Artillery: October 25, 1999

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Royal Ordnance (Britain) is working up a series of improvements to the 105mm Light Gun, which is in US service as the M119. The "mid-life improvement" will lower operating costs and improve performance. The crews of current M119s have to remove one of the wheels to swivel the gun from traveling position into firing position, a time-consuming operation that makes the guns slower to employ and puts them in danger when they are targeted by counter-battery fire and have to displace. The upgrade program places the wheels on flexible axles that allows the crew to "tilt" the wheel out of the way without removing it. A new buffer and recuperator unit will reduce maintenance costs. New lightweight brakes reduce maintenance. The gearbox used on US guns will now be offered for all Light Guns. A more reliable and safer travel lock has been provided. An extended tow hook better fits those trucks used by various countries in which the towing point is under the truck instead of on the rear bumper. The Marconi Laser Inertial Alignment Pointing System is offered; this reduces the time to come into action as no "survey" is required. The guns can also be placed further apart, reducing vulnerability to counter-battery fire. A new extended-range round developed by the Dutch pushes the range to 19,000m and is 45% more lethal.--Stephen V Cole

 


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