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Self-Propelled Howitzer's - Are They Still Being Developed ?

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posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:11 PM
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The German PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) is Germany's next generation 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzer, and is among the most capable howitzers. The required range of 30 km with standard NATO- ammunition or almost 40 km with assisted ammunition is achieved by the newly developed 52 cal. 155 mm armament, and also by the new Modular Charge System (MTLS). Continued use of the in-service bag charges is also possible. The 155mm armament is automatically laid at high speed and precision, its position is checked after every fired round and, if necessary, it is relayed automatically. The automatic shell loading system includes different semi- automatic and manual back-up modes, an automatic primer magazine, and automatic inductive fuze setting. A hybrid Global Positioning System [GPS] navigation system is used for navigating and determining the position of the gun barrel. An on-board ballistic computer with a radio data link to an external fire control command post enables the gun to conduct fire missions quickly and independently from any unprepared firing position after receiving target position and ammunition data. The PzH 2000 is also able to automatically lay its main armament in accordance with laying and ammunition data radio transmitted by a fire control command post

The PzH 2000 155mm self propelled howitzer was developed by Krauss Maffei - Wegmann and Co GmbH for the German Army. In 1986 Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany, agreed to terminate the trilateral cooperation on the PzH 155-1 (SP 70) program, and German industry was asked to submit bid proposals for PzH 155 mm (front-driven). Wegmann received a contract in March 1996 for production of 185 units [out of an eventual total of 594] with deliveries between 1998 and 2002 for use in the "crisis reaction forces" (KRK) as well as for first deployment in the Main Forces. Wegmann & Co GmbH, Kassel and Krauss-Maffei Wehrtechnik GmbH, Munich, the two key players on the German and international market for military land vehicles on tracks and wheels have merged in 1998.

Wegmann anticipates that there is an international market as ageing US-developed M109s, towed howitzers, and former Eastern bloc equipments requires replacement. NATO standardization requirements as well as the Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding endorsed by France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States are met, which ensures interoperability of the PzH 2000 and the interchangeability of ammunition. It is the objective of Wegmanns international marketing efforts to interest additional allied and friendly armies in the PzH 2000 with the intention of introducing and procuring this weapon system jointly with the German artillery. A larger procurement quantity will result in a lower unit price in Germany as well as a more attractive competitive price on the world market.

The PzH 2000 is an improvement over the US Paladin, but it does not meet all of the American Crusader's requirements. The PzH 2000 is configured as a typical howitzer, with the majority of the crew located in the weapons compartment [the Crusader vehicles have separate crew and weapons compartments, which allows additional armor to be placed around the crew compartment and provides better protection from hits in the weapons compartment]. PzH 2000 contractor officials have said that they could develop an automated resupply vehicle based on the PzH 2000 chassis and modify the PzH 2000 howitzer to meet all of the Crusader key requirements and many of the other Crusader requirements. A modified PzH 2000 howitzer and an automated PzH 2000-based resupply vehicle each would require a crew of three--the same crew size as the Crusader vehicles are expected to require. However, a modified PzH 2000 howitzer would still have crew located in the weapons compartment and the associated adverse impact on survivability.


Are Howitzer's still being developed and produced or has the development of Rocket launchers removed them as the number one support unit for an advancing amry. Or has the idea of heavy howitzers completely been removed from the concept of war due to the modern day army's requirement to be easily deployed and fast moving?


I think Howitzers are the way to go due to the less devastation they cause and there accuracy unlike the wide spread missiles masses.

Edit - Pictures didn't show up.

[edit on 7-11-2004 by Kenshin]




posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:21 PM
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I hope other people reply to your thread. Cause it seems no one is that interested in what u have to say. Shame that, I think u COULD be on to something but maybe not quite what u think.



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:22 PM
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This is our new rocket launcher (LT2000) that is replacing the older tracked MLRS version used in the first gulf war.


The MRLSwww.army-technology.com...

The Paladim is the US'sSP artillery, it was suppose to be replaced by the Crusader...www.army-technology.com... but the project got canceled.



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:30 PM
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Heck yeah we are still making them we have the new M109A6 Paladin. Its the latest advancement in 155mm self-propelled artillery.

"The M109A6 Paladin is capable of firing up to four rounds per minute to ranges of 30 kilometers" This version also can fire on the move and has a list of other improvements then older ones.

www.fas.org...

We had a brand new model the Crusader in the works that was looking quite amazing able to put more then one round in the same place at the same time. But I think this was scrapped as it didnt fit into the new army douctrine of smaller, lighter ,faster



posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 09:40 PM
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The Crusader





This thing was going to have a unheard of rate of fire 10 rds/min
Thats really insane for one of these things. Loaded with sensors and sophisticated robotic arms that allow the system to achieve highly-precise and unprecedented rates of fire.

Alas im not sure of the fate of the Crusader perhaps much of this tech will make it into a new lighter version.



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 02:38 AM
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From Bofors Defence



FH77 BW L52

"The FH77 BW L 52 is now integrated with a 6x6 all terrain vehicle making it an extremely powerful, highly mobile artillery system.
The self- propelled howitzer is equipped with fully automatic magazines for 20 complete rounds.
There are ammunition boxes on the gun for additional 20 rounds. The gun has a range of more than 40 km.
It can fire 20 rounds automatically in 2 minutes with a rate of 9 rounds per minute.
The FH77 BW L52 has its own land navigation system, own ballistic computer and own muzzle velocity radar giving the gun full autonomy on the battlefield."


Originally posted by ShadowXIX

"The M109A6 Paladin is capable of firing up to four rounds per minute to ranges of 30 kilometers" This version also can fire on the move and has a list of other improvements then older ones.

Well I have to correct you a little here. It cannot fire on the move.. So far no one has developed a system that can be fired (with any precision) on the run as far I can tell.



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 04:58 AM
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There are a small number of projects around the world: one the PzH2000 you mentioned, a very conventional SPG, designed during the Cold War to operate in the hellish European theater, so it meets very strict standards of protection and firepower. Another one is the French Cesar project, which is another matter totally. It is basically a 155 howitzer/cannon mounted on an all-terrain truck. It was developed in record time by GIAT and is currently being issued to the French "quick reaction" forces. It's a very light system, designed with ease of transport and maintenance in mind, but its lack of sophisticated targeting systems and protection (only light armour for the driver's cab) places it quite close to the US HIMARS rocket launcher (pictured in one of the posts above), a lighter and cheaper version of the excellent MRLS on an high-mobility truck using many of its components to cut costs down and speed up development. While not "very new" there's the South-African Armscor G6 mobile howitzer. Built around Gerry Bull's 155 gun (NOT compatible with NATO standards) it features a wheeled, lightly armoured chassis with fully enclosed turret. It's a very interesting piece of weaponry, but it's not in the same league as NATO's heavily armoured SPG (M109, AS90, etc): it has very remarkable ballistic properties, but protection and mobility are not up to the fully tracked vehicles. It is being used by South African forces and has beeen ordered by a number of Gulf states. Then there are a number of "improvement" programs ongoing: for example the Polish are building an SPG using a T72 chassis (modified locally) and a British-designed AS-90 turret. I can't wait to see this "East meets West" vehicle. The M109 has reached the limits of its development with the A6 "Paladin" version. While surely a remarkable SPG, it has no further development potential and it's still behind the PzH2000. Moreover, old M109 customers (Italy and Greece among them) have decided to phase out their US-built M109s and replace them with PzH2000, declining the offer for A6 kits. The Crusader program has been killed by the requirement for "lighter" vehicles (of which current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is an entusiast supporter), but analysis of recent events in Iraq and the loss of a very important export market may spawn a rebirth (perhaps with a lighter and less sophisticated chassis).



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 05:31 AM
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Crusader artillery program canceled a while ago

www.usatoday.com...



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by Vanguard
Crusader artillery program canceled a while ago

www.usatoday.com...


Doh, I wasnt sure but that link confirms it and in 2002. I was alittle behind on that one. They spent 2 billion on that program it seems before it was canceled. It seems some of the tech developed is being used in that FH77 BW L52 as it has a 9 round per minute fire rate very impressive.

By the way great find on that Clownface. That seems to fit the new military doctrine better then the beast the Crusader was going to be



posted on Nov, 8 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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Rockets are much more expensive compared to howitzers that can be in current technology very accurate, here military use heavy grenade launchers that can be accurate of course range is only max 8,2 kilometers while missile can go futher, still mass produced howitzers come much cheaper / ammo replacements. So its good choice for not infinite military budget and not so big fear of casualties cause ment for self defend. US rather shoot $200k missile from destroyer than get risk of casualties.
Rather use rockets as air defence there it does most damage, ok US missiles can quickly destroy instrafructure from distanec while howitzers need to be much more closer even such tank versions, it always depend on target Gulf had lot of howitzers on use, while strategic target were taken out by missiles.

[edit on 8-11-2004 by Observer83]



posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 12:48 AM
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Doh, I wasnt sure but that link confirms it and in 2002. I was alittle behind on that one. They spent 2 billion on that program it seems before it was canceled. It seems some of the tech developed is being used in that FH77 BW L52 as it has a 9 round per minute fire rate very impressive.

By the way great find on that Clownface. That seems to fit the new military doctrine better then the beast the Crusader was going to be


It wasn't so hard to find since I was part of the evaluation team for a while.
The FH77 BW is a swedish design that used the very popular and accurate FH77B howitzer and put it in a heavily modified 6 wheeled chassi. Interestingly enough we compared this system to the US MLRS system. I had the privilage to go to Germany and train as a 'bediener', computer operator. The conclusion in that project was basically that, as Observer83 wrote, the MLRS was too expensive compared to modifying the existing FH77B.



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