Wednesday, June 23, 2021

U.S. Army moves on to the next phase of next-gen artillery system program

The United States Army moves on to the next phase of its Mobile Howitzer System development program, after awarding a new contract to AM General for two Hawkeye self-propelled howitzers.

About a month earlier, AM General announced that it has received a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract from the U.S. Army to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye Mobile Howitzer Systems (MHS) for the characterization test.

“AM General’s integration of Soft Recoil technology onto mobile platforms demonstrates our commitment to the innovation required to make future combat vehicles lighter, more survivable, and more lethal,” said Regis Luther, SVP Engineering and Chief Technology Officer. “We are honored to support the U.S. Army’s efforts to test and prove mobile howitzer systems.”

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AM General and its strategic partner, Mandus Group, have been integrating the soft recoil technology (SRT) onto light, mobile, transportable, and survivable platforms without sacrificing firepower. SRT is a disruptive technology that will reduce the firing loads for direct and indirect weapons systems, enabling combat systems to meet emerging requirements. The technology is ready now and can be deployed on existing weapons platforms for an immediate effect on the battlefield. Soft recoil enables reduction in overall system weight, making systems more agile and responsive to benefit the supported maneuver commander.

The HUMVEE 2-CT (M1152 two-door cargo truck) that serves as the mobile platform, will come with a standard 14,100 lb. gross vehicle weight, 205 hp engine, and antilock braking system (ABS).

While the U.S. Army conducts characterization testing of the 2-CT Hawkeye MHS over the next year, AM General and Mandus Group will continue to refine the technology for integration of the soft recoil technology onto other mobile platforms. Scalability is already being tested with a 155mm prototype. The group is also exploring integration onto other existing and future combat systems.

The Hawkeye system was developed onto the HUMVEE 2-CT platform by a collaborative team from AM General and Mandus Group using the M20 cannon from the Army’s M119 Howitzer and adapting a hydro-pneumatic, soft Recoil system.

The 105mm Mobile Howitzer System battery is organized to suppress, neutralize, and destroy both ground forces and structures in an indirect and direct fire mode. This system allows the weapon to move, shoot and move again without relying on heavy equipment to counter any adverse effects from battery fire and other aggressive offensive engagements.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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