Legacy U.S. Artillery

Discussion in 'U.S. Military History' started by Falcon, Feb 20, 2016.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    M101 105mm Howitzer

    The M101 was developed in 1928 and saw extensive use in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It is manufactured at Rock Island Arsenal with over 10,000 produced including all variants.

    The cannon is single-loaded, air-cooled and uses semi-fixed ammunition. The howitzer fires a 105mm (4.2-inch diameter) projectile which can be adjusted for distance and target. The M101 can be used for direct or indirect fire.

    Specifications of the M101 or M101A1 Howitzer

    Length 19.5 feet (5.94 meters)
    Width 7.25 feet (2.21 meters)
    Height 5.66 feet (1.73 meters)
    Weight 4,980 pounds (2,260 kilograms)
    Bore diameter 105 mm
    Maximum effective range 6.99 miles (11.27 kilometers)
    Rate of fire: Maximum 10 rounds per minute
    Rate of fire: Sustained 3 rounds per minute



    M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer

    The M-108 105mm Self-propelled Howitzer was developed in the mid-1950s and was fielded in 1962. By the time of the Vietnam War it was considered too light for effective infantry support and was being phased out in favor of its sister vehicle, the 155mm M-109 SP Howitzer. However, some field force artillery units in Vietnam were equipped with the M108 even though replacement by the 155mm M109 was already in progress.

    The M108 was too heavy to be lifted by helicopter limiting its support of highly mobile light infantry forces in Vietnam. Still, the M108 was employed effectively as area support and in support of ground operations where terrain permitted.

    The M-108 was replaced by the 155mm M-109 SP Howitzer, built with the same hull, chassis and turret. The M-108 could carry many more rounds of the smaller 105mm ammunition than the M-109 with its larger 155mm shells.

    The M-108 was powered by a Detroit diesel turbocharged 8V-71T 8cyl 405 hp engine.



    M-114 155mm Towed Howitzer

    The M-114 155mm Towed Howitzer was first produced in 1942 as the M1 Howitzer. After WW II it was redesignated as the Howitzer, Medium, Towed 155mm, M114. It was a mainstay of the Army's field artillery for 40 years, including its use in World War II, the Korean War and in Vietnam.

    The M114 was produced as the M114A2 variant by Rock Island Arsenal and was replaced by the M198 howitzer starting in 1982.

    The M-114 required a crew of 11 men, had a range of 14 miles, and could maintain a sustained rate of fire of 40 rounds per hour.



    M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer

    The first model M109 had a very short barrel tipped with a double baffle muzzle brake and with a large fume extractor (bore evacuator) mid-barrel. The versions deployed to Southwest Asia were the M109A2 or later models with a longer gun tube than the M109 or M109A1 varients.

    The M109A2, M109A3 and M109A4 howitzers used the M185 cannon with a range of 23,500 meters. The range was increased to 30,000 meters with the M109A5 and M109A6 by replacement of the M185 23 caliber long barrel with the M284 cannon 39-caliber barrel.

    The M-109 155mm Self-propelled Howitzer fires a variety of 98 pound 155mm munitions including High Explosive, Illuminating, Smoke, Rocket Assisted and Laser Guided. It can carry 22 rounds of separate loading 155mm ammunition and 500 rounds of machine gun ammo for the M2 .50 caliber machine gun mounted on top.

    The 55,000 pound M109 has a maximum road speed of 35 mph, with a driving range of nearly 220 miles without refueling. The M109 is used extensively by NATO forces and other countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.



    Howitzer, 8 inch, M115

    The Howitzer, 8 inch, M115 is a towed howitzer originally developed in the late 1930s, inspired by German and British heavy artillery. During World War II it was designatged by the name 8-inch Howitzer M1. It is sometimes referred to as the 203mm Howitzer rather than 8-inch.

    The 8-inch howitzer uses the same towed carriage as the 155mm Long Tom. It has also been fitted to self-propelled mounts as the 8-inch Howitzer Motor Carriage M43 and the 8-inch Self-Propelled Howitzer M110.



    M-107 175mm Self-propelled Gun


    The M-107 175mm Self-propelled gun fired a 174-pound projectile almost 33 kilometers. This impressive range made it a valuable weapon for providing an umbrella of protection over large areas. The large spade at the rear is hydraulically operated. When lowered it keeps the vehicle in place as the gun is fired, opposing the massive recoil.

    The same diesel powered chassis is used for the M107 and the M110 self-propelled 8in (203mm) howitzer. In Vietnam, the M110 8-inch howitzer was found with most division artilleries, and both the 8-inch howitzer and M107 175-mm. gun were with field force artillery. At field force the proportion of 8-inch and 175-mm. weapons varied. Since the weapons had identical carriages, the common practice was to install those tubes that best met the current tactical needs. One day a battery might be 175mm while a few days later it might be half 175mm and half 8-inch.


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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

    Oct 8, 2015
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    Professional "Doer" of "Things"
    Being a geek


    And M270:

    Are the current US military rocket artillery options, but what are the historic ones? And in the US, does artillery include ground launched cruise missiles - like BGM-109G Gryphon - and ballistic missiles like Honest John and Lance?

    Since it could be launched from an M270, would a Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb count as the future of US rocket artillery (rocket assisted anyway)?

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  3. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    Yup the honest John is one of the legacy systems used by the Army. I like the little john because of its practicallity and small size. I like how the Army used to have a large variety of systems, today there are only a few. I guess thats due to the advances in missile technology. The M240 MLRS and HIMARS can fire a variety of missiles with different ranges and uses. Back in the good old days they had all sorts of different gear. Light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, artillery of all sorts of calibers.

    115 mm Chemical Rocket M55

    Beginning in the late 1950s, the U.S. Army produced about 478000 rounds of a chemical warfare rocket, which was type-designated as 115 mm Chemical Agent Rocket M55 in 1960. Production ended in the early 1960s. The M55 was a solid-propelled rocket stabilized by four flip-out tail fins. It was packaged in M441 shipping and firing containers, and was fired from M91 multiple rocket launchers. It was designed as a tactical support rocket for the battlefield, and range is quoted as more than 10 km (6 miles). The warhead was an aluminum tube, containing the chemical agent, a central burster tube, and the fuze on the nose. When the rocket impacted the ground, the fuze detonated the burster, which destroyed the warhead housing and dispersed the agent as an aerosol. M55 rockets were produced with two different highly toxic nerve agent fillings, GB (Sarin) and VX (methylphosphonothioic acid). The effects of both substances are similar, but VX is much less volatile and therefore more persistent than GB.


    Emerson Electric M47/M51/MGR-3 Little John

    The Little John was the smallest nuclear-capable rocket the U.S. Army ever deployed. Studies to develop a lightweight rocket based on the M31/MGR-1 Honest John to give airborne Army units a nuclear capability began in 1953 under the name Honest John Junior.

    Length 4.41 m (14 ft 5.7 in)
    Finspan 0.60 m (1 ft 11.75 in)
    Diameter 0.32 m (12.5 in)
    Weight 353 kg (779 lb)
    Speed Mach 1.5
    Range 18.2 km (11.3 miles)
    Propulsion Hercules XM26 solid-fueled rocket motor
    Warhead W-45 nuclear fission (1-10 kT); or conventional HE


    Douglas M31/M50/MGR-1 Honest John

    The Honest John was the U.S. Army's first nuclear-armed surface-to-surface rocket.

    The M31 Honest John was an unguided 762 mm artillery rocket, powered by a M6 solid-fuel rocket engine, and spin-stabilized in flight by two M7 spin motors. Of all U.S. nuclear weapons of the 1950's, the Honest John was the easiest to operate. The rocket was transported from the depot to the launching unit by truck and trailer in three parts (warhead, motor, fins). Assembling the rocket, and mounting it on the M289 launcher was then accomplished by six men with a crane in about five minutes. The rocket was then ready for aiming and firing to a range between 5.5 km (3.4 miles) and 24.8 km (15.4 miles). Because of its simplicity, Army units actually preferred the Honest John to the guided MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-18 Lacrosse missiles.


    Martin Marietta M14/MGM-31 Pershing

    The MGM-31Pershing was the first and only solid-fueled MRBM (Medium Range Ballistic Missile) deployed by the U.S. Army. It has been in service for almost 30 years until all nuclear MRBMs were phased out and destroyed according to arms reduction treaties.

    The Pershing I was powered by two soild-fueled rochet stages by Thiokol (a TX-174 and a TX-175), and could carry its 400 kT W-50 thermonuclear warhead to a maximum range of 740 km (460 miles). It was guided by an inertial navigation system by Eclipse-Pioneer, and featured a high-speed ablative reentry vehicle. A single Pershing I launch platoon consisted of only 4 vehicles, compared to about 20 for the PGM-11 Redstone. Coupled with the solid-propellant rockets, this led to a much higher mobility and shorter reaction time than the Redstone it replaced. For training there was an inert Pershing I missile designated XM19.

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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  4. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

    Oct 10, 2015
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    75mm Pack Howitzer

    The video shows assembly of the system





  5. Atilla

    Atilla Major

    Oct 25, 2015
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    We still use a lot of these:



    75mm Howitzer