US pursues extended-range 105 mm artillery round

Posted on November 30, 2011


By Daniel Wasserbly and Additional reporting by Rupert Pengelley
The US Army is in the process of releasing an improved 105 mm artillery round that would cut down the number of projectiles and charges needed for M119 towed howitzer operations and increase lethality against light to medium targets.

The effort is intended in part to reduce the logistics burden of the army’s 105 mm howitzer units with the type of light forces that operate in Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain specifically in mind.

According to Audra Calloway, a spokesperson for the army’s Program Executive Office for Ammunition, the army expects to issue a ‘materiel release’ for interim rounds coupling South African-designed M1130 High Explosive Pre-Formed Fragment, Base Bleed (HE PFF BB) projectiles with legacy M67 propelling charges sometime in early 2012, meaning these new rounds could then be stocked and available for requisition and distribution. In US parlance, a round consists of a projectile, cartridge case, primer and propelling charge.

Meanwhile, the service also began testing improved M1130E1 rounds at Yuma Proving Grounds in mid-2011. Calloway told Jane’s this definitive round is currently anticipated for fielding in 2017, but the army is “looking at ways to expedite that to 2016”

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