, which is the contracting mechanism used to launch the program.

                              How the Army handles ammunition in an artillery battalion hasn’t changed in over 50 years, a fact that leaves Rafferty “a little bit embarrassed,” according to a previous interview with Defense News.

                              The five small businesses who will continue on in the program, chosen from a larger pool generated from a solicitation posted last year, are Austin, Texas-based ARM Automation; Carnegie Mellon Robotics (CR) Tactical in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California-based Dynovas; H.A. Eckhart in Lansing, Michigan; and another Pittsburgh-based company, RE2 Robotics.

                              CR Robotics, which specializes in robotic sensors and platforms, is also one of three companies involved in the Army’s Field Artillery Autonomous Resupply (FAAR) effort being run through the Army Applications Lab.

                              While Fire Faster is focused on the interior of the Howitzer, FAAR is helping to solve handling artillery through automation across the logistics chain. The Army picked six companies to work on the effort at the beginning of 2020 and down-selected to three companies who are working to deliver prototypes.

                              While the Army cannot disclose the specific technology each company has pitched, ARM Automation, since 1993, has been focused on automated manufacturing solutions for a variety of industries, and CR Tactical is focused on robotic sensors and systems used across a variety of applications from defense to agriculture to mining among others.

                              Dynovas has been working in both the aerospace and defense fields developing mechanical and munitions handling systems for over 30 years.

                              H.A. Eckhart is a company with experience in robotics and automation as well as 3D printing and additive manufacturing. It was established in 1974.

                              Using intelligent mobile robotics, RE2 Robotics’ speciality is helping organizations improve worker safety, productivity and efficiency.

                              In this phase of the program, the companies will have 24 months to further develop concepts and detailed designs although some may finish as early as 18 months depending on the project, Rafferty said. Companies could receive up to $2.5 million in contracts or matching funds.

                              The Army will continue to use soldiers and users to offer frequent feedback to the developers throughout the process, he said, with resulting prototype technology that is proven at a component level or at a system level in expected operational environments.

                              At the end of the period, the service will evaluate prototype performance to determine next steps.

                              While Rafferty could not discuss specific reasons why each company was chosen, he said a panel of evaluators, using a process that eliminates bias, looked at a number of criteria to make determinations.

                              The panel focused on “concept maturity, feasibility and the impact to reducing the rate of fire,” Rafferty said.

                              The Army took pains to map its entire logistics and operational process to fire artillery in great detail for the companies involved. Once the companies fully understood that process, they had to clearly articulate how their technologies would impact that process, according to Rafferty.

                              In addition to the Fire Faster and FAAR efforts, the Army is also working on its own, internally developed autoloader intended to be integrated into its Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) system in development.

                              Rafferty told Defense News last year the service was reconfiguring the existing architecture of its original prototype autoloader by reducing its capacity in order to make it easier to integrate.

                              At the end of March, the Army demonstrated the original, full-capacity design at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. Rafferty said it was a “very impressive” event and a “real engineering feat that our Armaments Center should be very proud of.”

                              The Army “wanted to take it all the way to this demo to do a couple of things,” he said, “and it was to validate the software, the hardware and to improve the model that we have been using to develop the technology and integrate it into the howitzer.”

                              A 23-round autoloader is the objective, reduced-capacity system that the Army is continuing to mature. Rafferty said he expects a fully integrated demonstration later this year.

                              “The original design proved really too cumbersome and too many trades for mobility and survivability and reliability that we weren’t willing to make,” Rafferty said, “so scaling that thing down to 23 rounds, like I said, using the existing architecture. It wasn’t a clean sheet.”

                              The demonstration of the 23-round autoloader coming this year is reliant on the same hardware infrastructure and software used in March.

                              While the Army had planned previously to deliver a prototype in 2024, Rafferty said that is no longer a “viable option for us anymore, and that’s okay.”

                              The guidance the service received from senior leaders, he said, was to prioritize range and lethality with the ERCA system and then “rate of fire when we are ready with the right alternative to provide soldiers and units in the field.”

                              The Army hasn’t changed its approach, Rafferty said. “We want to make sure we get it right.”

                              In this case that means scaling the capacity of the autoloader down to 23 rounds as the “sweet spot for weight and center of gravity and on-board kills.”

                              Through the effort “we learned a lot,” he noted. “We know what it is going to take for the ERCA platform to be successful.”


                              • unicorn11
                                unicorn11 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                SPARTN (Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs)

                                Someone really, really wanted that acronym.
                                Last edited by unicorn11; 11-08-21, 03:45 AM.

                            • #21
                              23 APRIL 2021

                              US Army opting for 23-round autoloader for ERCA

                              by Ashley Roque

                              The US Army is scaling down an autoloader for its new Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) programme and will not meet its initial goal of having the enhanced capability ready by 2024. At the same time, however, the service has awarded five companies with contracts to look for alternative ways to accelerate the weapon’s rate of fire.

                              Brigadier General John Rafferty, the head of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, and Program Manager for Armored Fighting Vehicles Colonel Timothy Fuller briefed reporters on 15 April about the service’s multi-pronged approach for improving ERCA’s rate of fire.

                              The weapon is an incremental upgrade to BAE Systems’ Paladin M109A7 self-propelled howitzer that includes a 30 ft (9.1 m) gun tube designed to launch 58 calibre (155 mm) rounds. Service leaders are working with the company to have 18 ERCA Increment 1 (Inc 1) weapons ready for operational testing in 2023.

                              Their plans had then called for an autoloader capability to be added in 2024 as part of ERCA Inc 2. However, they have determined that the government designed autoloader that carries 31 rounds is too large for the vehicle and it is now being scaled down to carry 23 rounds, Brig Gen Rafferty explained.

                              “Scaling down to that 23 round, reduced capacity is the sweet spot for weight, centre of gravity, and onboard kills,” he added.

                              If autoloader development proceeds as planned, the one-star general said the service will demo it about the September timeframe, but it will not be ready in time for the previously anticipated 2024 date.

                              ”That’s okay,” Brig Gen Rafferty added. “The guidance we got from the senior leaders was range, mobility, and then rate of fire when we’re ready with the right alternative.”

                              Last edited by Bug2; 28-04-21, 11:04 AM.


                              • CaptainCleanoff
                                CaptainCleanoff commented
                                Editing a comment
                                That barrel is comically large, but damn, the systems capability is tremendous. Although, the reduction in ready rounds due to the auto loader is concerning, from about 39 to 23 is a huge drop, is it really worth it? It will be interesting to see what kind of concessions the K9A2 will have to make with it's auto loader and whether the Army will look to upgrade to that variant in the future. The reduction in personnel requirements would be good though.

                              • Bug2
                                Bug2 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                The nearest Western artillery system to compare to, is the Swedish built ARCHER SPG, where it carries 21 ready rounds in the magazine at the rear of the gun. They claim 10 MINUTES to reload the magazine.

                              • CaptainCleanoff
                                CaptainCleanoff commented
                                Editing a comment
                                10 minutes seems pretty slow for 21 rounds. I think I read somewhere the K9/K10 combo can reload 10 rounds a minute? I think the PzH2000 is similar, while the M109 was/is about 20 minutes for a rearm. The difference with the US artillery units is that every M109 has a M992 with it so each gun has an extra 90 or so rounds to go. So in the grand scheme of things, I guess it's not such a huge issue.

                            • #22
                              28 APRIL 2021

                              Saudi Arabia looking for Q-53 counter-fire radars

                              by Jeremy Binnie

                              Saudi Arabia has a requirement for export versions of the AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) counter-fire target acquisition radar, according to a US Army announcement released via the US government’s System for Award Management website on 26 April.

                              In US Army service, the Q-53 is mounted on an FMTV truck that tows its power generator. (Lockheed Martin)

                              The announcement was released to obtain information from companies about their ability to produce, test, deliver, field, and support 14 radars with the Saudi designation SAU/TPQ-53. It said this designation refers to a configuration that satisfies United States exportability and Saudi customer requirements, which were not released with the announcement.

                              The initial contract will last for 56 months, including 24 months of support for fielded systems, with options for further support contracts over the following three years.

                              The announcement noted that Lockheed Martin currently has the Q-53 in full-rate production for the US Army.

                              The system is a vehicle-mounted radar that automatically detects, classifies, and tracks mortar, artillery, and rocket projectiles to determine where they will land and locate their points of origin so they can be accurately counter-attacked.

                              The latest version uses gallium nitride technology that makes the radar more powerful and reliable. This additional power can be used to extend its range and detect unmanned aircraft while simultaneously performing its original counter-fire role, according to Lockheed Martin.

                              The US government approved the sale of 26 AN/TPQ-53(V) radars to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of USD662 million in June 2017.


                              • #23
                                Ukraine progressing in testing Dana-M2 self-propelled howitzer

                                POSTED ON FRIDAY, 30 APRIL 2021 12:25

                                According to a tweet from Sam Cranny-Evans, the Ukrainian army is progressing in its trials of the Excalibur Army Dana-M2 self-propelled howitzer (SPH). A contract was placed for 26 howitzers in November 2020.

                                Dana-M2 self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                In October 2019, during the Arms and Security Defense Exhibition that was held in Ukraine, the Czech company Excalibur Army presented its Dana-M2, the latest upgraded version of the Dana, an 8x8 152mm self-propelled howitzer.

                                The Dana was developed in the late 1970s by ZTS to meet the operational requirements of the Czech Army for a highly mobile self-propelled artillery system. The Dana is based on automotive components of the Tatra 815 (8 × 8) truck with the driver's compartment at the front, a fully enclosed turret in the center, and the engine compartment at the rear. All three compartments are armored and provide protection against small arms fire and shell splinters.

                                The Dana-M2 has been modernized with a new crew cabin offering more protection and fitted with two large bulletproof windows at the front and one window on each side enhancing situational awareness. The howitzer is also equipped with a powerful Onboard Control System which contains subsystems of diagnostics, navigation, automatic gun aiming, computerized firing control elements, and a new ammunition selection system.

                                The newly implemented automatic guiding system allows fast and fully automatic weapon adjustment into the fire position. The turret is divided into two parts, with the gunner and loader operator on the left, while the ammunition handler is on the right and sets the fuzes of the projectiles manually. The Dana is fitted with a fully automatic system that loads the projectile and then the charge using an automatic rammer. The turret is armed with a 152mm cannon which has a maximum firing range of 20 km with extended ammunition type and 21.5 km with DN1CZ ammunition. Notice that Dana-M2 is so far available only in Russian 152mm caliber, not NATO 155mm.

                                Dana-M2 SPH during trials in Ukraine (Picture source: Defence of Ukraine/Twitter account of Sam Cranny)


                                • #24
                                  Rheinmetall presents future solution of 155mm howitzer based on HX3 10x10 truck chassis

                                  POSTED ON FRIDAY, 07 MAY 2021 18:21

                                  The German Company Rheinmetall Defense presents a future solution of 155 mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer based on the new HX3 10x10 military truck chassis. With this new product, Rheinmetall offers a new generation of wheeled self-propelled howitzer for the modern military market.

                                  New 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer based on Rheinmetall HX3 10x10 military truck chassis. (Picture source Rheinmetall)

                                  With the new HX3 military truck family, the German company Rheinmetall has developed a multirole platform able to be used as a systems carrier for complex weapon and radar systems. These include truck-based artillery systems, for example, which are likely to gain importance in coming years. In combination with the newly developed Artillery Truck Interface (ATI), the HX 10x10 could be utilized in the future as the standard basis for various artillery solutions or similar systems.

                                  According to our first analysis, the new HX3 howitzer is equipped with a fully enclosed armored turret which is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. The turret seems to be armed with the Rheinmetall 155mm 52 caliber gun which is also used on the PZH 2000, tracked self-propelled howitzer. The gun is able to fire at a maximum range of 30 km with standard ammunition and 40 km with extended range projectiles.

                                  The turret will keep the electrically powered and digitally controlled automatic shell loading system designed to handle the 155 mm shells when loading and unloading the 60-round magazine, loading the gun from the magazine, and loading from outside, including the inductive fuse setting.

                                  The turret is mounted on a platform designed for AGM (Artillery Gun Module) which has a traverse of 360°. In road position, the cannon is held in position by a clamp, located to the rear of the crew cab.

                                  According to the HX3 howitzer drawings published by the company Rheinmetall, the turret seems to be remotely controlled offering a high rate of fire and Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) Mission. All the firing operations could be performed from inside of the crew cab. To respond to the new threats of the modern battlefield, the HX3 trucks can be equipped with an armored cab to provide ballistic protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters.

                                  The HX3 155mm howitzer should be equipped with computerized firing control and communication systems to provide network communications and real-time firing sequence management including forwarding of fire-support requests and transmission of firing orders according to the target type, ammunition type, and gun availability.

                                  I wondered if this was a new truck-mounted artillery piece, after the pic I posted yesterday in the High mObility Turcks thread...............looks bloody nice! And yes I'd like some for our future needs, on top of HIMARS and the Korean SPG............ just waiting for the realisation that we need a bigger Army, along with the rest of the Forces.


                                  • #25
                                    Ah, so this is what they were teasing, I like it. I really like the "GOAT" concept, and while I still think there is a place for conventional towed light weight guns that can be airlifted via heavy helo (like CH-47 - which is why I still think we need more) for light infantry forces, a capability like this should be easily seen as a viable replacement for all towed guns. SPG's are certainly nice, but their role is more aligned with an armoured brigade, while something like this (or perhaps the Boxer SPG variant) would tie in nicely with a light to medium weight force that needs some organic long range fires - I'm thinking a replacement/upgrade and reintroduction of the Army Reserve artillery capability as well.

                                    Originally posted by Bug2 View Post
                                    I wondered if this was a new truck-mounted artillery piece, after the pic I posted yesterday in the High mObility Turcks thread...............looks bloody nice! And yes I'd like some for our future needs, on top of HIMARS and the Korean SPG............ just waiting for the realisation that we need a bigger Army, along with the rest of the Forces.
                                    Yeah agreed. I think something like this could be easily integrated within Army as an additional capability. I would also hope that the realisation that we need a much larger ADF is already on the cards, because the current force is nowhere near big enough to deal with our major threat - fine for what was being done the last 20-30 years, not for a conventional peer threat.


                                    • magnify
                                      magnify commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      What bothers me is battlefield missiles are moving to 25 km to 50 km range with precision and speed. With drone targeting it will become a problem for mobile artillery inside this radius. We'd be better-served with a precision MLRS that still allows rapid flight, high fire rate, and fast reload with precision aiming. Why spend a lot on tubes in closer with precision shells if you can spend similar money to get a compact vehicle with short, medium and long-range precision-fires between 17 km radius to ~500 km in near future? Moving-target capabilities will come to HIMARS at about the same time. A larger HIMARS force with scalable rocket diameter, scalable effect and scalable precision range would serve the army well, in so many critical situations. Allows so much more rapid tactical adaptations and flexibility. Supplement below 40 km range with the SPH and precision shell, plus the fast mobile medium NEMO with 10 km range and at least INS-quality precision rounds for rapid reaction then a SAL round for a moving target. Plus enough mobile GBAD to cover all the artillery (like the US Army interim SHORAD). Then no need for a static tube force or CH-47 occupied with those. Better use of CH-47 is rapid resupplies of these three mobile systems that have mobile SHORADs along to cover them, while a CH-47 resupplies.

                                      At a pinch there are M113s that could take a 1,900 kg Patria NEMO turret too. Or just lug a stack of ammunition, without direct-fire exposures. Not a bad sacrificial goat also if they save a few hundred highly-trained diggers with precision 120 mm reloads and we lose a dozen M113 doing that inside 20 km from a fight. Would it be nuts to retrofit an automated HEL on an unmanned M113 to kill drones and prevent Chinese copies of SPIKE-NLOS hitting an SPH? Plus NEMO resupply with a HEL for cover against same trying to stop it? Once resupplied they resume an AD role, and/or bring-out wounded to a rotor-wing FARP, then protect it as well? The unmanned M113 experiments could payoff when we need support in a hurry to make that work without exposing CH-47s too much either.

                                      Seems like a good time to move away from static tubes if we can get a better mobile combination and support them cheaply, plus gain AD benefit. The army does desperately need mobile air defenses which can cover all of the classes of air threats. Small drones and loitering weapons will be trying to remove static tubes fast, and I think we will be mortified how quickly an unjammable fully-automated drone could do that to fixed targets.

                                  • #26
                                    First btach of 2S3M2 152mm tracked self-propelled howitzers delivered to Russian army

                                    POSTED ON THURSDAY, 13 MAY 2021 19:46

                                    The first batch of modernized 2S3M2 Akatsiya 152mm tracked self-propelled howitzers was handed over to the Russian army. The 2S3M2 is an improved version of the Soviet-made 2S3 152mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis.

                                    Russian-made 2S3M2 152mm self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source Internet)

                                    The development of the 2S3 nicknamed Akatsiya, a Soviet-made 152mm tracked self-propelled howitzer started in 1967 and first prototypes were completed in 1968. It enters service with the Russian army in December 1971.

                                    The design of the 2S3 is divided into three compartments with the driver's at the front on the left of the hull, the engine to the right of the driver, and the fully enclosed turret mounted at the rear of the tracked chassis. The hull and the turret are made on all-welded steel to provide protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters.

                                    The 2S3 is armed with a 152 mm weapon, designated the 2A33, which is based on the towed 152 mm D-20 gun-howitzer but with a bore evacuator added behind the muzzle brake. The barrel has a double-baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor, and a gun barrel traveling lock. This howitzer has a crew of four.

                                    According to Russian military sources, the 2S3M2 is armed with the new 2A33M cannon able to fire new ammunition with an effective firing range of 17.4 km for basic high-explosive (HE) shell, 20.5 km - for rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP), and 20 km - for high-precision guided projectiles (for instance, 3OF39 Krasnopol added as basic ammunition in 2S3M1`s ammunition load).

                                    The 2S3M2 is also fitted with an automatic fire control system, a satellite navigational system, new communication systems, and smoke grenade launchers.


                                    • #27
                                      EURENCO finalises qualification of new modular charge for 155mm artillery systems

                                      POSTED ON MONDAY, 17 MAY 2021 09:45

                                      EURENCO announces the qualification of a new 155mm modular artillery charge after a development achieved in less than 18 months.

                                      Qualification of a new 155mm modular artillery charge produced by Eurenco (Picture source: Eurenco)

                                      This new product is the result of the expertise, experience and innovation of the EURENCO Bergerac (France) and Karlskoga (Sweden) teams. It uses for the first time the 3D printing of energetic materials and is produced on a robotized line allowing the production in very large series, thus allowing to reconcile performance, quality and competitiveness.

                                      By expanding its current offer, EURENCO aims to gain access to the main 155 mm artillery systems installed. For Thierry Francou, CEO of EURENCO, « The qualification of this new product is the result of the exemplary work of our teams and marks an important step in our strategy of growth and reinforcement of our position as a European leader in energetic materials. »


                                      • #28
                                        Army Tries Out Humvee-Mounted Howitzer

                                        How do you safely fire a 105 mm cannon off the back of a Humvee? With a unique recoil-reduction system.

                                        By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.on May 18, 2021 at 2:28 PM

                                        A Humvee mounting a low-recoil 105 mm howitzer

                                        WASHINGTON: The Army is checking out two sizes of a unique low-recoil howitzer system: a 155mm gun on a 6×6 truck, Brutus, and a 105mm on a 4×4 Humvee, Hawkeye. That’s an extraordinarily small vehicle to mount an artillery piece, and reducing recoil is the key to making it work.

                                        The “soft recoil” system was developed by Mandus Group and integrated on vehicles by Humvee manufacturer AM General. By shifting the howitzer barrel forward and installing better hydraulics, the system reduces the recoil – depending on the elevation and range of the shot – anywhere from 40 to 60 percent, AM General CEO Andy Hove told me.

                                        If you cut the recoil in half, the whole artillery system need be only half as heavy to absorb the stock, Hove went on. “You can save a tremendous amount of weight,” he said, which translates into a cheaper, lighter vehicle, with lower fuel and maintenance costs, that’s easier to deploy abroad and sustain in the field.

                                        “Just on the gun itself, the soft recoil system has fewer operating parts that need to be maintained than the current recoil system,” he told me – and they’re under much less strain, so they’ll break down less.

                                        The soft-recoil system scales up and down, so there are actually two versions.

                                        The 155mm model, called Brutus, was touted as a contender for the Army’s new wheeled howitzer, meant to accompany highly mobile 8×8 Stryker vehicles into battle. Currently, Stryker units rely on towed 155s, which are much less mobile and take much more time to set up than self-propelled versions. The Army’s currently conducting an informal “shoot off” of four alternative wheeled howitzers; the reported contenders are American (AM General’s Brutus), Israeli (Elbit’s Iron Saber), Swedish (BAE’s Archer), and even Serbian (Yugoimport’s NORA).

                                        The 105mm model, called Hawkeye, would presumably accompany light infantry units, which mostly move on foot and have a handful of vehicles, including trucks to tow artillery. When the company first rolled Hawkeye out in 2016, it emphasized the international market, because the US wasn’t pursuing such a vehicle. But this morning, AM General announced that it “recently received a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract from the United States Army to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye Mobile Howitzer Systems (MHS) for the U.S. Army’s characterization test.”

                                        “Characterization” is a relatively informal form of testing, and it certainly comes with no commitment to buy – but it shows Hawkeye has a foot in the door.

                                        Hawkeye Humvee-mounted 105mm howitzer and support vehicle.


                                        • #29
                                          Russian 2S42 Malva self-propelled gun enters final trials

                                          POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 19 MAY 2021 11:53

                                          The Russian Defense Ministry plans to accept into service the first in the history of Russian artillery wheeled Malva self-propelled gun. A new airborne brigade is likely to receive it first. The gun will increase the airborne firepower and will help deliver an artillery group to the assigned area in hours, the Izvestia daily writes.

                                          2S43 Malva 152mm 8x8 self-propelled howitzer (Picture source:

                                          The Malva gun is at the final stage of trials, Defense Ministry sources said. It may be delivered to the Airborne Forces, however, the final decision has not been made. The gun cannot be airdropped by parachute but can be carried by an airlifter like the Ilyushin Il-76. It is better adapted for roads than tracked hardware.

                                          If the decision to arm the Airborne Forces with Malva is made, the gun will be supplied to a new artillery brigade. Airborne Forces Commander Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov earlier announced plans to create the brigade. Each airborne division currently has an artillery regiment, however, there is no bigger formation subordinated directly to the commander.

                                          Malva 2S42 is armed with a 152mm 2A64 gun that is also installed on tracked Msta-S self-propelled guns operating in artillery regiments of motorized infantry and tank divisions. The gun destroys various targets at a distance of 24 km.

                                          Malva is mounted on an 8x8 BAZ-6010-027 undercarriage designed by Bryansk Automobile Plant. The absence of additional armor decreased the weight of the vehicle. It weighs 32 tons with 30 rounds of munitions, which is a quarter less than the wheeled Msta-S.

                                          At present, the Airborne Forces are armed with 122mm D-30 towed howitzers. 120mm Nona-S 2S9 is the only self-propelled gun. It weighs 8 tons and can be airdropped by parachute, however the firing range is two times shorter than 152mm guns. These guns were accepted into service in Soviet times. The previous doctrine stipulated parachute assault of airborne divisions with hardware behind the frontline. However, the Airborne Forces have been seriously reformed of late. They get powerful formations armed with heavy weapons, including tanks.

                                          Wheeled guns are a global trend, expert Alexey Khlopotov said. The hardware is ideal for expeditionary forces. “Wheeled vehicles are more mobile, cheaper, have a bigger resource and simple maintenance. Tracked vehicles were historically due to the requirement to follow tanks, which can drive anywhere. It is also due to the Russian climate with its spring and autumn impassable roads. The situation is different now. Wheeled vehicles easily drive in the desert and steppe and there is a developed road network in many territories. The vehicles are very good for mobile rapid reaction forces,” he said.

                                          Several leading world armies have designed and operate wheeled self-propelled guns. They are ATMOS 2000 in Israel, CAESAR in France, Archer in Sweden. China and several East European countries also developed their systems. The Warsaw Pact used to be armed with several hundred Dana self-propelled guns designed in Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union tested them but did not accept them into service.

                                          © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL.


                                          • #30
                                            Latvia to purchase another batch of M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers from Austria

                                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 21 MAY 2021 18:30

                                            According to information released by a Latvian press agency on May 18, 2021, citing information from the Latvian Ministry of Defense, the country has signed an agreement with Austria to purchase another batch of 18 second-hand M109A5 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers.

                                            Latvian Army M109 A5Ö 155mm self-propelled howitzers (Picture source Wikipedia via Latvijas Televīzija)

                                            In October 2019, Army Recognition has released news to announce the delivery of the first batch of 47 M109A5Oe 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers coming from the surplus of Austrian armed forces.

                                            The M109 is an American-made 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed for the United States armed forces which entered into service with the U.SD. army in the early 1960s. Further development of the M109 resulted in the M109A1 and the M109A2 and, by early 1979, production had exceeded 4,000 units.

                                            Austria purchased 38 M-109 and 18 M-109A2 self-propelled howitzers from the United States. In mid-1994, Austria purchased 27 M-109 series self-propelled artillery systems which were surplus to the requirements of the British Army.

                                            The M109A50e has a number of unique features that differ from the standard M109A5 including an Austrian semi-automatic flick rammer, inertial positive navigation system, Swiss electrical system and the same 155 mm ordnance as used on the M109A6 Paladin currently in service with the US Army.

                                            The M109A50e is armed with a 155 mm M284 cannon in an M182 mount. Using the US M203A1 charge, ranges of 30 km can be achieved firing a rocket-assisted projectile. The first production M109A50e for the Austrian Army was rolled out on 6 May 1997.


                                            • #31
                                              Russian artillery systems to be controlled and tested with Burevestnik equipment

                                              POSTED ON FRIDAY, 21 MAY 2021 18:34

                                              According to Rostec, testing equipment increases the combat readiness of equipment up to one and a half times. In addition, the 1I37M tools increase the firing accuracy by 1.2 or 1.3 times by improving the quality of parameter setting and taking into account corrections for the individual angle of departure of each projectile and preserve the resource of the gun barrel.

                                              As part of the state defense order, the Central Research Institute Burevestnik of the Uralvagonzavod concern shipped to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation a batch of KPM 1I37M test vehicles intended for maintenance and repair of guns, fire control systems, and guided weapon systems for T-72, T-80 and T-90 tanks. (Picture source: Rostec)

                                              “This machine has a number of undoubted advantages: efficiency and functionality, compliance with the requirements of ergonomics and reliability in operation. The non-firing method of bringing the gun to normal combat, implemented by the 1I37M control and testing machine, is unique and has no analogs in world practice, ”the Burevestnik Central Research Institute noted.

                                              At the same time, the KPM equipment allows the cannons to be brought into normal combat by the usual firing method. In this case, when carrying out the sighting, the determination of the individual angles of departure of the projectiles is carried out by the method of shooting a group of projectiles at the sighting shield.

                                              A highly qualified trained calculation of the CPM, using special devices and equipment, adjusts the elements of the art armament complex in the field at a level typical for newly manufactured and factory-adjusted products.


                                              • #32
                                                AM General to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye 105 mm mobile howitzers to US Army

                                                POSTED ON SATURDAY, 22 MAY 2021 14:10

                                                A bit more on this....................

                                                According to information published on May 18, 2021, American company AM General, a global leader in military-grade tactical vehicles and mobility systems, recently received a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract from the United States Army to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Howitzer Systems (MHS) for the U.S. Army’s characterization test.

                                                Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Weapon System while crew rest from conducting drills 23 July 2019 assigned to a test Platoon of 2nd Battalion, 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard.(Picture source U.S. DoD)

                                                AM General and its strategic partner, Mandus Group, have been integrating the soft recoil technology (SRT) onto light, mobile, transportable, and survivable platforms without sacrificing firepower. SRT is a disruptive technology that will reduce the firing loads for direct and indirect weapons systems, enabling combat systems to meet emerging requirements. The technology is ready now and can be deployed on existing weapons platforms for an immediate effect on the battlefield. Soft recoil enables a reduction in overall system weight, making systems more agile and responsive to benefit the supported maneuver commander.

                                                The HUMVEE 2-CT (M1152 two-door cargo truck) that serves as the mobile platform, will come with a standard 14,100 lb. gross vehicle weight, 205 hp engine, and antilock braking system (ABS). While the U.S. Army conducts characterization testing of the 2-CT Hawkeye MHS over the next year, AM General and Mandus Group will continue to refine the technology for integration of the soft recoil technology onto other mobile platforms. Scalability is already being tested with a 155mm prototype. The group is also exploring integration into other existing and future combat systems.

                                                The Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Artillery Weapon System was tested by the U.S. 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard in July 2019.

                                                The HUMVEE 2-CT nicknamed HAWKEYE, is a 105mm mobile self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by AM General in collaboration with the company Mandus Group. This artillery system consists of an M1152A1 Humvee 4x4 tactical vehicle with a crew cabin and flatbed platform which is fitted with one M20 105mm cannon. The Hawkeye 105mm Weapon System is a lightweight, modular, high-performance howitzer designed to be integrated with many types of combat transportation. By utilizing emerging technologies, it will set the standard for light artillery in the areas of firepower, tactical mobility, strategic deployability and command and control. The Hawkeye will be a superior alternative to existing weapon systems such as the 106mm Recoilless Rifle, 120mm Mortar, and other 105mm artillery systems due to its low-cost precision strike capability.

                                                The Hawkeye has incorporated a groundbreaking modular design. Due to its lightweight and low recoil forces it can be mounted to many types of military vehicles including wheeled, tracked, rail, watercraft, aircraft and towed systems. This means that a performance based 105mm artillery system can be deployed to the land, sea, and air in ways that were never before possible. Additionally, the Hawkeye has been designed to accommodate a full spectrum of barrel lengths if range is a primary requirement.

                                                With the application of a digital fire control system and on-board communication, the need for surveyed firing points, aiming circles, and wire lines is eliminated. The 2-CT™ Hawkeye is able to shoot a two-round mission and vacate the area in 3 minutes (1 ½ minutes to first round fired). The 105mm cannon is mounted on a circular platform allowing firing operations on 360°. The gun has a maximum firing range of 11.6 km with standard ammunition and 19.5 km with rocket-assisted projectiles. It can be almos used for direct fire with a maximum range of 2 km.

                                                The accompanying support vehicle utilizes a HUMVEE 2-CT™ and provides a high level of crash protection and safety restraints for up to four soldiers who assist artillery units.


                                                • #33
                                                  Ramjet Shells Could Triple Artillery Range

                                                  The Army’s ERAMS program will soon announce development contracts for howitzer shells capable of firing over 100 km (62 miles) to counter Russian and Chinese artillery.

                                                  By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.

                                                  on May 24, 2021 at 12:00 PM

                                                  Test of Northrop Grumman’s ramjet engine for extended-range 155 mm artillery shells

                                                  WASHINGTON: The Army is about to award development contracts for future artillery shells that will look more and more like missiles, with precision guidance, fins, and even ramjet engines. The program – part of a much wider buildup of US missile and cannons – aims to boost both range and accuracy far beyond anything possible with gunpowder alone. The goal: enable the currently outgunned and outranged US artillery force to compete with more advanced Russian and Chinese guns.

                                                  The US Army has long had rocket-boosted howitzer shells. The Cold War M549A1 has a range of roughly 30 kilometers (not quite 19 miles). The new XM1113 Rocket Assisted Projectile goes 40 km (25 miles) or more from the current M109 Paladin cannon and 70 km (44 miles) from the XM1299 Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) now in development. But to break triple digits – 100 kilometers (62 miles) and more – you can’t rely on rockets: You need something much more powerful, like a ramjet.

                                                  There are three main ways you can extend the range of a projectile, and the Army’s Extended Range Artillery Munitions Suite is exploring all of them in combination for the future XM1155 shell, ERAMS project manager Nick Berg told me in an interview:
                                                  • Increase muzzle velocity. The faster the projectile comes out of the gun barrel, the farther it can go before drag and gravity bring it down to earth. Higher muzzle velocity is the emphasize of the XM1299 ERCA howitzer, which has a longer barrel and more powerful propellant than the current Paladin.
                                                  • Add lift surfaces. Basically, this means adding wings and fins to the shell – like a missile or miniature aircraft – to make it more aerodynamic. The more lift generated, the longer the projectile can fly. Of course, the wings, fins, and electronics all have to survive the brutal shock of being fired from a cannon.
                                                  • Add “post-launch propulsion.” This is where rockets and ramjets come in: They kick in after the projectile has cleared the gun barrel (hence “post-launch”) to give it an extra burst of thrust. Again, the motors first have to survive the shock of launch.
                                                  “We’ve actually investigated and looked at all of those areas,” Berg told me. “We really have focused on lifting surfaces to increase your glide [distance], but then also we’ve looked at solid fuel ramjets as a post-launch propulsion mechanism to boost you out to extended ranges.”

                                                  Why ramjets over rockets? The basic difference is that rockets contain their own oxidizer to burn their fuel, while jets of all kinds – from ramjets to turbofans – get their oxygen from the atmosphere. (Hence the name “air-breathing engine”). That saves weight, since you don’t have to carry oxidizer; it improves safety, since the fuel doesn’t ignite as easily; and it extends endurance, since the jet can keep thrusting as long as it has air and fuel. (A longer, gentler burn is also more aerodynamically efficient, reducing drag). A rocket-boosted artillery shell might burn for just 10 seconds, Berg told me, while a jet could conceivably last much longer.

                                                  How does a ramjet differ from other kinds of jet engines? All jets work by sucking in air at the front end, compressing it, mixing it with fuel, and igniting it, blasting thrust out the back end. (The shorthand is “suck, squeeze, bang, blow.”) At subsonic speeds, you need to mechanically compress the air with some kind of fan, like the one on the front of an airliner’s turbofan engine. But at supersonic speeds, around Mach 2, the air is coming in the front of the engine so fast that it compresses itself, without mechanical assistance: That’s a ramjet.

                                                  A ramjet’s actually mechanically simpler than a conventional jet, since it doesn’t need a compressor, which is one less thing that might break when shot out of a cannon. Historically, the hard part with ramjets has been that they don’t work at speeds below Mach 2 – but being shot out of a cannon gets you to those speeds.

                                                  So ramjets are in some ways a natural fit for artillery propulsion. That doesn’t make them easy to build.

                                                  “The ramjet does offer a little more technical challenge,” Berg told me, because you have to fit sophisticated, shock-resistant electronics into a small package along with inlets to feed air to the ramjet itself.

                                                  Ground test of Innoveering ramjet

                                                  Some of technology involved gets pretty exquisite, even exotic. The munition’s control system needs to sense airflow, pressure, heating, including phenomena that don’t happen at lower speeds, said Bob Bakos, CEO of Innoveering, a small firm working with the Picatinny Arsenal Armaments Center on the ramjet ammo. “You’re talking about thousands of degrees” of heating from, essentially, the friction of the air, he told me. To steer in such extreme conditions, he went on, the projectile needs the traditional flaps and fins, but it might be possible to use tiny air ducts, electromagnets, or even plasma to affect the airflow and correct course.

                                                  Once the XM1155 shell is developed, a future “cargo” variant could be used to deliver other payloads besides explosives, such as sensor packages and jamming pods.

                                                  The Army’s already run Phase I of the ERAMS program, with participation by Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. Now it’s working on two contracts for Phase II, with awards expected within two weeks. A Raytheon spokesman confirmed they’re no longer working on the program, while Boeing confirmed they’re competing.


                                                  • #34
                                                    Boeing is, as far as I know, tied in with the Norwegian company NAMMO.

                                                    Nammo had a very interesting ramjet proposal they showed at SATORY in 2018, and then again DSEI 2019.............See the following two articles for more info, 2018 article at top.............both have short videos.............

                                                    Nammo rolls out its ‘extreme range’ artillery (

                                                    The real reason why Nammo rolled out a ramjet artillery concept (


                                                    • #35
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                                                      Future Artillery Conference: Germany details future acquisitions

                                                      By Paolo Valpolini

                                                      While last October the German contribution to the Future Artillery Conference, organised by Defence IQ, came from the concept and capabilities development branch of the Bundeswehr, during the 2021 edition, once again on-line due to COVID considerations, it was the turn of the acquisition branch to detail what are the German Army plans to improve its capabilities in the indirect fire field.

                                                      “We are considering upgrading or replacing systems in the short, medium and long ranges,” Colonel Jürgen Schmidt, head of the Combat Directorate at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), based in Koblenz, told the audience.

                                                      Nowadays the German artillery fields three effectors: the Tampella 120 mm smoothbore mortar, which dates from the late 1960s, and is either towed by the Wolf, the G-Wagen based 4×4, or installed on legacy M113 tracked vehicles; the PzH 2000 155/52 mm self-propelled tracked howitzer; and the MLRS multiple rocket launcher (MARS-II in the German Army). While the former needs replacement, the two latter systems will receive a Mid-Life Update, which will be mostly aimed at improving electronics and software, and replacing obsolescence.

                                                      “Currently our Army fields artillery units only at Brigade level,” Col. Schmidt said, while in the future we are looking at having a divisional artillery element.

                                                      As Lieutenant Colonel Konrad Josef Leitner explained in his briefing in October 2020, each one of the three divisions forming the German Army, two armoured, the 1. Panzerdivision and the 10. Panzerdivision, and one Rapid Deployment, the Division Schnelle Kräfte, will receive an artillery regiment. This will remain at Division level in peacetime, while in operation it would split to provide direct fire support task forces to the brigades, as well as one to the division.

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                                                      This will require new assets to be procured, and in December 2020 the Bundeswehr issued the “Zukünftiges System Indirektes Feuer mittlerer Reichweite” (Future medium range indirect fire system) document. “This contains over 100 requirements split among kill criteria, which have to be realised in any case, must criteria and shall criteria,” Col. Schmidt explained. EDR On-Line understood that it will be mostly a competition between German companies, the BAAINBw officer saying however that international participation would be welcome, the acceptance of kill criteria being obviously a pre-requisite for cooperation.

                                                      At Division level the Bundeswehr is considering its artillery to be used to reinforce the main line of effort; “If the centre of main effort changes the Divisional Artillery force has to move quickly, shifting its support to another Brigade. To ensure the fast redeployment over long distances one of the kill requirement is thus to have a wheeled platform.”

                                                      Range is obviously an issue; the speaker showed a slide correlating calibre and dispersion, and underlining that maximum accuracy with a standard shell of 155 mm calibre is obtained at 15 km range, the higher the calibre the lesser the dispersion at longer ranges. It is however not the intention of the Bundeswehr to go for a bigger calibre. “To reach 70 km with a 155 mm gun and obtain high precision you need to have a sub-calibre shell, a small ammo payload and a guidance kit, as it has been done in the Vulcano round. Its top charge can be used in the PzH 2000 remaining within the approved limits of operation,” he states. The achievable ranges will be the lowest value of the requirements, but according to the German officer covering ranges from 3 to 100 km would require modification to the weapon system as well as a new modular propellant charge system. “This will raise the cost of such an ammunition family, bringing it not far away from that of a rocket,” Col. Schmidt underlined. The latter allows reaching a long distance in an easiest way, as the acceleration time is not limited by the length of the barrel. He mentioned that the industry is carrying out a research on a 60 calibre 155 mm barrel; “we support it through a Research and Technology study, but the timeframe and the budget does not allow a parallel development,” hence it will not be possible to use such cannon on the wheeled medium range system. No comment were made on the European Common Indirect Fires System programme.

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                                                      The German industry is already at work to fulfil Bundeswehr requirements; according to the latest information available, Rheinmetall should propose a system based on its new HX3 truck, unveiled recently, while Krauss-Maffei Wegmann developed years ago a Boxer-based solution, that is probably being adapted to new requirements. “Both will feature an unmanned autonomous turret. The solution based on the Boxer has a higher protection level, while the truck-based solution provides a better visibility for the crew. Another difference will be in the life-cycle cost. All these aspects will be evaluated in a competition,” Col. Schmidt said. EDR On-Line understood that an RfP should be issued in 2022.

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                                                      The autonomous turret with autoloader aims at reducing the system crew from five soldiers, needed on the PzH 2000, to a two-three soldiers crew on new wheeled howitzers, the intention being to then reduce manpower also on the tracked SP howitzer. “The overall number of soldiers that form the German Armed Forces is currently limited, therefore with the fielding of additional howitzer systems we have to reduce the crew. We must however consider how long a smaller crew can stand the 24 hours combat day. Will it be necessary to have a second crew in reserve? We are currently working on that issue,” he said.

                                                      According to Col. Schmidt the Bundeswehr aims at acquiring 120 new wheeled medium-range howitzers. Merging this information with that obtained at the October 2020 conference, it is unclear how these will be deployed. [1]

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                                                      Divisional Artillery will also be strengthened by further 30 multiple-launch rocket systems, that will add to the 38MLRS tracked systems currently in service. “Here too we are looking for a wheeled system, and we will start working on the long range issue in two years time,” Col. Schmidt told the Defence IQ Future Artillery Conference audience. No details were therefore provided in terms of type of launcher and munitions. As for the replacement of the current heavy mortar system, Germany is considering a wheeled solution, the Fuchs 6×6 platform being under evaluation. “A decision on the mortar type will be taken at a later date,” Col. Schmidt added, saying that the Bundeswehr aims at acquiring 100 such new systems. In one of the slides shown during the presentation a single-barrel turreted mortar was depicted, however this might not necessarily be indicative of a possible German choice for such a solution.

                                                      [1] As Brigade Artillery should be based on the PzH 2000, we can think of those tracked systems being employed in the Brigades belonging to the two Armoured Divisions. It would make sense for the Rapid Deployment Division to field a more mobile system, hence the new medium range wheeled howitzer. In that case we would have three Artillery battalions with that system, plus the three Divisional Artillery units; that will include also rocket launchers, which might bring the total close to the 120 wheeled howitzers mentioned in the text. [Author’s note]

                                                      Photos courtesy Bundeswehr, KMW, Rheinmetall


                                                      • unicorn11
                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                        Editing a comment
                                                        I will believe it once the German Government stumps up the cold hard Euros for it and not a day earlier.

                                                    • #36
                                                      India has deployed K9 Vajra 155mm self-propelled howitzers in Ladakh region

                                                      POSTED ON SATURDAY, 29 MAY 2021 16:39

                                                      According to a Tweet published by the Indian Defense News on May 29, 2021, India has deployed K9 Vajra 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers in the Ladakh region.

                                                      Indian army K9 Vajra 155mm self-propelled howitzer in the Ladakh region. (Picture source Twitter account Indian Defense News)

                                                      Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory and constitutes a part of the larger Kashmir region, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947.

                                                      Beginning on 5 May 2020, Chinese and Indian troops engaged in aggressive melee, face-offs and skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

                                                      Citing the Indian Express website, the Indian Army, engaged in a military stand-off with the Chinese army for more than a year, has developed infrastructure and now the capability to accommodate a large number of troops in the habitats that have been built in the Ladakh sector and other areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

                                                      China continues to deploy troops near the Eastern Ladakh sector. The Chinese have been coming to these areas for many years where they hold their exercises in summer time. The forces deployed by the Indian side in Ladakh include the Indo Tibetan Border Police, Indian Air Force, and Indian Army which is now at the forward most locations in the sector.

                                                      In February 2021, it was announced that India has deployed the first K-9 Vajra 155mm self-propelled howitzers for trials in the high-altitude mountainous area of Ladakh.

                                                      South Korean company Hanwha Techwin joined hands with Indian conglomerate Larsen and Toubro Limited to supply 100 K9 for the Indian Army Howitzer competition. In September 2015, Larsen and Toubro emerged as the finalist for an US$800 million contract to supply 100 K9 Vajra 155mm self-propelled howitzers to the Indian Army.

                                                      The K9 Vajra is a variant of the South Korean K9 specially designed for operation in desert areas. The K9 is a self-propelled howitzer based on a tracked armored chassis. This artillery vehicle is armed with a 155mm / 52 caliber cannon. It has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per 15 seconds and a maximum rate of fire of six to eight rounds a minute for three minutes. It has a maximum firing range of 40 km.


                                                      • #37
                                                        Roketsan Range Correction Kit to increase striking efficiency of Turkish artillery

                                                        POSTED ON MONDAY, 31 MAY 2021 15:12

                                                        According to Defence Technology, the Range Correction Kit (MDK) was developed by the Turkish company Roketsan in order to increase the striking efficiency of the T155 Storm Howitzers, one of the important fire support elements of the Turkish armed forces.

                                                        The Storm howitzer will be adapted to be able to fire guided artillery rounds (Picture source: Roketsan)

                                                        While improving the firepower and maneuverability of the Fırtına weapon systems, which play an active role in Iraq and Syria, on the other hand, Roketsan continues to work on technologies that will change the battlefield for the artillery needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. In this context, the Range Correction Kit (MDK), which can be used in howitzer and mortar systems, especially in 155 mm Storm Howitzers, was developed. Thanks to the kit that can be integrated into ammunition, the systems will gain more precise strike capability.

                                                        A development and mass production contract was signed between the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and Roketsan for the design and production of a guidance kit with local resources.

                                                        The kit, which is in the form of a fuze, is mounted on an inventory 155mm howitzer. The kit consists of a kind of mobile « Mickey Mouse ears » asymmetrically moving out of the shell fuse to adapt the trajectory of the shell to accurately reach the targeted point. The dispersion radius of the shells so becomes inferior to 50 meters. Hence a saving in the number of shells needed to destroy a target.

                                                        The kit, which reduces the use of additional personnel and is resistant to electronic deception and jamming, has 4 different plug modes with impact, delay, timed and approach. The Storm howitzer will be adapted to be able to fire guided artillery rounds.


                                                        • #38

                                                          Future Artillery Conference: MLRS developments, a pivotal issue for European long range fires programmes


                                                          By Paolo Valpolini

                                                          With a US Army MLRS unit now fully operational on the Old Continent, the 41st Field Artillery Brigade based in Grafenwöhr has recently reactivated all its components, its effectors battalions being the 1/6th and 1/77th Field Artillery Regiment, and numerous European nations equipped with that same weapon system, among them Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as Turkey which is part of NATO, the evolution of the Cold War era Multiple Launch Rocket System is key to improving long range fires in several armies.

                                                          click on image to enlarge

                                                          While the aforementioned nations field the M270 tracked launcher that hosts two pods of six rockets each, Poland and Romania are due to receive the M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) wheeled launcher, which hosts a single pod, the US Army 41st FAB being also equipped with that weapon system allowing it to conduct HIRAIN (HImars RApid INfiltration) operations using tactical transport aircraft of the C-130 Hercules class. In 2021 41st FAB is carrying out “Fires Shock” a series of deployments for firing exercises both with its M270A1 and M142 systems, that covers numerous countries all around Europe, as well as in Turkey and Morocco, the Brigade being part of US Army Europe & Africa.

                                                          The MLRS was definitely one of the key subjects in many briefings at the Future Artillery Conference, organised by Defence IQ in late May, the pandemic situation forcing once again the organisers to shift to a virtual edition, as it already happened in 2020.

                                                          click on image to enlarge

                                                          New munitions are being developed to increase range and improve effects, the tracked launchers that originally used the M26 rocket containing 644 M77 dual-purpose improved conventional munitions at a range of 32 km, the first US Army firing in Europe took place in September 1983 in Grafenwöhr, acquiring thus a completely different role, the same being true for the HIMARS.

                                                          Wayne Harrison, International Business Development Principal at Lockheed Martin, briefed the Future Artillery Conference audience on the future of the MLRS system, based on the threat evolution that the company analysed through the lenses of its customers eyes. “If we understand the threat, we can then understand capability gaps and can help and assist our customers,” he stated in his initial remarks. “In terms o range, looking at adversaries like Russia, China, North Korea and even Iran, we are quite frankly overmatched,” he said, underlining that since the end of the Cold War US and Western forces were engaged in low intensity conflicts and never dealt with the aforementioned near-peer competitors, a risk that is now increasing. The past scenarios also led to a heavy dependence on GPS technology for precision navigation and firing, something that might be denied by potential peer adversaries. Technology protection, cyber protection, the proliferation of low-cost UAVs, and even more importantly Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) systems, are all influencing future scenarios according to Wayne Harrison. “If we cannot reduce the integrated air and missile defence systems as well as the coastal batteries that our enemy has, our ships will not come in close to off-ramp our forces ashore, and our aircraft will absolutely not fly into the teeth of our enemy air defences, so as artillerymen we must be able to shape and influence that, and have the range, the lethality and the survivability to be able to strike and reduce enemy systems.”

                                                          click on image to enlarge

                                                          The first development that Lockheed Martin is pursuing to fill those capability gaps is extending the range of its GMLRS (Guided Missile Rocket System), the in-service version being able to reach a target at 80 km distance, six GMLRS being fitted per pod. “We are going to nearly double the range of that system, bringing it to 150 km,” Harrison said, “most importantly maintaining the minimum range of this rocket, which is 15 km.” The original GMLRS featured small canard wings on the front cone, being thus a front controlled actuated rocket, the LM representative explains, while in the new rocket, the GMLRS-ER, for Extended Range, control surfaces have been moved at the back, making it a tail-driven rocket, which according to Mr. Harrison considerably reduces the drag while increasing manoeuvrability. “We also increased the rocket motor diameter, from 9 to 10-inch [228 to 254 mm], but the important thing is that we are still able to maintain six rockets in each pod,” he explained. In the GMLRS-ER Lockheed Martin engineers managed to free some room in the nose cone, that allows for future growths. “We can put different sensors in it,” Harrison said, “carrying out incremental upgrades in the future, we can put more data links, and we made a modular nose where we can insert various warheads that will be developed in the future.”

                                                          Operationally speaking the GMLRS-ER increases flexibility, different units being able to hit the same target, the same number of launchers being able to cover a wider space, or the same space being covered by a lesser number of launchers, reducing the logistic footprint, giving to planners and commanders more options than in the past. “More important, the longer range means that those units can be spread out more, and can mutually support each other in a more dispersed battlefield,” Wayne Harrison concludes. He however adds that longer range means also increasing target acquisition capabilities, especially as far as counter-battery fire is concerned, “and here we are working hard with our Q-53 team, which is constantly trying to increase the range.”

                                                          click on image to enlarge

                                                          The AN/TPQ-53 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) counter-battery radar will never be able to see at 150 km, however according to the LM representative, increased range coupled with the most appropriate deployment of the sensor and shooters allows to considerably increase the coverage. Not only, the Q-53 team is also improving its capabilities in other fields: “The UAS proliferation is a problem, and to be honest our integrated air and missile defence systems are not as good at detecting small and slow flying UAS, and tie them into a shooter to take it down. At Lockheed Martin we are doing a great work on the Q-53, to allow it to be able to see those UAS and feed the data to the effectors.” And looking how suicide UAS and loitering munitions were used in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh confrontation, this might be pretty useful.


                                                          The US Army will receive in 2023 the first Precision Strike Missile (PrSM); this new round will replace the ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) which longer range version reaches 300 km. The PrSM will not only considerably increase the range, but will also allow doubling the number of missiles per launcher as a standard pod for the M270 or M142 launcher will contain two missiles instead of the single ATACMS. In his presentation Wayne Harrison underlined how the 400+ km range is what the company is allowed to communicate, however he also pointed out how Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, Director Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team, US Army, talked about 500+ km. The new range is due to the withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in August 2019, the INF limiting the missiles range to 500 km. The new US Administration has not shown any intent to reverse the course and adopt a new treaty, limiting again the range of its surface-to-surface weapons.

                                                          click on image to enlarge

                                                          “The most important thing is that the PrSM will have the same lethality as an ATACMS because of the advancement of our warhead technology,” Mr. Harrison underlines, adding how much having two missiles per pod will help commanders thanks to the reduced logistic footprint. Available 24/7 all weather the PrSM will allow shaping the battlefield at ranges that currently can only be targeted by air assets, which are not always available, especially considering A2/AD scenarios. Although the PrSM warhead is an aerial effect one, the new missile is cluster munition policy compliant, while it is obviously an insensitive munition, as required by most armies nowadays. Detailing the warhead, the LM representative explained that the area effect comes from a very dense tungsten ball bearings contained in the warhead, As in the GMLRS-ER, Lockheed Martin left some space in the nose cone to host other seekers or warheads, making the PrSM an open architecture system. This will allow a spiral evolution as, Mr. Harrison said, “the Army intends keeping the MLRS and the HIMARS as programmes of record until the late 2050s”. To this end Lockheed Martin is already considering adding a seeker head to provide the PrSM a capacity against moving targets; “We will have to work out the kill chain, we are considering command and control issues, but we have the technology to hit moving targets,” Harrison confirmed. As for re-targeting capabilities, this might also become a reality at a later stage.

                                                          Another customer request is to provide the PrSM with an anti-maritime role, and the company is busy in adding the appropriate technology and seeker to allow it to disable or kill a ship.

                                                          The Early Operational Capability is planned for 2023, while Initial Operational Capability should be reached two years later, followed by the missile mass production.

                                                          In his speech Brig. Gen Rafferty underlined that not only the PrSM, compared to the ATACMS, will have a much greater range and the same lethality, but cost will be comparable. As for the programme status, “Two weeks ago at White Sands missile range the PrSM was tested at over 400 km, with performances spot on from speed, apogee, angle of attack and lethality aspects,” he said, confirming the 2023 date for the Urgent Materiel Release delivery. Looking forward, the multimode sensor should follow a couple of years later, “but we will start testing it in a surrogate missile in the next 60 days,” BG Rafferty said, adding that following, this further improvement will be developed, such as a Very Extended Range version. It will remain compatible with current launchers and this will make it difficult for potential adversaries to understand which are the systems fitted with the VER version, which role will be to penetrate enemy A2/AD bubbles disintegrating them.

                                                          Wayne Harrison further elaborated on future warheads. “We are already working on alternative warheads, one being the buckshot warhead, which is an airburst device that would defeat light armour and unarmoured targets. We however understand that our customers also want to take out medium-heavy armoured vehicles, so we are advancing our technology with bigger tungsten steel balls that can penetrate them, also considering the force required to do so. We need to get back to something that can deal with those targets while remaining treaty compliant,” he said, limiting its briefing on those programmes as these are classified.

                                                          While developed based on US Army requirements, the GMLRS-ER and the PrSM are obviously offered at the MLRS/HIMARS community, these new rounds allowing many nations to considerably increase the reach of their artillery system, a key element in multi-domain operations, although some nations are orienting their MDO approach more towards non-kinetic rather than towards kinetic effects. The GMLRS-ER has already attracted considerable interest, an issue remains of course that of long range targeting, a must when deploying effectors with longer reach. How much the new capabilities provided to those launchers will bring to further nations joining the community remains to be seen. However, as confirmed by Mr. Harrison, studies were conducted to verify the compatibility of the HIMARS launcher on different truck chassis, Lockheed Martin being ready to consider such an option should a customer require it. Since the first launch in Europe 38 years ago, the MLRS and its wheeled counterpart are here for staying for at least four more decades.

                                                          Photos courtesy DVIDS, Lockheed Martin, US Army


                                                          • magnify
                                                            magnify commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            ... and our aircraft will absolutely not fly into the teeth of our enemy air defences, so as artillerymen we must be able to shape and influence that, and have the range, the lethality and the survivability to be able to strike and reduce enemy systems.”
                                                            This could not be any more false.

                                                            Available 24/7 all weather the PrSM will allow shaping the battlefield at ranges that currently can only be targeted by air assets, which are not always available, especially considering A2/AD scenarios.
                                                            Air force and Army are just talking nonsense about each other. In what parts of gulf wars 1 or 2 were aircraft not available? Aircraft were bombing even during dust storms in the latter.
                                                            Last edited by magnify; 06-06-21, 02:09 AM.

                                                          • Bug2
                                                            Bug2 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            The Head of the Armed Forces in the USA needs to slap down some people, and tell them to behave or else!

                                                        • #39

                                                          HENSOLDT modernizes COBRA artillery location radars

                                                          Taufkirchen/Germany, 14 June 2021 – Sensor specialist HENSOLDT will modernize the test equipment of the artillery location radar COBRA which is in service with several NATO armies. Under a contract awarded by the multinational procurement organization Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matière d’Armement (OCCAR) on behalf of Germany and France, HENSOLDT will replace the COBRA Radar Environment Simulator (CRES), indispensable for determining optimum deployment and testing system performance.

                                                          The CRES is the key element to test and verify the COBRA radar performance in a laboratory environment with reproducible target trajectories. It generates artificial radar returns allowing to simulate all kinds of ballistic projectiles (missiles, mortar grenades, howitzer or gun projectiles) without the necessity of real transmissions. Therefore, the CRES can be operated in a closed maintenance hall or even inside a COBRA shelter.

                                                          The current CRES is in operation since the 1990s and has become obsolete and unreliable. The replacement with a CRES developed and used by HENSOLDT for third-party COBRA systems has been considered as the most economical solution.

                                                          COBRA is a mobile radar system for locating hostile artillery and missile positions and for calculating in advance the flight path of projectiles in order to give early warning and enable protective action. Its first configuration was developed by the EuroArt consortium comprising HENSOLDT, Thales and Lockheed Martin around the turn of the century for the German, French and British armed forces. Today, a total of more than 40 systems of various configurations have been deployed by Germany, France and Turkey as well as several armed forces outside Europe.

                                                          Photo courtesy Hensoldt


                                                          • #40
                                                            Russian army to receive new artillery systems including 2S43 Malva and Flox 120mm mortar

                                                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 18 JUNE 2021 17:44

                                                            According to information from the Russian press agency TASS, the Russian armed forces will receive new artillery arms in the coming years, including self-propelled gun 2S43 Malva, Flox 120mm self-propelled mortar system, Magnolia 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar and Drok 82mm wheeled 4x4 mortar carrier vehicle.

                                                            Russian-made 2S43 Malva during a recent firing test. (Picture source Russian MoD)

                                                            The Izvestia daily quoted Defense Ministry sources as saying the arming of artillery brigades of the Ground Forces with wheeled 2S43 Malva guns is being considered.

                                                            Last week Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko visited the Smolino test range in the Nizhny Novgorod region to see Ka-52M helicopter gunships and new artillery guns. Magnolia, Flox, Lotos, and Malva guns demonstrated fire. Krivoruchko also saw Drok self-propelled mortar in action.

                                                            “The hardware generally meets modern requirements and the troops expect it in the near future. The weapons exceed the existing ones by several tactical and technical characteristics,” Krivoruchko said.

                                                            In 2020, CEO of Burevestnik Institute Georgy Zakamennykh told TASS the institute was designing several new arms, which will determine the image of the armed forces in the mid and long term.

                                                            “They are 57mm Derivatsia antiaircraft artillery complex, 82mm Drok self-propelled mortar, 120mm Flox gun on the armored undercarriage of KAMAZ and Ural trucks, 120mm Magnolia with an open artillery gun on an automobile undercarriage,” he said adding the hardware was at the final stage of trials.

                                                            Zakamennykh said artillery develops to increase the main tactical and technical characteristics: firing range and precision, munitions firepower, tactical mobility, decreased deployment time, and new firing techniques.

                                                            Automatic survey and navigation controls are introduced. The arms are integrated into a single information command space. The share of self-propelled guns is on the rise, including wheeled vehicles. Their maneuverability is increasing.

                                                            “There is a clear trend to robotize weapons. Remote control algorithms, artificial intelligence elements, protected information exchange are designed and introduced,” he added.

                                                            Malva has been designed for several years, however little is known about its characteristics. In 2020, head of the main research department and advanced technologies of the Defense Ministry Major-General Andrey Goncharov said the deployment time of the latest wheeled 2S43 self-propelled gun decreased three times against previous-generation weapons. The time for closing down and abandoning position decreased 20-fold. The upgrade and decreased weight and size increased the mobility and survivability of the vehicle.

                                                            The 2S43 Malva is a new Russian truck-mounted 152mm self-propelled howitzer which is based on a BAZ 8x8 heavy high mobility truck chassis.

                                                            Russian Ministry of Defense has conducted firing tests with the Flox 120mm wheeled self-propelled mortar vehicle. (Picture source Russian MoD)

                                                            The Flox is a 120mm mobile self-propelled mortar system based on an armored version of the Ural-4320 6×6 military truck chassis. The gun was designed by Nabrosok R&D. It has a combined semi-automatic rifled cannon that fires all mortar mines and shells. It can fire like a howitzer or a mortar, as well as point-blank. For the first time in Russia Flox received a system to detect laser emission and set up optical disturbances.

                                                            The Drok is an 82mm mobile mortar carrier vehicle specially designed for Russian airborne troops. (Picture source Russian MoD)

                                                            The Drok is a self-propelled mortar carrier vehicle that was designed for the Russian Airborne Forces based on Typhoon-VDV 4x4 armored chassis. The vehicle is designed to support airborne assault units.

                                                            The Drok is armed with an 82mm breach-loading mortar with manual charging. The crew can fire at targets without leaving the combat compartment. The mortar can fire ordinary and new mines with a longer range and bigger firepower. Drok weighs 14 tons. The crew of the vehicle includes four men.

                                                            The mortar of the Drok vehicle has a firing range from 100 to 6,000 m. It has a rate of fire of 12 rounds per minute and the vehicle can carry a total of 40 ammunition.

                                                            The Magnolia is a 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar carrier based on DT-30PM, a two-section articulated carrier vehicle. (Picture source Russian MoD)

                                                            The Magnolia is a 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar system based on the DT-30PM, a two-section articulated carrier with a tracked tractor vehicle at the front and a tracked transport vehicle at the rear linked by a steering mechanism. For the Magnolia artillery system, the first vehicle is used to tow a modified cargo vehicle fitted with a turret armed with a 120 mm mortar. A bank of six 81 mm electrically operated 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to each side at the front of the turret.

                                                            The Magnolia seems to be fitted with the same turret as the Russian-made 2S31 Vena, a 120 mm tracked self-propelled artillery system. The 2S31 Vena is equipped with a three-man turret armed with 2A80 120-mm rifled gun. The turret has a traverse of 360° with an elevation from -4º to up to +80º.

                                                            The Magnolia has a maximum firing range of 10 km with a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute. The vehicle carries a total of 80 rounds.

                                                            © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL . All rights reserved.


                                                            • #41
                                                              05 JULY 2021

                                                              Singapore Army commissions TPQ-53 S-band WLR system

                                                              by Kelvin Wong

                                                              The Singapore Army has commissioned the Lockheed Martin TPQ-53 weapon locating radar (WLR) system to replace its current fleet of X-band (8–12.5 GHz range) ThalesRaytheonSystems TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 WLRs that have been in service since 1986 and 1991 respectively.

                                                              The new radar system was commissioned by defence minister Ng Eng Hen at Headquarters 6th Singapore Division/Headquarters Sense and Strike (HQ 6 Div/HQ SS) at Mandai Hill Camp on 28 June. Unlike the US Army, which operates the type under the AN/TPQ-53 designation and integrated on five-tonne M1083 6×6 medium tactical vehicles (MTVs), the radar's active array assembly in the Singapore version is mounted on a four-wheeled trailer and towed by a MAN TGS 6×6 truck.

                                                              The Singapore Army is replacing its fleet of ThalesRaytheonSystems TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 weapon locating radars with Lockheed Martin's TPQ-53 system. (MINDEF)

                                                              The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) noted that the new system provides improved acquisition and target identification of rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) threats out to a maximum range of up to 60 km – up from 50 km previously – along with improved accuracy. Unlike the earlier radar systems that can only operate in staring mode, the TPQ-53 can operate in both rotating and staring modes for operations that require all-round force protection.

                                                              “This provides early warning, protects forces on the ground, and enables swift destruction of hostile threats,” said MINDEF in a 30 June statement.

                                                              “The [radar] has improved locating accuracy to better deliver counter attacks on enemy artillery forces,” it added, noting that the highly automated system requires about 30% less manpower to operate as compared with its predecessors. “This also enhances situational awareness and increases survivability of ground troops.”


                                                              • #42

                                                                Posted July 1

                                                                Regarding the MAN HX3 10x10 artillery variant;

                                                                Apparently the reason why Rheinmetall has not shown it firing yet is the fact, that it will be offered with the new 155 mm L/60 gun (the old L/52 gun can be fitted on customer request). It carries forty rounds of ammunition (projectiles + corresponding propellant charges) and has still 5 tonnes of growth potential. It can be operated remotely and (semi-)autonomous if desired. The turret can be fired at the whole 360° horizontal azimuth.

                                                                A very interesting offer. Rheinmetall seems to push for the HX3 as an alternative to the Boxer RCH155, but at the moment Germany is still expecting to field the old L/52 gun on the new wheeled SPG, mainly due to development schedules.


                                                                • #43

                                                                  28 JULY 2021

                                                                  Elbit Systems progressing new SIGMA 155 mm artillery system

                                                                  by Christopher F Foss

                                                                  Israel's Elbit Systems is developing a new fully automatic 155 mm/52 calibre SP artillery system for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) that will start to replace the IDF's 155 mm/39 calibre M109 tracked SP artillery systems around 2023 , company representatives told Janes.

                                                                  While many countries still deploy tracked self-propelled (SP) 155 mm artillery systems, there is a trend towards 155 mm wheeled artillery systems, as they offer strategic mobility due to less reliance upon heavy equipment transporters.

                                                                  A rendering of the new SIGMA 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled artillery system being developed by Elbit Systems for the Israel Defense Force, based on an Oshkosh Defense 10×10 platform. (Elbit Systems)

                                                                  The new artillery system, called SIGMA, is being developed via an initial USD125 million contract announced in March 2019. It is based on a US-supplied Oshkosh Defense 10×10 platform selected by the IDF, which uses the trucks for a number of missions.

                                                                  The platforms will be fitted with a fully protected control cab, a nuclear biological chemical (NBC) system, and full air conditioning for a crew of two or three.

                                                                  Mounted on the rear of the chassis will be an automatic turret armed with a 155 mm/52 calibre barrel with a 23 litre chamber that meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU), and is fitted with a muzzle brake and fume extractor.

                                                                  The 155 mm/52 calibre turret system will be remote controlled from within. In addition, the system provides a manual reversionary mode, or “degraded mode” of operation, an Elbit Systems spokesperson told Janes.

                                                                  The automatic loading system will set the fuze, load the projectile, and then the Uni-Modular Artillery Charge System (UMACS) with the primers will be automatically loaded via a separate magazine.


                                                                  • #44

                                                                    Taiwan to acquire 40 US M109A6 155mm self-propelled howitzers

                                                                    POSTED ON THURSDAY, 05 AUGUST 2021 09:03

                                                                    According to information released by the U.S. Department of Defense on August 4, 2021, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million.

                                                                    U.S. Army Paladin M109A6 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

                                                                    TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) has requested to buy forty (40) 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems; twenty (20) M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles (FAASV); one (1) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS); five (5) M88A2 Hercules vehicles; five (5) M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns; and one thousand six hundred ninety-eight (1,698) multi-option, Precision Guidance Kits (PGK). Also included are M109A6/M992A2 overhaul, conversion and refurbishment services; Special Tools and Test Equipment (STTE).

                                                                    This proposed sale of M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s self-propelled howitzer fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats. These systems will contribute to the recipient’s goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.

                                                                    The prime contractor for the Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems will be BAE Systems, Anniston, AL, and Elgin, OK; M992A2 FAASV, Anniston Army Depot (ANAD), Bynum, AL; and M88A2 recovery vehicles, BAE, York, PA. The purchaser has requested offsets. At this time, agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

                                                                    The M109A6 is an improved version of the M109A1, a 155mm self-propelled howitzer based on tracked armored chassis. It has a crew of four: the section chief/commander, the driver, the gunner, and the ammunition handler/loader.

                                                                    The M109A features an increased armor, a redesigned internal arrangement for safer ammunition and equipment storage, engine and suspension upgrades, and product improvement of the M284 Cannon and M182A1 Mount. Ammunition storage is increased from 36 to 39 155 mm rounds. It can fire all NAT standard 155mm ammunition as well as the Excalibur GPS / inertial navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles. at a maximum firing range of 40 km.

                                                                    The M88A2 is Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV) also based on a tracked armored chassis. It accompanies the M109A6 and completes the howitzer battery. The M88A2 is an improved version of the M88, a recovery tracked armored vehicle used to conduct battlefield repair and recovery missions.


                                                                    • #45
                                                                      Rostec to showcase Penicillin reconnaissance system export version

                                                                      20 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 20th, 2021 12:39)

                                                                      The Penicillin system is capable of identifying enemy artillery, mortars and multiple launch rocket systems positions.

                                                                      Penicillin system. Credit: NII Vector/ © 2021 Rostec.

                                                                      Ruselectronics, a subsidiary of Russian firm Rostec, is set to present an export version of its new Penicillin acoustic-thermal reconnaissance system at the Army 2021 Forum.

                                                                      The system is used to identify enemy artillery, mortars and multiple launch rocket systems positions.

                                                                      The technology can also be used to detect enemy launch sites of anti-aircraft and tactical missiles and for spotting friendly artillery.

                                                                      Penicillin can detect targets up to 38km, depending on the version.

                                                                      It is designed and manufactured by a Vega Group facility NII Vector.

                                                                      Rostec industrial director Bekhan Ozdoev said: “Unlike most of similar systems, Penicillin detects the enemy artillery with a new combination of heat and sonic reconnaissance rather than with radars, and this makes its jamming impossible.

                                                                      “The system detects acoustic and thermal signals of shots and explosions, identifies the exact coordinates of guns, and lays them out on a digital map. Obtaining coordinates of a single target takes less than five seconds.”

                                                                      Usually, the Penicillin system comprises two vehicles on the KAMAZ chassis, a sound-ranging reconnaissance vehicle and an acoustic-thermal reconnaissance vehicle. However, depending on the variant it can include up to six vehicles.

                                                                      Vega Group general director Vyacheslav Mikheev said: “Penicillin has successfully passed the state inspection, and is now supplied to the Russian Army.

                                                                      “Jointly with Rosoboronexport, we are currently negotiating with a few potential foreign customers, including the ones who operate Post-3M electronic reconnaissance stations. We plan to make a few presentations of the system and showcase its operation during the forum.”

                                                                      In June, Rostec subsidiary Tekhnodinamika Holding developed a decoy cartridge to protect fighter jets from smart missile systems.


                                                                      • #46
                                                                        Army-2021: Russia to launch production of next-generation artillery systems

                                                                        POSTED ON MONDAY, 30 AUGUST 2021 10:30

                                                                        The production of the latest Floks self-propelled mortar system and Magnolia self-propelled artillery gun may begin in late 2022 and early 2023, the press office of the Uralvagonzavod defense manufacturer (part of Rostec).

                                                                        Floks 120mm self-propelled howitzer (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                                                        "The mass production of these models [the Floks and Magnolia guns] will begin after the completion of the state trials in late 2022 - early 2023, provided that the state customer makes the corresponding decision", Uralvagonzavod’s press office said on 27 August. Currently, the prototypes of the 120mm Floks self-propelled wheeled artillery system and the 120mm Magnolia self-propelled artillery gun based on the DT-30PM two-section tracked armored chassis are at the final stage of preliminary trials.

                                                                        On February 7, 2020, after having come back on the topic on June 18, 2021, Army Recognition published that the trials of the advanced Floks and Magnolia artillery systems and the Drok mortar developed by Russia’s Burevestnik Central Research Institute would be completed within the next 18 months. The serial production of the systems would be launched at the same time. The Burevestnik Central Research Institute is a subsidiary of the Uralvagonzavod Corporation within the Rostec state hi-tech corporation.

                                                                        "Within the next 18 months, there are plans to complete the trials of the 82mm Drok self-propelled mortar, the 120mm Floks self-propelled artillery system mounted on the truck chassis and the Magnolia 120mm self-propelled gun based on the chassis of an armored tracked two-section carrier," the press office said. "During this period, the serial production of the systems will begin," the press office added.

                                                                        In November 2019, Army Commander-in-Chief General of the Army Oleg Salyukov said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper that work was nearing completion to develop a whole range of high-mobility artillery and mortar systems based on various types of chassis, including those designed for operations in the Arctic. According to him, they will enhance the mobility and fire capabilities of battalion-level artillery.

                                                                        Under the Nabrosok R&D work, the Burevestnik Central Research Institute has developed the Floks and Magnolia artillery systems and the Drok mortar. The Floks is mounted on the chassis of the Ural truck, the 120mm Magnolia is based on a tracked two-section chassis for operations in soft-soil terrain, and the Drok is based on the chassis of the Taifun-K.

                                                                        Magnolia 120mm self-propelled artillery system based on a tracked articulated amphibious all-terrain vehicle (Picture source: Uralvagonzavod)


                                                                        • #47
                                                                          Uralvagonzavod to complete development of Malva self-propelled howitzer in 2022

                                                                          POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 01 SEPTEMBER 2021 09:28

                                                                          The Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) concern, a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec, will complete all trials of the newest 2S43 Malva 152 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) in 2022, a UVZ spokesperson told the TASS news agency. "A prototype of the Malva 152mm wheel-based self-propelled howitzer is now passing through its preliminary trials. The all-aspect test program, including state trials, is set to be completed in 2022," said the spokesperson.

                                                                          2S43 Malva 152mm 8x8 self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source:

                                                                          According to UVZ, Malva might enter serial production after 2023. "The issue of serial manufacturing of the Malva, as well as the development of its 155 mm export-oriented variant, will be made by the customer after successful completion of state trials," said the spokesperson.

                                                                          The Malva 152 mm wheel-based SPH has been developed by the Burevestnik institute, a subsidiary of UVZ. This new 2S43 Malva is based on the 8x8 military truck chassis BAZ-6010-027 manufactured by the Bryansk Automobile Plant. In the Russian army, the 2S43 could replace the 2A65 MSTA-B and the 2S1 Gvozdika 122 mm self-propelled howitzers based on tracked chassis.

                                                                          According to Russian military sources, the 2S43 Malva is armed with the 152mm 2A64 cannon that is also used on the 2S19 MSTA-S. Our first analysis based on the pictures released on the Internet shows that the 2S43 has a semi-automatic loading system. Like for the French CAESAR, the rear part of the truck chassis is fitted with a large hydraulically-operated spade that can be lowered on the ground to provide a more stable firing platform.

                                                                          The 2S43 Malva has a rate of fire of 8 rounds per minute thanks to the use of a new gun-loading mechanism. There is no public information about the tactical and technical characteristics of this new Russian artillery system due to the secret development of the project.

                                                                          © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL. All rights reserved.


                                                                          • #48
                                                                            First US M109A6 Paladin 155mm howitzers will be delivered to Taiwan in 2023

                                                                            POSTED ON SATURDAY, 04 SEPTEMBER 2021 16:25

                                                                            According to information published by the "Taiwan News" website on September 3, 2021, United States will deliver the first M109A6 Paladin 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers to Taiwan in 2023.

                                                                            U.S. soldiers, of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, Georgia National Guard, fire an M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer during a fire mission at Camp Taji, Iraq on September 14, 2005. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

                                                                            In August 2021, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million.

                                                                            Currently, the United States has strengthened its relationship with Taiwan to respond to a potential conflict over Taiwan. Support from regional countries will be critical to the U.S.'s ability to defend Taiwan from an attack by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

                                                                            For 10 years, the United States has delivered a large number of military equipment to Taiwan including fighter aircraft F-16V Viper in 2019, AH-64E Apache attack helicopter in 2010, main battle tanks M1A2 in 2019, as well as different types of missiles and bombs for Naval and Air Forces of Taiwan.

                                                                            The M109A6 Paladin is a modernized version of the American M109 tracked self-propelled howitzer. The configuration of the M109A6 was achieved through modifications to earlier-built M109A2 and A3 vehicle hulls and the introduction of an entirely new cab and cannon assembly.

                                                                            The M109A6 is armed with one 155mm M284 cannon, which is fitted with an M182 gun mount. The gun can fire all the standard 155mm NATO ammunition with a maximum firing range of 24 km. The range can be extended by the use of assisted rounds up to 30 km. It can also fire XM982 Excalibur GPS inertial navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles with a maximum range of 40 km. It carries a total of 39 155mm ammunition

                                                                            The M109A6 Paladin howitzer is motorized by a Diesel engine DDEC 8V71T engine from Detroit Diesel Corporation 440 hp coupled to an Allison ATD-XTG-411-4 transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. The howitzer can run at a maximum road speed of 65 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 350 km.


                                                                            • #49

                                                                              Rheinmetall and RBSL at DSEI 2021: Rheinmetall’s HX-based wheeled self-propelled howitzer – a next-generation artillery system

                                                                              14 September 2021 – Since its foundation in 1889, Rheinmetall has been a world-leading centre of expertise for heavy artillery. The company’s new wheeled self-propelled howitzer is highly advanced, being specifically designed to meet international specifications for future-proofed indirect fire systems. Key criteria governing the system’s design include combining the operational reach of Rheinmetall’s high-mobility, operationally proven, HX military trucks with state-of-the-art howitzer technology, while simultaneously substantially extending the range of cannon artillery to gain range superiority over any enemy capability.

                                                                              The Rheinmetall wheeled self-propelled howitzer is mounted on a high-mobility HX 10×10 chassis made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. It is equipped with a highly protected cab and a fully automatic, remote-controlled artillery turret, which, though unmanned, can be entered by the crew. This means that it takes only two soldiers to operate the system from the safety of the armoured cab.

                                                                              The turret can rotate and fire through 360 degrees, drawing on a turret magazine containing projectiles and propelling charges for forty rounds. The tried, tested and in-service Rheinmetall L52 gun has been selected as the system’s main armament, with the L60 gun, now in development, offering future growth potential. The L60 can project low-cost standard projectiles (boattail; base bleed; V-LAP) more than 80 kilometres. Precision guided munitions such as the Vulcano will allow to engage high-value targets at even greater ranges.

                                                                              Compared to other wheeled platforms, which are already hitting their weight and payload limits, using the HX 10×10 offers the advantage of unused growth potential of circa five tonnes of additional load capacity. Given an assumed service life of 30-40 years, this additional payload could be used to incorporate a multitude of additional mission systems as well as for carrying extra ammunition. Moreover, because the howitzer was designed from the start for remote-control and semi or full automatic operation, it can function without a crew. In keeping with the “human in the loop” principle, however, the fire order is never an autonomous decision.

                                                                              When it comes to procurement and utilization, the howitzer offers an excellent price-performance ratio compared to traditional tracked self-propelled howitzers as well as other wheeled tactical vehicle-based systems, while at the same time substantially enhancing a core capability intrinsic to all howitzers: achieving favourable outcomes through range superiority. Thanks to the high-mobility HX 10×10 truck chassis, the artillery system can flexibly redeploy over large distances without additional logistic support, and with no need for routine maintenance or repairs upon arrival. Furthermore, logistic uniformity owing to the extensive use of HX trucks in the Bundeswehr, the British Army and numerous other armed forces will result in lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously facilitating multinational operations, thus strengthening national and alliance defence capabilities.

                                                                              HX – third generation now available

                                                                              Made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, the HX family is among the most widely used range of military trucks anywhere. Over 15,000 vehicles are now in service worldwide. A military-off-the-shelf family of vehicles, HX trucks are systematically designed for maximum durability, mobility, ease of use and modularity, effectively placing them in a class of their own.

                                                                              In May 2021 Rheinmetall unveiled its latest generation of globally tried-and-tested HX trucks. New technologies make these future-proof vehicles more than a match for military and automotive megatrends. In effect, they have been completely redesigned. Among other things, users today expect improved protection, enhanced mobility, improved driving comfort and a digital interface that enables even greater operational flexibility and future performance upgrades. At the same time, however, the new generation preserves the highly prized core strengths of the HX2 and the family-driven concept.

                                                                              The HX3’s completely overhauled cab design delivers even greater ease of operation and crew protection, while various assistance systems assure enhanced safety during routine operations. Completely reworked, the electronic and electrical architecture and assistance systems – including Emergency Brake Assist/EBA, Adaptive Cruise Control/ACC and Lane Departure Warning/LDW – ensure the vehicle’s future viability, especially when it comes to autonomous driving. Standardized interfaces will make it possible to integrate future technologies such as truck platooning and other automated applications. Along with a robust chassis and high-performance engine, the vehicles can be equipped with an optional new active rear axle suspension system, which significantly enhances the vehicle’s performance both on and off road.

                                                                              More than ever, the new HX3 generation embodies a platform concept equally suited to logistic and tactical scenarios. The HX3 will basically be available in 4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 10×10 versions, and characterized by an even wider array of variants and greater system diversity. Moreover, its traditional role as a logistics vehicle can be further enhanced thanks to new systems such as the fully automatic Automated Load Handling System, or ALHS.

                                                                              Photo courtesy Rheinmetall


                                                                              • #50
                                                                                DSEI 2021: World Premiere for Rheinmetall HX3-based 155mm 10x10 wheeled self-propelled howitzer

                                                                                POSTED ON THURSDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2021 19:53

                                                                                World premiere for the Rheinmetall’s HX3-based 155mm 10x10 wheeled self-propelled howitzer at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK. With this new vehicle, Rheinmetall has developed the next generation of artillery systems.

                                                                                New Rheinmetall 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer based on HX 10x10 truck chassis. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                                                Since its foundation in 1889, Rheinmetall has been a world-leading centre of expertise for heavy artillery. The company’s new wheeled self-propelled howitzer is highly advanced, being specifically designed to meet international specifications for future-proofed indirect fire systems. Key criteria governing the system’s design include combining the operational reach of Rheinmetall’s high-mobility, operationally proven, HX military trucks with state-of-the-art howitzer technology, while simultaneously substantially extending the range of cannon artillery to gain range superiority over any enemy capability.

                                                                                The Rheinmetall wheeled self-propelled howitzer is mounted on a high-mobility HX 10x10 chassis made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. It is equipped with a highly protected cab and a fully automatic, remote-controlled artillery turret, which, though unmanned, can be entered by the crew. This means that it takes only two soldiers to operate the system from the safety of the armored cab.

                                                                                The turret can rotate and fire through 360 degrees, drawing on a turret magazine containing projectiles and propelling charges for forty rounds. The tried, tested and in-service Rheinmetall L52 gun has been selected as the system’s main armament, with the L60 gun, now in development, offering

                                                                                future growth potential. The L60 can project low-cost standard projectiles (boattail; base bleed; V-LAP) more than 80 kilometres. Precision guided munitions such as the Vulcano will allow to engage high-value targets at even greater ranges.

                                                                                Compared to other wheeled platforms, which are already hitting their weight and payload limits, using the HX 10x10 offers the advantage of unused growth potential of circa five tonnes of additional load capacity. Given an assumed service life of 30-40 years, this additional payload could be used to incorporate a multitude of additional mission systems as well as for carrying extra ammunition. Moreover, because the howitzer was designed from the start for remote-control and semi or full automatic operation, it can function without a crew. In keeping with the “human in the loop” principle, however, the fire order is never an autonomous decision.

                                                                                When it comes to procurement and utilization, the howitzer offers an excellent price-performance ratio compared to traditional tracked self-propelled howitzers as well as other wheeled tactical vehicle-based systems, while at the same time substantially enhancing a core capability intrinsic to all howitzers: achieving favourable outcomes through range superiority. Thanks to the high-mobility HX 10x10 truck chassis, the artillery system can flexibly redeploy over large distances without additional logistic support, and with no need for routine maintenance or repairs upon arrival. Furthermore, logistic uniformity owing to the extensive use of HX trucks in the Bundeswehr, the British Army and numerous other armed forces will result in lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously facilitating multinational operations, thus strengthening national and alliance defence capabilities.


                                                                                • Bug2
                                                                                  Bug2 commented
                                                                                  Editing a comment
                                                                                  Idle thought(s) - I wonder if anyone has ever trialled, tested, or simulated the combat use and potential combat scenario's for Tracked versus Wheeled SPG's?