howitzer

Discussion in 'Pakistan Defence & Industry' started by Super Falcon, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. Super Falcon
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    there are some worlds best Howitzers.

    which of thm pakistan have or intent to get.


    The WS-1B Multiple Launch Rocket System has been developed by the China National Precision Machinery Corporation (CPMIEC), based in Beijing, China.

    The WS-1B is a long range artillery rocket weapon and an advanced derivative of the WS-1 in service with the Army of the People's Republic of China. The system fills the gap in firing range between a conventional self propelled artillery system and a surface to surface tactical missile. The system is operated in a defensive or offensive role for deployment against targets deep behind enemy lines including military bases, massed armoured divisions, missile launch site, airports and airstrips, harbours and military industrial bases.

    The rocket launcher system is mounted on a 6 x 6 flatbed truck on a turntable.

    CPMIEC is developing a successor to the WS-1B, the WS-2, which will have a range extended to 350km and be armed with more accurate, guided rockets.

    ARMAMENT

    The WS-1 rocket reaches a maximum speed of Mach 3.6 and the maximum flight altitude is 30km, giving a minimum firing range of 20km to 30km and a maximum firing range of 80km with probability deviation of 1%. The WS-1 rocket, length 4.52m and diameter 0.302m, weighs 520kg with a 150kg warhead.

    The WS-1B rocket with a new high performance rocket motor and warhead, reaches a maximum speed of Mach 5 and maximum flight altitude of 60km, giving a minimum firing range of 80km and a maximum firing range of 180km. The probability deviation is between 1% and 1.5%. The WS-1B rocket is longer than the WS-1, with length 6.182m but the same diameter. The take-off weight is 708kg with a 150kg warhead.

    The free rocket consists of the warhead and fuse, an FG-43 rocket motor and the tail section. The FG-43 rocket motor is a single chamber, solid rocket motor with an advanced hydroxy-terminated polybutadine (HTPB) composition rocket propellant.

    Two types of warhead can be fitted on the WS-IB rocket, a ZDB-2 blasting warhead or an SZB-1 submunition, which are selected according to the characteristics of the target.

    The ZDB-2 blasting warhead is loaded with steel balls and prefabricated fragments. The SZB-1 submunition warhead provides an effective high power weapon against massed tanks. When the SZB-1 submunition warhead detonates, just under 500 bullets are expelled under high pressure.

    GROUND EQUIPMENT

    The ground equipment of the multiple rocket system comprises: a rocket launch truck, a transport and loading truck and a firing command truck. An army rocket battery is equipped with one DZ-88B firing command truck, six to nine HF-4 rocket launch trucks and between six and nine QY-88B transport and loading trucks. Each rocket launch truck is equipped with over 20 rounds of rockets.

    COMMAND TRUCK

    The DZ-88B Firing Command Truck is equipped with a radio communications and data transmission system; a firing and control computer and simulation trajectory system; a global positioning system; a gyro-theodolite directional system plus infrared ranging system; a field meteorological detection system; and a communication control unit.

    LAUNCH TRUCK

    The HF-4 rocket launch truck is available in a four launch tube or eight launch tube configuration. The launch tubes have an elevation range of 0 to 60 degrees with an elevation speed between 0.1° and 3° per second. The azimuth range is from -30° to +30° and the azimuthal adjustment speed is from 0.1° to 4° per second. The truck is equipped with four hydraulically operated stabilisers which are lowered in preparation for the rocket launch
  2. Super Falcon
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    The Uragan or Hurricane 9K57 is a 16-round 220mm multiple launch rocket system manufactured by the Splav State Research and Production Association, Tula, Russia. Splav also produce the Smerch, Grad and Prima MLRS.

    The mission of the launcher is to defeat troops and combat materiel in concentrated areas and also to remotely lay anti-tank area denial mines in a combat zone at distances of 10km to 35km.

    The system, which is in service with the Russian Army and has also been exported, has been battle proven. The Uragan has a reputation for high reliability, simplicity and speed of operation and maintenance and a short salvo time.

    The Russian Army is upgrading Uragan MLRS systems with new navigation and targeting systems.

    LAUNCHER

    The launcher assembly is mounted on an 8x8 truck chassis. The launchers are arranged in two layers of six tubes with a layer of four tubes on the top. The launcher can rotate through 240°. In order to fire, four stabilising jacks on the chassis are used, one on either side of the vehicle and two at the back. The maximum rate of fire is two rounds per second. The launchers are lowered and rotated to one side for reloading. Another truck carrying 16 rockets for reloading is equipped with a reloading arm. A rammer is used to reload the launch tubes.

    The 9K57 Uragan uses a range of rocket projectiles: the 9M27F rocket projectile fitted with the HE-Frag warhead, and the rocket projectiles 9M27K, 9M59, and 9M27K2.

    9M27F ROCKET PROJECTILE

    The 9M27F rocket projectile fitted with the HE-Frag (High Explosive Fragmentation) warhead is for defeating manpower and the destruction of airfield runways, crossings, command posts, depots and other installations. The 280kg rocket projectile, of length 4,832mm and calibre 220mm, carries an explosive charge of 51.7kg and is armed with a 100kg warhead.

    9M59 ROCKET PROJECTILE

    The 9M59 rocket projectile is equipped with a cluster warhead fitted with antitank mines and is for remote mine laying in front of enemy combat materiel units located in the battle zone and in concentrated areas. The 220mm calibre 9M59 is a 270kg rocket projectile of length 5,178mm, armed with an 89.5kg warhead. Each projectile carries nine mines. The salvo of one launch vehicle is capable of laying a mine dispersion area of 250ha.

    ANTI-TANK MINES

    The 5kg antitank mines destroy the armoured vehicles from below. The mines are armed with a proximity fuse and directional 1.85kg explosive charge with high armour-piercing ability. The mines have a self destruct time of 16 to 24 hours.

    9M27K2 ROCKET PROJECTILES

    The 9M27K2 rocket projectile has a 89.5kg cluster warhead fitted with 24 antitank mines and is for remote mine laying in front of enemy combat units on the battle front and in concentrated areas. The 220mm calibre 9M27K2 rocket has a weight of 270kg and length 5,178mm. One salvo of the launch vehicle creates a mine dispersion area of more than 150ha.

    PTM-1 HE TANK DISABLING MINE

    The PTM-1 HE tank-disabling pressure-action mine is designed to destroy tank tracks rather than to pierce the armour of the tank. The 1.5kg mines are armed with a 1.1 high explosive charge type PW-12S. The self-destruction time of the PTM--1 is 3 to 40 hours.
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    The 9K58 Smerch 300mm Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) is designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artillery and missile systems.

    "A Smerch unit is typically composed of six launchers and six transloaders."It is produced by the Splav State Research and Production Association, Tula, Russia, which also manufactures the Uragan, Grad and Prima rocket launchers. Smerch was developed in the early 1980s and entered service with the Russian Army in 1988. It is also in service with Belarus and the Ukraine, and has been exported to Kuwait (27 systems) and Algeria (18 systems).

    In 2002, the Indian Army carried out a series of firing trials of the modernised Smerch-M system, which features an automatic rocket preparing and launching system and an increased range of up to 90km. In December 2005, India placed an order for an initial 38 systems. Deliveries began in May 2007 and are scheduled to conclude in 2008.

    The Russian Army is upgrading Smerch MLRS systems with new navigation and targeting systems.

    The Smerch MLRS is composed of the following: launch vehicle, transloader, rockets, training facilities and arsenal equipment.

    LAUNCHER

    The launch vehicle is based on the MAZ-543M 8x8 wheeled truck chassis on which is mounted a 12-tube launcher. The vehicle is manufactured by Minsk Auto Zavod (MAZ). The tubes are arranged as two blocks of four with a single row of four above. The launcher has a crew of four and is capable of single or salvo firing.

    A Smerch unit is typically composed of six launchers and six transloaders.

    TRANSLOADER

    The transloader is based on the MAZ-543A 8x8 wheeled truck chassis which carries a further 12 rockets. The transloader provides for mechanised loading of the launch vehicle, by means of a hydraulic crane mounted on the vehicle.

    MUNITIONS

    Smerch fires the 300mm 9M55K rocket. This has a solid propellant rocket motor. Firing range is from 20km to 70km. The 9M55K rocket is 7.5m long and weighs over 800kg. It is fitted with either a warhead containing 72 HE-FRAG (High-Explosive Fragmentation) submunitions or HE-FRAG separable unitary warhead. It can also be fitted with a warhead containing five Bazalt MOTIV-3F anti-armour submunitions.

    The 'smart' submunitions have dual-colour infrared sensors for terminal guidance and kinetic energy fragment warheads which are said to be able to penetrate 70mm of armour at an angle of 30° to the normal.

    Splav have also developed a new 9M528 projectile which uses a high-energy composite propellant which will give an increased range of 90km, and a new warhead that scatters 25 anti-tank mines.

    "The Russian Army is upgrading Smerch MLRS systems with new navigation and targeting systems."FIRE CONTROL

    The fire control system for Smerch is the Vivari FCS which can function automatically or under manual control.

    One Vivari system controls the six Smerch launchers in a unit and is housed in a separate command vehicle. It has either one or two E-175 computers to calculate ballistic and targeting data for each launcher. The command vehicle has both satellite and radio communications systems to link to both subordinate units and headquarters.

    RECONNAISSANCE

    It has been reported that a miniature aerial vehicle, R-90, containing a stabilised camera is being developed which could be fired from the Smerch launcher, enabling realtime battlefield surveillance data to be relayed to the Smerch commander.

    The aerial vehicle, which uses GPS (Global Positioning System), has the same 70km range as the 9M55K rocket and can transmit data for up to 30 minutes
  4. Super Falcon
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    Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's Artillery Gun Module (AGM) is an air-transportable, medium-weight, turreted self-propelled howitzer based on the proven technology of the PzH 2000 SP howitzer in service with the German Army. The system is fully autonomous and provides the same performance as the PzH 2000, but with reduced cost, crew levels and weight.

    "AGM is an air-transportable, medium-weight, turreted self-propelled howitzer."The gun module can be fitted on a tracked or wheeled chassis. The intention is to integrate the gun module into available in-service chassis for the customer country and to set up co-production arrangements with the local in-country chassis producer to provide a cost effective and medium weight indirect fire support platform.

    The first demonstrator was completed in 2004. The verification phase was finished in early 2007.

    The artillery gun module development has been based on the 155mm / L52-calibre gun but the system could also be adapted for a lighter gun such as a 105mm gun or 39-calibre 155mm gun.

    The module can be fitted on a heavy 6x6 or 8x8 chassis, a tracked Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) hull or a main battle tank hull. It is necessary to fit hydraulically operated stabilisers and firing spades to wheeled platforms for the vehicle to withstand the recoil. The AGM installed on an MLRS chassis has a combat weight of 27t. Mounted on a 6x6 truck the combat weight is about 22.5t compared to the PzH 2000 combat weight of about 55t.

    Under a completely separate programme led by shipbuilders HDW, a naval modular artillery gun, MONARC, is being developed that integrates the gun turret and autoloader from the PzH 2000 into the deck of a naval vessel.

    PROOF-OF-PRINCIPLE DEMONSTRATOR

    The development programme was started in early 2003. A proof-of-principle demonstrator has been built with a 52-calibre gun mounted on an MLRS tracked chassis. Preliminary verification firing trials of the proof-of-principle demonstrator were successfully carried out at the German Army's live firing range at Meppen in August and September 2004. 79 rounds were fired during the trials. Most were Zone 6 firings using Rheinmettall DM72 charge systems with a 52°C charge temperature.

    The proof-of-principle demonstrator was not built with an autoloader and was manually loaded for the trials. The system successfully fired with the turret in the forward and rear positions and up to 45° in azimuth on either side of these positions. The firing tests were completed at all elevations. Some firings, but not at all elevations, were carried out with the turret at 90° to the forward position and using the most powerful Zone 6 charges.

    "The AGM can fire against stationary and moving targets at a rate of six to eight rounds a minute."SECOND DEMONSTRATOR

    Assembly of a fully functioning second demonstrator started in the second quarter of 2005. The demonstrator includes a fully automatic loading system which loads the projectiles and the charges. A new six-cylinder engine and transmission is intended to be installed in the next evolutionary step.

    GUN MODULE
    The system is operated by a crew of two. The AGM uses the main gun components from the PzH 2000 – the barrel and elevating mass, the shell loader and flick rammer. The system also has a separate dedicated auxiliary power unit. The turret is of lightweight aluminium armour construction.

    The 12.5t turret carries 30 projectiles and charges. The autoloader is based on a modified PzH 2000 shell loader and an automatic charge loader. The charge loader will automatically compose the selected charges using any Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU) compliant charge module. The autoloader is powered by a 24V electrical supply.

    A lifting system is installed at the front of the turret allowing the crew to reload the magazine from outside the vehicle. The ammunition feed has an automatic inductive fuse setting system. The pneumatically operated flick rammer rams the shells into the breech with elevation angle-dependent ramming pressure control.

    CHASSIS

    The MLRS chassis is modified with stronger torsion bars and extra shock absorbers.

    The crew cabin is separated from the firing module. The crew cabin is fitted with a computerised fire control system with the NATO armament ballistic kernel software implemented and linked to the KMW artillery command and control system or to other command and control systems. The system can be loaded and fired manually.

    The cabin provides protection against small arms rounds, anti-personnel mines, bomblets and nuclear, biological and chemical warfare attack.

    PERFORMANCE

    The AGM can fire against stationary and moving targets at a rate of six to eight rounds a minute including Multiple-Round Simultaneous-Impact (MRSI) firing. Using standard rounds the maximum range is 30km; this is increased to more than 40km with base bleed rounds.

    "The artillery gun module development has been based on the 155mm / L52-calibre gun."The into-action and out-of-action times for the AGM are similar to those of the PzH 2000 – approximately 30 seconds. The system receives target data via a radio link either while it is on the move or in a defilade position. The laying and loading data is computed and the firing command is executed. Immediately after firing the last round, the vehicle leaves the firing position in a shoot-and-scoot manoeuvre to avoid counter battery fire.

    AIR TRANSPORTABILITY

    The howitzer on the MLRS chassis is air transportable on an Airbus A400M transporter aircraft. With the gun in the forward position lowered over the cab the barrel overhangs the vehicle by 2.5m. For air transport, the artillery gun module is 10.42m long, 2.97m wide and 3.06m high
  5. Super Falcon
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    The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is the newest member of the multiple launch rocket System (MLRS) family. HIMARS is a highly-mobile artillery rocket system offering the firepower of MLRS on a wheeled chassis. HIMARS was developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control under an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) programme, placed in 1996.

    In January 2000, Lockheed Martin was awarded an EMD (engineering and manufacturing development) contract to provide six HIMARS launchers. A further two HIMARS launchers were ordered under a two-year user evaluation programme for the US Marines Corps.

    "HIMARS is able to launch its weapons and move away at high speed."In March 2003, the US Army and Marine Corps signed a contract for the low-rate initial production (LRIP) of 89 launchers for the Army and four for the USMC. A second LRIP contract was awarded in January 2004 for 25 launchers for the army and one for the USMC. A third was awarded in January 2005 for 37 launchers for the Army and one for the USMC. A total procurement of 900 launchers is planned.

    In November 2004, HIMARS successfully completed initial operational test & evaluation (IOT&E). Three prototype HIMARS launchers were successfully used in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    HIMARS entered service in June 2005 with the 27th Field Artillery, 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The first full-rate production contract was awarded in December 2005. HIMARS is also in service with 1st Battalion, 181st Field Artillery Tennessee National Guard, 158th Field Artillery Oklahoma National Guard (both since 2006) and 5th battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, Fort Lewis (since November 2007).

    The first US Marine Corps battalion equipped with HIMARS, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, was deployed to Iraq in July 2007.

    In September 2006, the United Arab Emirates requested the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 20 HIMARS launchers plus munitions including 101 ATACMS block 1A, 101 ATACMS block 1A Unitary, 104 MLRS, 130 GMLRS and 130 GMLRS Unitary rocket pods.

    In January 2007, Lockheed Martin was awarded a further contract for 44 HIMARS systems for the US Army and 16 for the USMC, for delivery by 2009.

    In September 2007, the US Congress was notified of the proposed sale to Singapore of 18 HIMARS launchers plus 32 Unitary GMLRS pods and 30 MLRS practice rocket pods.

    "The HIMARS artillery rocket launcher can aim at a target in just 16 seconds."The purpose of HIMARS is to engage and defeat artillery, air defence concentrations, trucks, light armour and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations. HIMARS is able to launch its weapons and move away from the area at high speed before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site.

    HIMARS fire control
    HIMARS retains the same self-loading and autonomous features installed on the MLRS. The improved launcher mechanical system (ILMS) upgrade and electronics of the improved fire control system (IFCS), which upgraded MLRS M270 launchers are also fitted to HIMARS vehicles.

    Lockheed Martins universal fire control system (UFCS), a further evolutionary upgrade of the fire control system, has completed development and qualification and from mid 2008 is being fitted to full-rate production HIMARS. Successful HIMARS test firings of the ATACMS missile (in March 2008) and GMLRS rockets (in May 2008) took place using the new GPS-guided UFCS.

    HIMARS is operated by a crew of three - driver, gunner and section chief - but the computer-based fire control system enables a crew of two or even a single soldier to load and unload the system. The fire control system includes video, keyboard control, a gigabyte of programme storage and global positioning system. The fire control computer allows firing missions to be carried out in automatic or manual mode.

    In a typical mission, a command and control post would transmit the selected target data via a secure data link to the HIMARS on-board launch computer. The computer then aims the launcher and provides prompt signals to the crew to arm and fire a pre-selected number of rounds. The launcher can aim at a target in just 16 seconds. It is possible for the crew to select preprogrammed multiple mission sequences which have been stored in the computer.

    High mobility artillery rocket system munitions
    In addition to the standard MLRS round, HIMARS is capable of launching the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket and all future variants. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one army tactical missile system (ATACMS) missile.

    "HIMARS has successfully test fired the new extended range guided rocket GMLRS, with a range of more than 70km."The extended-range MLRS rocket (ER-MLRS) improves the basic M26 range of 32km to more than 45km and the area of influence by 107%.

    The extension of the rocket motor has resulted in a reduction in the payload to 518 M85 grenades, but the dispersion of the grenades is improved for better effectiveness with fewer grenades.

    In April 2004, HIMARS successfully test fired the new extended range guided rocket GMLRS, with a range of more than 70km.

    The Lockheed Martin GMLRS rocket has a GPS (global positioning system) and inertial guidance package and small canards on the rocket nose to enhance accuracy. GMLRS completed System Development and Demonstration (SDD) tests in December 2002 and entered low-rate initial production in April 2003.

    Initial operating capability (IOC) was achieved in 2006, but the system has been operationally deployed since September 2005 in Iraq. The GMLRS is an international programme involving UK, Italy, France and Germany as well as the US. The industrial team includes Diehl, MBDA and FiatAvio.

    First deliveries of a unitary variant of GMLRS, with a single 81.6kg (180lb) warhead, developed by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and a range of up to 70km were in May 2005. In October 2003, Lockheed Martin was awarded an SDD contract for 86 unitary variant rockets, delivered in June 2005. In June 2007, GMLRS Unitary entered low-rate initial production (LRIP).

    Army tactical missile system (ATACMS)
    HIMARS is capable of firing the long-range ATACMS (army tactical missile system) guided missile. The ATACMS family includes the Block 1, Block 1A and Block 1A Unitary missiles. The block 1 missile delivers 950 anti-personnel anti-material (AP/AM) baseball-sized M74 submunitions to ranges exceeding 165km.

    The block 1A missile range exceeds 300km by reducing the submunition payload to 300 bomblets and adding GPS guidance. The Block 1A unitary missile, with a single-burst warhead, was first deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March / April 2003.

    "HIMARS is capable of launching the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket."The program to develop the Block II missile, with GPS and 13 BAT (brilliant anti-tank) submissiles, and Block IIA missile, with six improved BAT submissiles, was cancelled in February 2003.

    Vehicle
    HIMARS carries a single six-pack of rockets on the army's family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) 6x6 all-wheel drive 5t truck supplied by Armor Holdings Tactical Vehicle Systems Division (formerly Stewart and Stevenson), Texas. The HIMARS vehicle weighs approximately 24,000lb compared to more than 44,000lb for the MLRS M270 launcher.

    HIMARS is transportable on the C-130 aircraft, allowing the system to be moved into areas previously inaccessible to the larger C-141 and C-5 aircraft required for the M270 launch vehicle.
  6. Super Falcon
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    The Rascal Light Self Propelled Gun Howitzer is a highly mobile, long range, high speed, lightweight artillery system, manufactured by Soltam Ltd of the Koor Industries Group based in Haifa, Israel.

    Soltam have developed a family of artillery systems, including mortars, mortar ammunition and towed and self propelled howitzers. The Rascal is the most compact size and lightest weight of the range of Soltam self propelled 155 mm howitzers, which includes the 20 ton Rascal, the 60 ton Slammer based on a modified Merkava chassis and turret, the M72 howitzer based on a modified Centurion chassis and the early L33 howitzer based on the Sherman M4A3E8 chassis.

    DESIGN

    The mobilisation of rapid reaction forces leads to the requirement for air transportation of artillery systems. The small size and weight of the Rascal allows transportation by sea, railway, truck and air including transportation by relatively small cargo aircraft such as the C-130 transporter.

    The Rascal's low weight of 20 tons and compact design eliminates the need for tank

    transporters and also allows the deployment of the vehicle in operational areas where access to larger vehicles is impeded, for example through narrow urban streets, narrow mountain roads, narrow bridges and tunnels.

    The choice of a tracked drive, together with the high power to weight ratio, provides high on-road speed and good tactical mobility for off-road, difficult cross country missions, including over desert and mountainous terrain. The high manoeuvrability of the tracked vehicle with hydraulic power steering also provides the important capability of fast and easy entry to and exit from confined spaces in the battlefield.

    The hull of the Rascal is of all-welded steel armour construction. The driver's station is located at the front of the vehicle on the left. The crew of three plus the driver are protected from small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew compartment is in the central section of the vehicle. Hinged armoured shutters, installed over the driver's windows and the crew observation windows, are closed when the vehicle is in the combat zone. The vehicle can be equipped with night vision systems as an option, according to customer mission requirements.

    ARMAMENT

    Rascal is available with a 39 or 45 calibre 155 mm gun. The gun is mounted on an hydraulically driven turntable at the back of the vehicle. The azimuthal traverse of the gun is 30 degrees and the elevation is from -0 degrees to +65 degrees. The elevation and traverse are powered hydraulically. A loader assist device is pneumatically energised. The gun is fitted with a pneumatic rammer.

    To prepare the vehicle for firing, two hydraulically operated spades are lowered into position to stabilise the vehicle. After firing the blades are retracted.

    The vehicle carries up to 36 projectiles, stored base downwards in the projectile racks on either side of the gun. The charges are carried in a fire proof armoured ammunition store in front of the gun. The gun can accommodate a wide range of 155 mm ammunition.

    PROPULSION

    The engine compartment is on the left hand side of the vehicle behind the driver's station. The vehicle has a diesel engine, automatic transmission, hydraulic power steering and a high performance braking system.

    The Rascal is a tracked vehicle with six double road wheels with rubber tyres on each side. The large drive sprocket is clearly visible to the front of the first road wheel and the idler wheel is at the back. An hydraulically driven winch is installed at the centre front of the vehicle.

    SPWH 2052

    Soltam has developed a new 155mm 52 Cal Artillery Truck Mounted Gun Howitzer, known as the SPWH 2052, based on the "Rascal". The SPWH 2052 is an advanced concept of long range, light self propelled wheeled artillery system, with ammunition loading systems and autonomous operation capabilities.

    The SPWH 2052 is a hybrid of the TATRA T815 VVN 6X6 wheeled Truck chassis, with a 155 mm 45/52 Cal Long-Range Gun that is equipped with the latest c3 system including on board computation, inertial navigation & aiming systems, and easy ammunition handling system. The platform carries 32 projectiles and propelling charges, as well as the Gun’s crewmembers, their equipment and all the logistics. While firing, the SPWH 2052 is supported by rear spades. Firing loads are transferred directly to the ground, without harming the vehicle chassis.

    This system can mount either a 45 cal. barrel, or a 52 cal. barrel to reach 39 km or 41 km respectively. All types of 155 mm ammunition in use worldwide are authorized for fire. The auxilliary engine enables easy handling for deployment and ammunition handling. As a result, the SPWH 2052 is fully operable by 4 crew members.

    The SP Gun is equipped with inertial navigation and aiming systems, which also commands and controls the elevation & traversing gears, giving the SPWH 2052 autonomous operation and "automatic laying" capabilities. It has a total weight of 18000 kg.
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    The Ultralightweight Field Howitzer (UFH), designated M777 in the USA, was selected in 1997 by a joint US Army / Marine Corps initiative to replace the existing inventory of M198 155mm towed howitzers. The first of five EMD systems was delivered in June 2000. The US Marine Corps is to procure 380 systems and the US Army 273 systems. A low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for 94 systems was awarded in November 2002.

    Operational testing with the USMC, during which nearly 12,000 artillery rounds were fired by four production systems, was completed in December 2004. A contract for full-rate production of 495 systems was awarded to BAE Systems in April 2005. In May 2005, the USMC began fielding the M777 with the 11th Marines unit at Twentynine Palms in California.

    "The M777 ultralightweight field howitzer will replace the existing inventory of M198 155mm towed howitzers."The first 18 systems were delivered to the US Army's 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery in Hawaii in October 2006.

    The M777 will be the artillery system for the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT). The systems fitted with the digital fire control system are designated M777A1, and those with the software update which allows the firing of the Excalibur projectile, M777A2. M777A2 received full material release in July 2007, clearing the upgrade for fielding. All M777A1 systems will be upgraded to the A2 standard.

    The M777 was deployed by the US Army and Marine Corps to Afghanistan in December 2007 and to Iraq in 2008.

    The Excalibur projectile was first deployed in Afghanistan in March 2008.

    By August 2008, over 400 systems had been delivered to the US Army and USMC.

    In April 2008, BAE Systems received an order for an additional 87 M777 systems for the US Army and USMC. Deliveries are scheduled from 2010. In August 2008, a further 43 systems were ordered.

    In December 2005, the first four of six M777 systems were supplied by the USMC to the Canadian Army, under a foreign military sales (FMS) contract. The systems were deployed to Afghanistan in February 2006. A further six systems have been ordered and are in service. In June 2008, Canada requested a further 25 systems, a total of 37.

    In July 2008, Australia requested the foreign military sale of 57 M77 howitzers.

    BAE Systems has developed a mobile version, the M777 Portee, which is mounted on a purpose-built 8x6 Supacat vehicle. The vehicle was first shown at Eurosatory in June 2006.

    "The construction of the M777 makes extensive use of titanium and titanium castings."The M777 has been developed by BAE Systems Land Systems (RO Defence, formerly the Armaments Group of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd) at Barrow-in-Furness. United Defense LP of Pascagoula, Mississippi is responsible for final assembly, test and delivery of production systems for the US.

    In July 2004, the M777 successfully completed a series of airlift tests with the US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The M777 was carried as an external load for a distance of 69nm.

    The M777 is normally operated by a crew of eight men but can be operated with a reduced detachment of five.

    Design

    The construction of the M777 makes extensive use of titanium and titanium castings, enabling a weight reduction of 3,175kg (7,000lb) compared to the M198 howitzer which it replaces in the US Army and USMC inventory. The titanium is supplied by RTI International metals of Niles, Ohio.

    Armament
    The M777 matches the firepower of current generation 155mm towed systems at less than half the weight. The Howitzer is equipped with a 39-calibre barrel. The muzzle velocity (at Charge 8 super) is 827m/s.

    The maximum firing range is 24.7km with unassisted rounds and 30km with rocket-assisted rounds. The M777A2 will fire the Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur GPS / Inertial Navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles using the Modular Artillery Charge Systems (MACS). Excalibur has a maximum range of 40km and accuracy of 10m.

    First firing trials of the M777A1 with Excalibur took place in August 2003. First production rounds were delivered in September 2006. Excalibur successfully completed limited user test in March 2007 and has been fielded in Iraq. It is scheduled for initial operating capability in 2008.

    The M777 is able to deliver up to five rounds a minute under intense firing conditions and is able to provide a sustained rate of fire of two rounds a minute.

    Fire control
    The LRIP systems employ an optical sighting system for direct and indirect firing by day or night. Full production systems will be fitted with the General Dynamics Armament Systems Towed Artillery Digitisation (TAD) system. LRIP systems will be retrofitted with TAD.

    "The M777 is able to deliver up to five rounds a minute."The TAD digital fire control system provides onboard ballistic computation, navigation, pointing and self-location, providing greater accuracy and faster reaction times. The TAD system also includes a laser ignition system, electric drives for the howitzer's traverse and elevation and a powered projectile rammer.

    Mobility
    The M777 has a production weight of 3,745kg and can be transported by helicopter, transporter aircraft and ship. The howitzer can be towed by an air-braked 4x4 vehicle greater than 2.5t.

    The hydrostrut suspension system is provided by Horstman Defence Systems of the UK. The maximum towed road speed is 88km per hour and the towed cross-country speed is 50km per hour. The load on
  8. Super Falcon
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    The G6 is a 155mm long-range gun developed and produced by the LIW division of Denel, mounted on a chassis made by Alvis OMC (now part of BAE Systems Land Systems). The G6 is in service with the South African Army (43 systems) and has also been exported to the United Arab Emirates (78 systems) and Oman (24 systems).

    The G6 155mm self propelled howitzer is a highly autonomous system with 700km vehicle fuel range, 50km weapon range using velocity enhanced long range projectiles and the ability to fire the first round within 60 seconds of the vehicle stopping.

    In September 2001, the G6 achieved a range of 53.6km using the new Velocity enhanced Long Range Projectile (V-LAP) and the new M64 bi-modular charge system. V-LAP combines base bleed and rocket motor technology, while the M64 charge system increases muzzle velocity to 910m/s VLAP is part of Denel’s new Assegai range of 155mm ammunition.

    The G6 is operated by a crew of six - driver, commander, gun layer, breech operator, ammunition loader and ammunition handler.

    G6 155MM HOWITZER
    The 155 mm main gun is equipped with a 45 calibre auto-frettaged barrel, a semi-automatic screw type breech and an electrical trigger mechanism. The gun is fitted with a single baffle open type muzzle brake and a reinforced epoxy resin fume extractor.

    The howitzer has on-board storage for 45 projectiles and 50 charges. Semi-automatic projectile loading is carried out using an electronically controlled hydraulic flick-rammer. Two loading chutes are installed at the rear of gun for direct loading from a ground ammunition pile.

    Firing ports are provided for the crews' personal weapons and a machine-gun mounting is fitted on the left turret cupola with an optional machine-gun.

    EXTENDED RANGE FULL-BORE AMMUNITION (ERFB)
    The gun is compatible with all NATO 155mm ammunition, including extended range full-bore (ERFB) projectiles of explosive, cargo and practice types, which are all ballistically matched and with field-fittable base bleed units. The ERFB projectiles provide the G6 with increased range and terminal effectiveness. Using base-bleed projectiles, the G6 has a nominal range of 39km at sea level. As an example of the gun's accuracy, at 75% of the maximum range the probable error specification is 0.48% of the range value and 1 mil in deflection.

    A five-zone combustible case modular propelling charge system is based on cool-burning propellants which ensure a barrel life of more than 6,000 standard charges. The system is compatible with direct action, electronic timing or proximity type fuses.

    155mm HOWITZER FIRE CONTROL SYSTEMS
    Target data is transmitted from a command and control centre to the commander's station in the crew compartment via a VHF/UHF communications link. The crew activate the gun by pressing an autolay button and the bearing, elevation and engagement data are downloaded to the automatic gun laying system.

    The gun laying and navigation equipment comprises a ring laser gyroscope system equipped with a touchscreen control developed by the Kentron division of Denel. The gun has fully autonomous laying and navigation capability with no need for survey and alignment at the gun position. The system can be interfaced to an optional global positioning system (GPS). The system also has a back-up laying system. The gun is fitted with a trunnion mounted telescopic sight for direct firing up to 3,000m.

    G6 SELF-PROTECTION SYSTEMS
    The G6 is equipped with eight launchers which fire 81 mm smoke grenades. The high strength armour-plate hull protects the crew against small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew are protected against TM46 (or equivalent) landmine blast, 20mm gunfire from the front, and all around counter bombardment fragment and impact by 7.62mm ammunition.

    The driving compartment is fitted with large bullet proof windows with an armoured shutter for the front window. When the armoured shutter is in place the driver uses a periscopic sight.

    G6 PROPULSION SYSTEM
    The air-cooled diesel engine provides a 386kW power output. The six-speed automatic/manual gearbox is fitted with a torque converter. The permanent six-wheel drive has longitudinal and transverse differential locks. The suspension system consists of fully independent torsion bars with shock absorbers and hydro-pneumatic bump stops.

    The wheeled chassis supplied by Alvis OMC is capable of a road speed of 85km/h and a cross country/desert speed of 30km/h. The maximum gradient is 40%, trench crossing 1m and the fording depth is 1m. The cruising range on one full tank is 700km.

    G6-52 ARTILLERY SYSTEM
    Denel has completed development of a new artillery system, the G6-52, and the system is currently undergoing extensive trials. The system is offered with the Somchem Modular Charge System (MCS) which can fire the Naschem M2000 Assegai system which includes the V-LAP projectile. With the V-LAP projectile, the system has a range of 67km and a rate of fire of eight rounds/minute. Multiple rounds (up to six) can be fired to simultaneously hit the same target using the ADS (Thales) AS2000 artillery target engagement system. Automated ammunition handling, fuze handling and ammunition inventory reduce crew workload.

    The G6-52 turret is mounted on a Land Systems OMC 6x6 wheeled vehicle which has an off-road speed of nearly 70km/h and a range of 700km
  9. Super Falcon
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    The PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) is the 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) together with the main subcontractor Rheinmetall Landsysteme for the German Army.

    "The PzH 2000 is the 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann."KMW received a contract in 1996 for production of 185 units. The first system was delivered in July 1998 and deliveries for this batch are complete. Rheinmetall (formerly MaK) delivers the complete chassis for all series vehicles.

    Total German Army requirement has been reduced from around 450 units to 260. PzH 2000 has also been selected by the Italian, Dutch and Greek Armies. The Greek Army has 24 systems, delivered between July 2003 and June 2004.

    A German / Italian co-production programme with Consorzio Iveco-Oto Melara is providing the 70 units for the Italian Army. KMW delivered two units in 2002. First deliveries of the remaining 68 from Consorzio Iveco-Oto Melara took place in May 2007 and the system entered service with the Italian Army in June 2007. Final deliveries are scheduled for 2009.

    The Dutch army signed a contract for the procurement of for 57 units, later reduced to 39 units and deliveries are underway. The surplus 18 units (not yet built) were offered to the Australian Army but were declined.

    In September 2006, the PZH 2000 completed its first live-fire combat mission with the Dutch Army in Afghanistan, as part of Operation Medusa. In operations against the Taliban, three PZH 2000 provided fire support at a range of more than 30km.

    In May 2001, during test firings for the Hellenic Army, the PzH 2000 fired 20 rounds all to ranges exceeding 40km (41.8km maximum). The ranges were achieved using M2000BB Assegai shells from Naschem / Denel of South Africa, in combination with the Rheinmetall DM 72 modular charge system. In November 2002, in live firings in Sweden, a similar range was achieved with Rheinmetall's new long-range RH 40 BB ammunition, also fired with the modular charge system.

    A PzH 2000 howitzer turret has been mounted on the deck of German Navy F124 frigate, Hamburg, as a demonstration of the feasibility of the system for naval applications. The concept is called MONARC and requires a flexible elastic mounting.

    ARMAMENT

    The electrical gun control system, supplied by ESW Extel Systems Wedel, comprises the automatic elevating and traversing drives with semi-automatic back-up, direct laying with electrical instrument control and manual control.

    The 155mm L52 gun of the PzH 2000 was developed by Rheinmetall DeTec. The barrel length is 52 calibre and chamber volume is 23l. The gun has a chromium-plated barrel and semi-automatic lifting breech block with integrated 32-round standard primer magazine.

    "The PzH 2000 is equipped with a fully automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system."Gun parameters such as chamber temperature are monitored automatically. The PzH 2000 is equipped with a fully automatic shell loading system with ammunition management system.

    The chromium-plated barrel is 8m long and is fitted with a slotted muzzle brake which gives increased muzzle velocity and reduces the level of muzzle flash. The wedge type breech block is integrated with an exchangeable primer magazine fitted with an endless conveyer for automatic primer transportation, loading and unloading.

    Rheinmetall DeTec has also developed a six-zone modular propelling charge system (MTLS), the DM72, which provides for faster handling, less wear on the gun, lower sensitivity to ignition hazards and improved range. In the PzH 2000, up to six MTLS modules form the propelling charge. The maximum range of the L52 gun using the maximum MTLS charges is 30km with the standard L15A2 round and up to 40km with assisted projectiles.

    The gun positioning and laying system is produced by Honeywell Maintal and mounted on the gun cradle. The system automatically determines gun direction, position and elevation above sea level. The integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and the vehicle's motor sensors form the hybrid navigation system of the PzH 2000.

    AUTOMATIC SHELL LOADING SYSTEM

    The PzH 2000 automatic shell loading system can handle 60 rounds of 155mm ammunition. The shells are picked up from the back of the vehicle and automatically stowed in the 60-round magazine in the centre of the chassis.

    The shell loading system is driven by brushless electric servo motors supplied by MOOG. The automatic shell loading system has pneumatically driven flick rammer and automatic digital control, ammunition supply management and inductive fuze setting.

    This provides rates of fire of three rounds in under ten seconds and loading of 60 shells by two operators within 12 minutes, including the collation of ammunition data.

    The firing rate of the PzH 2000 was 12 rounds in 59.74 seconds, and 20 rounds in one minute 47 seconds, during firing tests in October 1997 with an improved autoloader. The muzzle velocity is determined automatically by means of a radar sensor and is used in the fire control computation.

    FIRE CONTROL AND OBSERVATION

    The PzH 2000 can use an automatic mode of operation including the data radio link with an external command and control system. The autonomous fire control functions are controlled by an on-board MICMOS computer supplied by EADS (formerly DaimlerChrysler Aerospace). Using the automatic mode, target engagements can be carried out by a crew of two. Using the fire control data provided by the ballistics computer, the gun is automatically laid and relayed during the mission.

    "In September 2006, the
    PZH 2000 completed its first live-fire combat mission with the Dutch Army in Afghanistan."Various backup modes are available which guarrantee system sustainability in case of a component failure. As the lowest backup mode, an optical mechanical backup sytem is available.

    The commander has a Leica PERI-RTNL 80 panoramic periscope, which is used in under-armour operations and for target designation in direct laying engagements. PERI-RTNL 80 has day and night vision channels and a laser rangefinder. The gunner is equipped with a Leica PzF TN 80 day and night direct fire sight for direct laying of the gun.

    PROPULSION

    The 736kW powerpack of the PzH 2000 is mounted at the front of the hull and consists of an eight-cylinder direct-injection, supercharged MTU MT881 Ka-500 diesel engine with a four-speed Renk HSWL 284 C gearbox. Three fuel tanks provide a 420km cruise range.
  10. JK!
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    JK! PROFESSIONAL

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    Pakistan apparantly has some Turkish T155 Panters so this could be the way forward as well as the version of South Koreas K9 the T155 Firtina.

    Also there is the PLZ45 from China.
  11. fatman17
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    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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  12. Super Falcon
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    we just have one type of howitzer i saw on tv usa produced new howitzer which can attacck on enemy at pin point accuracy i forgoteen the name of that howitzer
  13. Super Falcon
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    The AS90 Braveheart is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer which entered service with the British Army in 1992. It is manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems (RO Defence and formerly the Armaments Division of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd) at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. 179 have been built for the British Army. The AS90 was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.

    "The AS90 Braveheart is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer in service with the British Army."In July 2004, the UK Ministry of Defence announced plans to reduce the number of AS90 artillery batteries by six. Three batteries will be drawn down and one AS90 regiment of three batteries will be re-roled to a light gun regiment, to support a new light brigade. The changes were effected in 2007.

    An enhanced version of the Howitzer, the Desert AS90, has been built to provide high capability in arduous desert conditions.

    The Desert AS90 underwent successful trials in the Arizona Desert in 1994 and in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1996. This version, with the 52-calibre barrel is called the AS90 Braveheart.

    BAE Systems signed a license manufacturing agreement with HSW (Huta Stalowa Wola) of Poland for the production of the AS90 Braveheart. Two AS90 turrets were fitted to vehicles built by OBRUM of Poland.

    The crew consists of the driver plus four or three operators in the cupola, a commander, a gun layer and an ammunition loader.

    AS90 BRAVEHEART UPGRADE PROGRAMME
    BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to upgrade 96 of the British Army AS90s with a 155mm/52-calibre Extended Range Ordnance / Modular Charge System (ERO/MCS). The Royal Ordnance division of BAE Systems will manufacture the new 52-calibre barrel which will give an increased range of 40km, and Somchem division of Denel will be responsible for the modular charge system which will be manufactured in South Africa.

    The upgraded AS90s were expected to enter service in 2003, but the programme has been halted while a system study is conducted.

    AS90 has also test fired the new Denel Assegai family of 155mm ammunition which has completed development and includes a Velocity-enhanced Long-range Artillery Projectile (VLAP).

    In November 2007, the UK MoD awarded a contract to Gesellschaft fur Intelligente Wirksysteme GmbH (GIWS) of Germany for the Ballistic Sensor Fused Munition (BSFM) to equip the AS90. BSFM is a precision attack weapon with a range of 22.5km. Each BSFM contains two SFM which deploy on parachutes with infrared and/or radar sensors to seek armoured targets.

    BRAVEHEART ARMAMENT
    The AS90 is fitted with a 155mm, 39 or 52-calibre gun barrel. In trials, two AS90 howitzers were able to deliver a total payload of 261kg onto a single target in less than ten seconds. An automated loading system enables the gun to fire with a burst rate of three rounds in under ten seconds, an intense rate of six rounds a minute for three minutes and a sustained rate of two rounds a minute.

    "The Desert AS90 underwent successful trials in the Arizona Desert."The gun, which does not require stabilising spades, is equipped with a recoil and hydrogas suspension system which allows the turret to traverse and fire through the full 360°. A Dynamic Reference Unit (DRU) and electronic compensation for tilt of the vehicle are used for accurate orientation of the weapon system.

    The range is 24.7km using conventional ammunition. The AS90 also fires assisted rounds which provide an extended range to 30km. Fitting a 52-calibre barrel instead of the standard 39 calibre extends the range beyond 40km. An automated ammunition handling system is included in the current upgrade programme.

    AS90 FIRE CONTROL AND OBSERVATION
    The layer's station is equipped with a direct fire sight from Avimo (now part of Thales Optronics) for direct day and night firing. For indirect firing an Automatic Gun Laying System (AGLS) with electronic elevation and traverse drives provide laying to an accuracy of 1mil (angle 3.375 minutes) and rapid target engagement. The Layer's Display Unit (LDU) was designed by VSEL. The commander's station is equipped with a separate sight.

    A barrel cooling system to provide higher maximum firing rates and a ballistic computation system are being developed.

    The AS90 has been upgraded with BAE Systems Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing System (LINAPS) digital gun sight. LINAPS provides the gunner with the position of the gun and the exact bearing and elevation of the barrel. It includes the FIN3110 ring-laser gyro based, strap-down, Inertial Navigation Unit (INU) with embedded military global positioning system.

    SELF-PROTECTION
    The vehicle is of all-welded steel armour construction, which is rated to withstand impact by 7.62mm and 14.5mm armour piercing shells and 152mm shell fragments. A system for increased ballistic protection against top attack by current generation anti-tank missiles is being developed.

    The Desert AS90 has a thermal cover installed on the turret roof and solar reflective paint. The thermal blanket provides protection for the crew against hot metal burns.

    "The AS90 Braveheart has a range of 24.7km using conventional ammunition."PROPULSION
    The vehicle is powered by a 660hp V8 diesel engine from Cummins, coupled to a ZF Gears Ltd automatic transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. The Desert AS90 features enhanced engine, transmission oil and auxiliary power unit cooling systems and also a Diehl 940-pin track for better handling in sandy terrain.

    The hydropneumatic suspension is supplied by Horstman Defence Systems of the UK. The vehicle can traverse gradients up to 60%, vertical obstacles to 0.75m, and trenches to a width of 2.8m, and is able to ford water to a depth of 1.5m.
  14. Super Falcon
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    Astros II (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) is developed and manufactured by Avibras Aerospacial SA based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Deliveries of Astros II started during 1983 and the system is operational in the Brazilian Army, Saudi Arabian Defence Force and the Malaysian Army. The system is battle proven, having been used in action by the Iraqi Army in the Gulf Wars. Saudi Arabian systems were used during the Gulf conflict in 1991.

    "The Astros II rocket system includes a fleet of vehicles."In August 2007, Malaysia placed an order for a second batch of 18 Astros II systems. The first batch of 18 systems was delivered from 2002.

    ASTROS II VEHICLE FLEET

    The Astros II rocket system includes a fleet of vehicles:

    Universal multiple launcher (AV-LMU) capable of firing five kinds of rockets with different calibres
    Ammunition supply vehicle (AV-RMD) for resupply of the AV-LMU, carrying two complete loads for each launcher
    Command and control vehicle / fire control unit (AV-VCC) to provide the battalion level command with coordination and direction of firing missions for up to three Astros batteries
    Mobile workshops for electronic and mechanic field maintenance of the system
    Optional electronic fire control unit (AV-UCF) which main task is to facilitate the procedures of fire direction using radar and computer.
    Astros II can also be configured as a coastal defence system when deployed with an AV-CBO searching and operation centre.

    TYPICAL ASTROS II BATTERY CONFIGURATION

    A typical battery configuration consists of six AV-LMU universal multiple launchers, six AV-RMD ammunition supply vehicles together with an optional AV-UCF fire control unit. An AV-VCC command and control vehicle / fire control unit together with two mobile workshop vehicles which would be stationed at the battalion headquarters.

    The system capability includes:

    High mobility and armour protection
    High volume of fire
    Short ripple time
    Minimum crew
    All-weather day and night capability
    Wide operational range and longest ranges in its class
    High accuracy for efficient use of the ammunition
    High saturation firing capability
    Deployment against different types of targets
    ROCKETS

    The launcher is capable of firing rockets of different calibres armed with a range of warheads.

    The SS-30 rocket, calibre 127mm, can be loaded with 32 rounds a launcher and has a range between 9km and 30km
    The SS-40 rocket, calibre 180mm, can be loaded with 16 rounds a launcher and has a range between 15km and 35km
    The SS-60 / SS-80 rocket, calibre 300mm, can be loaded with four rounds a launcher and has a range between 20km and 80km
    "The Astros II system is battle proven."Avibras has developed a tactical missile for launch from ASTROS II. The autonomously-guided Astros TM will have a range of 300km and can be fitted with a variety of warheads.

    VEHICLE

    All the Astros II vehicles are based on the Astros standard chassis AV-VBA 6x6, 10t off-road vehicle which is supplied by Tectran Engenharia, a subsidiary of Avibras based in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 90km/h and is fitted with a Mercedes-Benz 280hp diesel engine
  15. Super Falcon
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    The Caesar truck-mounted artillery system is a 155mm 52-calibre self-propelled gun developed by Nexter Systems (formerly Giat), based in Versailles, in cooperation with Lohr Industrie of Hangenbieten, France.

    "Caesar is equipped with a 155mm, 52-calibre barrel and can maintain a firing rate of six to eight rounds a minute in sustained fire."An initial five systems were ordered by the French Army and were delivered in June 2003 for technical and operational evaluation. In December 2004, Giat was awarded a contract for 72 Caesar systems to equip eight land artillery batteries of the French Army, to replace towed TRF1 systems.

    Caesar entered production in June 2006. The first vehicle was delivered to the French Army in April 2007 for extensive firing trials.

    The first production Caesar system was delivered to the French Army in July 2008. Seven further systems are to be delivered by the end of 2008 and deliveries are scheduled to complete in 2011. The system has also been demonstrated in Malaysia and in the USA.

    In April 2006, Thailand placed an order for six Caesar systems for the Thai Army, the first export order for the system. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2009.

    In July 2006, an order for 80 systems was placed by the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG). These will be mounted on a Unimog 6x6 chassis. Deliveries are scheduled from 2009 to 2011.

    Systems for the French Army and the Thai Army are mounted on the Sherpa 5 6x6 truck chassis from Renault Trucks Defense.

    Caesar system development

    The Caesar artillery system evolved from the earlier 155 AM F3 automotive gun, which used the chassis of the AMX-13 light tank.

    Caesar is equipped with all the systems needed for independent operation, a cabin to protect the six man gun crew against shell fragments and small arms fire, an initial ammunition supply of 16 complete rounds and instrumentation for navigation, aiming, ballistic calculations and command aids. The system was specifically designed to meet the fire support requirements of rapid deployment forces.

    In March 2004, Giat entered an agreement with United Defense (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments) for that company to market Caesar in the USA.

    In September 2004, Giat signed a teaming agreement with ADI Ltd of Australia to offer Caesar to the Australian Army for its Land 17 artillery replacement programme.

    Armament

    Caesar is equipped with a 155mm, 52-calibre barrel and can maintain a firing rate of six to eight rounds a minute in sustained fire, or three rounds in 15 seconds in rapid fire.

    "A unit of eight Caesar self-propelled artillery vehicles can dispense more than 1t of projectiles in one minute."The FAST-Hit computerised fire management system, developed jointly by Nexter and EADS Defense Electronics, an Intertechnique ROB4 muzzle velocity radar system and a SAGEM Sigma 30 navigation system and global positioning system (GPS) are fitted so there is no requirement for topographical teams and goniometers.

    The weapon has an automatic hydraulic laying system and the loading system is semi-automatic.

    The gun can be set into and out of action in under a minute. The weapon system configuration and the provision of hydraulic drives give a time of approximately 30 seconds to take the Caesar out of battery.

    A unit of eight Caesar self-propelled artillery vehicles can dispense, in less than one minute, more than 1t of projectiles, 1,500 bomblets or 48 smart anti-tank munitions on targets at ranges up to 40km.

    Fire control

    In the French Army, Caesar is integrated with the Thales Land and Joint Systems Atlas artillery C4I (command, control, communications and intelligence) system. The system provides onboard terminals for communications and real-time firing sequence management including fowarding of fire-support requests and transmission of firing orders according to target type, ammunition type and gun availability.

    Munitions

    Caesar is capable of using a wide range of ammunition for deployment against protected and unprotected targets, to create counter-mobility obstacles to block the manoeuvres of enemy armoured forces and to obscure or illuminate an area.

    Caesar can fire conventional high-explosive (HE) or new-generation cargo rounds, which provide increased accuracy and terminal effectiveness.

    The Ogre shell, which is in series production for the French Army, is an anti-tank and fragmentation bomblet dispensing round for use against relatively unprotected area targets such as command posts, artillery batteries, light armoured vehicles or logistic sites.

    Ogre dispenses 63 bomblets, each fitted with a self-destruct mechanism. The bomblets are capable of penetrating more than 90mm of armour. A salvo of six Ogre shells releases 378 bomblets to saturate an area of 3ha at a range of 35km.

    Bonus rounds with smart submunitions can be launched against tanks and other types of medium and heavy armoured vehicles. Bonus rounds have been developed by Nexter Ammunition and Intertechnique of France, and Bofors of Sweden.

    "Caesar has an unrefuelled travel range of 600km and maximum speed of 100km/h."The Bonus round carries two smart anti-tank submunitions to a range of 34km. A top-attack flight profile delivers the explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead to the roof of the tank which is generally more vulnerable than the heavily armour-protected sides and front.

    Base bleed shells provide a considerably increased range by filling the vacuum and reducing the turbulence behind the projectile without any loss of accuracy.

    The maximum ranges are up to 42km for extended range full bore – base bleed (ERFB-BB) rounds.

    Propulsion

    Prototypes of Caesar used the Daimler-Benz Unimog 6x6 series chassis, which has been ordered by Saudi Arabia Production systems for France and Thailand are mounted on the Renault Trucks Defense Sherpa 5 6x6. Sherpa 5 has a 5t payload capacity.

    Caesar has an unrefuelled travel range of 600km and maximum speed of 100km/h. A centralised ground pressure distribution system gives speeds of 50km/h on hardened tracks. It has a six-cylinder diesel engine, developing 240hp and a power-to-weight ratio of 13.6hp/t.

    Excluding its crew and ready ammunition supply, Caesar can be carried in a single load of a C-130 Hercules transporter.