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Posted: 11/2/2006 8:22:38 AM EST
Army Fields Its First Light-Weight Howitzer

Source: US Army; issued Oct. 31, 2006)




The US Army’s M777 howitzer seen during a live-fire battalion exercise at Pohakuloa Training Area in Hawaii. (US Army photo)


PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. --- With the recent delivery of eighteen new M777 lightweight 155mm howitzers to the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, the King of Battle — the field artillery’s nickname — took a giant step forward.

The M777 is the military’s newest field artillery weapon, a lightweight 155mm towed howitzer developed jointly by the Army and Marine Corps. It will be the artillery system for the Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

The program is managed by a joint-service program office here. The weapon systems themselves are manufactured by BAE Systems with final integration and assembly occurring at the firm’s Hattiesburg, Miss., facility.

The M777 is the first ground-combat system to make extensive use of titanium in its major structures to trim weight; the howitzer is 7,000 pounds lighter than the M198 weapon it replaces.

“The weight reduction improves transportability and mobility without impacting range or accuracy,” said Joint Program Manager James Shields.

Shields said the system will be compatible with the entire family of 155mm ammunition, including the Excalibur precision munition when it is eventually fielded.

The 2-11 FA is part of the Army’s fifth Stryker Brigade Combat Team. It recently completed new-equipment training and a live-fire battalion exercise using the basic M777 system at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Prior to receiving the M777, the 2-11 FA was an exclusively 105mm battalion that was equipped with the M119 howitzer.

The M777 has the deployability advantages of lightweight system like the M119, but the firepower of a 155mm weapon like the larger M198. Two systems can be transported on a C-130 at the same time.

The new howitzers have returned to Schofield Barracks, where they will be retrofitted with a digital fire control system (DFCS) in January to become M777A1s. The DFCS will provide the howitzer with the capability to communicate, navigate and aim, an upgrade that will increase accuracy and responsiveness.

Soldiers from 2-11 FA said they were pleased with the new weapons and look forward to the added capabilities provided by the DFCS upgrade
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:43:09 AM EST
Whew, 7000 pounds lighter...
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:45:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
Whew, 7000 pounds lighter...


3.5 tons more ammo
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:48:31 AM EST
155s need to be self propelled. Anything lighter use 120 mortars for helo lift/airborne.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:52:16 AM EST
I wonder how badly that thing bounces around under recoil with 7000 fewer lbs? Must have an awesome muzzle brake if it doesn't jump around more.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:53:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
Whew, 7000 pounds lighter...


Yep. Rosie needs something like this done to her, after all... she's not fat, she's just big boned... but then again, replacing all her big bones with titanium might be bad... we'd have a chubby, irate, over-emotional female (reduntant?) version of wolverine.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:53:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By southpaw67:

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
Whew, 7000 pounds lighter...


3.5 tons more ammo


And, most importantly, it gets there.
Lugging around the M198 was a PTA.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:54:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
I wonder how badly that thing bounces around under recoil with 7000 fewer lbs? Must have an awesome muzzle brake if it doesn't jump around more.


The recuperative system is supposed to be greatly improved over the M198.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:55:54 AM EST
Can civilians buy one of those.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 8:59:47 AM EST
Any new developments in SP Arty now that the Crusader program is dead? Towed arty is good against the insurgents we're fighting now (not much need to shoot n' scoot), but Palidan ain't getting younger, and we may end up fighting somebody with decent counter-batteries again someday.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:12:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By crurifragium:
Any new developments in SP Arty now that the Crusader program is dead? Towed arty is good against the insurgents we're fighting now (not much need to shoot n' scoot), but Palidan ain't getting younger, and we may end up fighting somebody with decent counter-batteries again someday.


The Germans have a new SP 155 called the PzH 2000.
It's a SP 155 with an outstanding autoloading system.
It would be a nice buy, but it's too close in technology to the Paladin.
The US Army is looking for more of a leap in technology (binary fluid propellants, gas propellants, etc.).

Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:21:43 AM EST
The Israeli's are going to be in the market for a New SP gun here pretty quick. They burned up a lot of tube this summer.
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:25:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By southpaw67:

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
Whew, 7000 pounds lighter...


3.5 tons more ammo


+1
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:27:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By EvoPsych:
The Israeli's are going to be in the market for a New SP gun here pretty quick. They burned up a lot of tube this summer.


Didn't they help with the development of South Africa's wheeled SP gun?
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 9:36:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By opti12206:
Can civilians buy one of those.


yep.. Group Buy!
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 2:46:14 PM EST
What about the 75mm pack howitzer??
Link Posted: 11/2/2006 3:28:56 PM EST
CAN YOU SMELL IT!!!!!!!!! Wolfpussy, best smell there is in the world

Goddamn I miss shooting those big guns. I am sure those boys were having a great time pulling tail on that gun, wooohooo!!!!

Setting the guns up and tearing them down sucked, but shooting was nothing but FUN!
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