105mm self-propelled howitzer on Humvee

I guess it is not breaking news, but has just come up on my news-feeds. I'm not a redleg, so way out of my lane, but it seems a pretty good use for being phased out Humvees. And I'm impressed you can get the recoil reduced and channeled through the leg, that a Humvee will hold up. 

https://www.popularmechanics.c...ee-mounted-howitzer/

humvee-105

A new self-propelled howitzer system meets a Humvee—or a Ford F-250 pickup truck—with a 105-millimeter howitzer for an artillery system capable of rapidly moving from one firing position to another. The result is the Hawkeye, a new artillery system that can not only keep up with fast-moving friendly forces but dodge attempts by enemy forces to shut it down.

Howitzers are artillery pieces designed to engage targets out of sight. Like other so-called "indirect fire" systems such as mortars, howitzers fire a heavy projectile at targets miles away. A major problem with indirect fire weapons is that they generate a huge amount of recoil, making it necessary to mount them on heavy vehicles equipped with stabilizers that dig into the dirt, bracing the entire vehicle.

Mandus Group, a defense contractor that specializes in field artillery maintenance, figured out that the key to reducing howitzer weight was to reduce recoil. Once that was accomplished, a howitzer could be parked on top of much lighter vehicles. At 2,550 pounds, Mandus claims the Hawkeye is the world's lightest self-propelled howitzer.

The Hawkeye's hydraulic recoil-dampening system reduces recoil by seventy percent. This makes it possible for 105-millimeter howitzers, which used to be mounted in armored vehicles, to fit on a flatbed M1152A1 Humvee, a trailer, and even a Ford F-250 pickup. A single button retracts the hydraulic stabilizers, and the Hawkeye is ready to hit the road just thirty seconds later.

The ability to pack up everything and move quickly is not just useful to support friendly forces. Although artillery typically stays far behind friendly lines, howitzers like Hawkeye are routinely targeted in wartime by so-called "counterbattery" missions conducted by an adversary's own artillery. Counterbattery relies on sound-locating equipment or radar to detect the point of origin of incoming artillery rounds, which is then showered with indirect fire.

The key to staying in the fight and not getting blown up is what artillerymen call "shoot and scoot" —firing from one position, moving, and then firing from another. The faster an artillery unit can displace to its next firing position, the better its chances of survival.

Hawkeye can fire up to eight 105-millimeter rounds a minute for three minutes, meaning a battery of six vehicles can rain down 144 105-millimeter shells on the enemy before the gun barrel gets so hot it needs a rest. It can fire high explosive, illumination, and smoke rounds to a range of 7.2 miles. It can fire rocket assisted projectiles that sacrifice payload for a rocket motor that increases effective range to 12.2 miles.

Video - HERE

Or perhaps the 'civilian' version for that pesky neighbor with the barking dog?

f250-105

 

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mog posted:

At 2,550 pounds, Mandus claims the Hawkeye is the world's lightest self-propelled howitzer.

 

With no ammunition and crew carrying ability.  It requires another vehicle to carry ammo/crew.  The current 119A3 carries 22 rounds and enough crew to emplace, displace, and fire it on its prime mover.  I don't buy that weight either-example, 2018 Honda Civic weighs 2849 pounds-

 

That said, I like the concept for its mobility, but how it would be used remains to be seen.  I'm sure we can all toss ideas at it(I have a few), but coherent and army wide employment is a big question mark.  

 

Peace has always been the realm of mediocrities, and pacifism the bleating of a herd of sheep which allow themselves to be led to the slaughterhouse without defending themselves . -Larteguy The Centurions

Well, 2.7 times the range using 913 RAP on the 119A3 is pretty useful, but besides that a couple of things.  More robust and rehearsed communications network, a culture of accuracy(*) that is laughed at in the mortar world,   more ammunition carrying capacity with support units specifically structured to move big bullet Class 5, and probably a few more things.  Artillery class 5 is often a dedicated sustainment effort where the commander's most responsive system(the mortar) is often an afterthought and in training are sucking dick to find a couple of mortar rounds.  

*Note, that culture of accuracy does not exist in some shitty artillery units.  There are a lot of shirty artillery units.

 

 

 

Peace has always been the realm of mediocrities, and pacifism the bleating of a herd of sheep which allow themselves to be led to the slaughterhouse without defending themselves . -Larteguy The Centurions

What about using them as an Organic, fast moving, fire support for SF Groups?  Or even a Ranger Battalion?  Assign an Artillery platoon to each Group/BN, to provide over watch/fire support during raids/offensive operations. The article talks about 6 vehicles ( I would expect that's 3 "guns" and 3 support vehicles with ammo) raining down 144 rounds before they need to rest/cool down.  I guess what I'm imagining is something like a 3 gun package following the ODA in Nigeria.  The ODA becomes the "bait", and once engaged calls in fire and brimstone to rain down on the unsuspecting enemy like a biblical scourge.  

Yes, a Stryker mortar package can move just as fast (I guess), but doesn't bring the lethality/precision that a true arty package would bring.

I've never even been around arty, so I might have made some assumptions that are completely erroneous.  From an Operations perspective, I was always looking at how to improve support to the ODA.  Having imbedded GPF capabilities in a Group is not a new thing; at one point, each Group had it's own Aviation company with helicopters.

I'm sure there are some limitations to these guns (fire rate, barrel cool down, combat load carried), and I don't see them replacing bigger/more robust guns already employed by the GPF.  They just seem to fit a small, fast moving niche' that seems to lend itself to SOF operations.


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

Distinguished Pistol Shot posted:

FDC

How about the Exp!osive payload for both?  And set up and break down time?

There is no time standard for the 119A3 yet despite it being fielded in 2013.  That said as both the 105 and 120 are digital systems, it doesn't take long to occupy.  I would assume the mortar is quicker as it is essentially just lowered off its trailer where  the howitzer is taken off the truck, detachable spade attached, pulled up on the firing platform, and tube spun..  With the above "self propelled" version, it is likely similar in ease to a 109A6.  

Payload is negligible.  The 120 has a bigger boom and carries less rounds.  

 

Peace has always been the realm of mediocrities, and pacifism the bleating of a herd of sheep which allow themselves to be led to the slaughterhouse without defending themselves . -Larteguy The Centurions

Last year I found myself sitting at a dinner table at Fort Bragg next to one of the VPs of Mandus Group.  He's a retired Navy RDML, an aviator and Annapolis grad.  Pretty smart dude.  He explained the system and I was impressed....but take that with a grain of salt as I'm not an engineer or a redleg.  

The company is out of Rock Island, Illinois.  They are friendly with Karl Lewis at LMT.  

The hydraulic dampening system has been tested extensively.  I think they are on to something and will end up selling a bunch of them.   Their timing is perfect as mobility will be key when fighting near-peer adversaries using drones to locate and target artillery (and large infantry formations). 

Anything that isnt autoloading is a waste in these counterbattery days. This doesnt get rid of any crew and only marginally improves speed. 

IMHO, the Denel 105 on a truck chassis is the way to go. 30km range, MRSI, and maybe 3 crew per gun. Real shoot and scoot, and extra vehicles are filled with ammo instead of crunchies. 

aegis305 posted:

Last year I found myself sitting at a dinner table at Fort Bragg next to one of the VPs of Mandus Group.  He's a retired Navy RDML, an aviator and Annapolis grad.  Pretty smart dude.  He explained the system and I was impressed....but take that with a grain of salt as I'm not an engineer or a redleg.  

The company is out of Rock Island, Illinois.  They are friendly with Karl Lewis at LMT.  

The hydraulic dampening system has been tested extensively.  I think they are on to something and will end up selling a bunch of them.   Their timing is perfect as mobility will be key when fighting near-peer adversaries using drones to locate and target artillery (and large infantry formations). 

Well, he's got the 82nd sucking his dick and testing some, so I bet he will sell some. 

Some recent photos/video on the 1-319 AFAR facepage.  A few scrolls down video at OP5 and then some photos further down, I don't facebook, so no idea how to link.  https://www.facebook.com/1st319th/

 

 

Peace has always been the realm of mediocrities, and pacifism the bleating of a herd of sheep which allow themselves to be led to the slaughterhouse without defending themselves . -Larteguy The Centurions

I would be suspicious of that claim.  The Russian system typically has a modest increase in range if detailing between 122 and 105 platforms the 155 and 152 systems not exactly. I think the Russians have a Rocket assist that beats our rocket assist at cost of payload. However I have not been paying attention to this type of thing in some years my info could be out of date.

Witch

Keep waiting to hear details from someone who knows, but I have seen two things repeated for at least 5-8 years, in multiple sources (usually wrapped around Ukraine effectiveness proving this all out): 

  • Russian artillery out ranges ours by whatever. 20-100% with 20-40% being much more reliable. Ours has gained no 
  • Russian artillery can fire faster
  • Russian terminal effects are better because they (and the Chinese...) have submunition dispensing shells

 

Stated as because (FWIW): 

  • We abide by the submunitions ban
  • We cancelled two replacement artillery programs, so are still fundamentally using a 1960s SP gun platform
  • We're generally risk averse, have NIH Syndrome, have dismissed a lot of armories and R&D work, so don't have enough new ideas in the pipeline and won't just adopt better foreign projectiles, etc.

 

Missing is of course crew quality, professionalism, any discussion of scale (what fraction of Russian artillery is good, new, long-range, fast-firing). Oh, and how much we may rely on other systems, including MRLS, air-launch, to address threats across a range of depths. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

The US abides by the convention on cluster munitions?  Since when?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

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POSREP: UAE

Sorry I didn't do the  with the claims but "exactly."

While I am not sure what is in inventory, do not understand how doctrine drives acquisitions and employment, etc. for much of d this, a LOT of the claims are wrapped up in politics (blame D presidents for making army toothless), and/or there are lots of Russian Mil fanbois at all levels exaggerating their prowess at the everything. 

So hell if I can tell what claims DO have backing in truth. We normally have artillery guys come weigh in on these discussions, set everyone else straight. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

ICM, DPICM, ADAM, RAAMS, SADARM aren't cannon fired submunition projectiles?

What about MLRS?  M26, M30 ?

<cough>

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