M198 Towed Howitzer
Rock Island Arsenal (US)
Field Artillery M198s
M198 Towed Howitzer
The M198 Howitzer is a field artillery gun used by the United States Marine Corps for long-range fire support. It's the best tool to keep the enemy away form a certain area and in the same time to make sure that the allies and friendly parties can travel safely and freely in that area. The M198 Howitzer is also used by the U.S. Army, the Australian Army, Lebanese Army, Mexican Army and Royal Thai Army.
The M198 Howitzer development started back in the 1960s when the first prototype was built and tested. The first howitzer fulfilled a new requirement was a need discovered after the World War II. After its predecessor, the M114 155mm Howitzer, it was developed and constructed at the Army's Rock Island arsenal in 1969. The first tests of the prototype started in 1970 and proved to be successful. Thus, in 1972 two similar prototypes of the M198 Howitzer were delivered to the Army. More tests were to come and the eventual predicted event of the full time production happened in 1978. The first M198 Howitzer unit of the Army was operational starting in April 1979. Between 1979 and 1992 1,600 units of the M198 Howitzer have been manufactured, with the final units coming out of Rock Island.
There are several ways of transporting the M198 Howitzer. Due to its aluminum and steel components it is capable of being airlifted by the CH-53E or CH-47 helicopter. It can also be airdropped by the C-130 or a larger fixed-wings aircraft. It can be dropped by parachute in the desired location or carried by a five-ton truck.
Here are some of the M198 Howitzer's general specifications: length- 36 ft 2in (11m)-in firing position, 40 ft 6 in (12.3m) in towing position; width- 9 ft 2 in (2.8m) in towing position; height- 9 ft 6 in (2.9m) in towing position; height- 9 ft 6 in (2.9m) in towing position; weight 15,772lp (7,154 kg). The M198 Howitzer is capable of carrying a 9 enlisted man crew. The caliber is 155mm, the rate of fire is 2 round/min sustained and 4 round/min maximum, and the range is 14 miles (22,400m) with conventional ammo and 18.6 miles (30,000m) with rocket propelled. The time for emplacement is 4 minutes. The cannon has 45 degrees of lateral traverse and can be elevated between 72 and -5 degrees.
The M198 Howitzer has a towed system that is air transportable,. This it is perfect to increases the range of the weaponry, which makes it very effective. The M198 Howitzer is very reliable and during the years it has improved in the range, rapid emplacement, lethality and availability.
What kinds of ammunition does it use?
The M198 Howitzer can support 155mm weaponry. It works with high explosive -M-107 Normal Cavity, which is a deadly weapon: the kill zone is a radius of 150 ft (50 meters) and the casualty zone is a radius of 300 ft (100 meters). This ammo can cause a large blast and it sends very sharp fragments at extreme velocities (3-4 miles/minute).
Capable munitions. The next M198 Howitzer ammo is the high explosive shell, delay fuse- works great on non-concrete small buildings.
The High Explosive concrete piercing fuse the M198 Howitzer is using is made of heavy metal and two fuses to attack concrete buildings. It works with 2 fuses: the first is a non-delay fuse used to clear the rubble and shatter effects, followed by the second fuse, which is a .025 second delay to blast from within. These 2 ammunitions make the M198 Howitzer a very reliable and effective weapon for the military.
Other ammunitions used by for the M198 Howitzer are the rocked assisted projectile (which is a rocket assisted high explosive round that adds to the maximum range of the normal high explosive), white phosphorus (a projectile in two versions: felt-wedge and standard- and is a base-ejecting projectile), smoke (used for covering vehicle movement and troops), dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) (a base-ejectile which is capable of dropping 88 bomblets above a target, each capable of penetrating two inches of steel). The M198 Howitzer can also be used with illumination projectiles, capable of illuminating an area of 1000 meters and it burns burning for 2 minutes (it is used often together with high explosive rounds), mines: The ADAMS (Area Denial Artillery Munition System- which eject tripwires that act as booby traps) and the RAAMS (Remote Anti-Armor Mine System) -usually used together to prevent the antitank mines from being removed. Both of these ammunitions used by the M198 Howitzer are designed to self destruct after a pre-determined period of time.
The ammunition used by the M198 Howitzer for precise targeting is the Copperhead. It is used to destroy tanks, fortifications and other precise targets. It works only with a laser designator system that designates the target. For the moment this ammo is no longer produced.
The M198 Howitzer is used by the Marine Corps for direct support, reinforcing of the artillery missions and general support. All army light cavalry units use it for direct support; the airborne and airmobile infantry units use it for general support and reinforcing missions.
Both the Army and the Marine Corps want to replace the M198 Howitzer with a lighter-weight weapon, in order to develop de mobility, both to ground and air. The initial idea was to accelerate this development by 2001, but due to the high costs stopped this was rescheduled and planned it for 2002 (Marine Corps) and 2005 (the Army).