Artillery: February 28, 2000


Realizing that the US Army's new medium brigades are going to need artillery, British Aerospace has teamed with United Defense (a US company) to offer a new light weight self-propelled 155mm howitzer based on the expanded 8-wheeled chassis of the Piranha-3 Light Armored Vehicle. Firing XM982 ammunition, the howitzer's 39-caliber barrel can throw a shell 40km. The eight-wheel Piranha-3 is thought to be the Army's top choice for the wheeled armored vehicle that will carry the Medium Brigades into battle, and the Marines already have 800 of the earlier eight-wheel Piranha-1s. The crew of three will ride in the left front, with the engine on the right and the ammunition (with an autoloader) in the rear. Once the ammunition is loaded on the vehicle, it is untouched by human hands until it is fired. The vehicle is designed to fit in a C-130, a key requirement of the Medium Armored Vehicle.--Stephen V Cole


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