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M119A1 105mm Lightweight Towed Howitzer

The M119A1 is a light weight air mobile air droppable (by parachute) or Towed Howitzer with an average crew of seven soldiers. It provides direct and indirect fire support to highly mobile light infantry divisions and separate brigades. The howitzer can be quickly moved and employed to provide maximum fire power with a minimum of combat loaded weight. It also provides a low silhouette and requires no recoil pit. These aspects combined makes the M119A1 Howitzer one of the most lethal weapon systems in the Army inventory.

The M119A1 has greater range, is lighter and has a more rapid rate of fire than its predecessor, the M102, which it replaces in light/ airmobile/airborne units. The M119 weights 4,000 pounds ( complete with BII). The prime mover is the HMMV truck. The M119 is air transportable with its basic load of ammunition by the UH60 helicopter and is dual lift capable with the CH47 Chinook. The M119 fires all current 105-mm ammunition and new propellant is being developed to give the M119 an increased range to approximately 19K with the rocket assisted projectile.

The M119A1 was originally designed, developed, and produced by Royal Ordnance, Nottingham, England as the L118/L119 British Light Gun. In the L118 configuration, the weapon uses separate loading 105mm Abbott type ammunition. The L118 served with distinction during the Falkland Islands conflict. The L119 is identical to the L118 except for the cannon tube which is reconfigured to fire all NATO standard 105mm semi-fixed ammunition.

The U.S. Army, based largely on the success of the L118 during the Falkland Island campaign, purchased operational testing weapons to determine the feasibility of using this weapon in the U.S. Army's new Light Division concept. Key in the Army's evaluation was the ability to airlift an entire Division artillery within the severe light division air transport constraints. The M119A1 easily met this critical challenge. Once the operational questions were satisfactorily answered, the U.S. Army negotiated both a production contract and a license agreement (for production within the U.S.) with Royal Ordnance in 1987.

While the original design of the L119 met or exceeded all the operational requirements, the U.S. Army has carefully selected certain components for redesign to improve both maintainability and safety. In addition, the U.S. Army has an ongoing system improvement program. Some of the more significant changes which have been incorporated into current production, include:

The M119 was first fielded to the 7th Infantry Division, Ft Ord, CA, in December 1989. Since the initial fielding, it has been reclassified the M119A1 and fielded to the 82nd Airborne Division in July 1991 and to the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division in August 1992. Army fielding of the M119A1 wass completed in 1995. The Army National Guard received many new items of equipment in Fiscal Year 1996 through Department of the Army funding, including M119A1 howitzers. The M119A1 will reach the end of its service life around 2008-09.

PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION

Major Item............................................... Model M119A1

M119A1 National Stock Number...... 1015-01-308-1872

Weight:
Cannon......................................1,389 lb (630 kg)
With Complete BII.................... 4,520 lb (2050.3 kg)
Without BII............................... 4,100 lb (1869.7 kg)

Tire Size.................................... 9.00 x 16 (6 ply)

Tire Pressure............................. 37 psi (255.1 kPa)

Maximum Range........................11,500 m w/Chg 7
..................................................14,000 m w/Chg 8
..................................................19,000 m w/M913 RAP

Designated Prime Movers........... HMMWV (M1097)

Dimensions (travel conditions):
Length (folded position).......................................16 ft (4.87 m)
...........(with tube in firing position)...................... 20 ft 9 in. (6.32 m)
...........(with tube locked in tube clamp................ 20 ft 2 in (6.15m)
Width.................................................................. 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Height (folded position)....................................... 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
.....(with cannon tube locked in tube clamp)......... 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
Lunette Load...................................................... 386 lb (175 kg)
Elevation Range..................................................-100 to +1244 mils
Maximum Terrain Side Slope.............................. 90 mils

Rate of Fire:
Max....................................................... 6 rounds per min for 2 min
Sustained............................................... 3 rounds per min for 30 min

Recoil Length at 0 Mils Elevation............ 42 in (1.07 m)

Recoil Length at 1244 Mils Elevation......14.5 in (0.36 m)

Maximum Towing Speed:
Folded................................................ Safe speed for vehicle towing

Ammunition

The M119A1 fires all standard NATO ammunition, including the M1 High Explosive, M314 Illuminating, M60/M60A2 White Phosphorous (smoke). In addition, the M119A1 can fire the newer extended range ammunition shown in the following table:

105mm AMMUNITION PROGRAM
M913 HERA & M760 HE CARTRIDGES

REQUIREMENT M913 HERA M760 HE
WEAPON M119A1 M119A1
MAX Range (Rkt ON)
@800 Mils (Rkt OFF)
MIN Range (Rkt ON)
...........(Rkt OFF)
19.5kM
15.0kM
13.8kM
12.2kM
Non-RAP
14.5kM
Non-RAP
2.5kM
Precision <0.35 PEr
<1 Mil PEd*
SAME
SAME
Oper. Reliability
PROJ. EFFECTIVENESS
>98%
1.8 times M1 w/TNT
SAME
1.0 times M1

*LOW ANGLE FIRE

Prime Mover

Even though the M119A1 can be pulled with any number of vehicles manufactured throughout the world, the U.S. Army uses the tough, reliable, and combat proven High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).


Sources and Resources



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http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m119.htm
Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:53:36 PM