Concept Description and Design Rationale
(C) This is a design study of an armored self propelled 155 mm howitzer with a completely automated weapon system.
(C) The weapon, projectiles, propellant, fuses and automatic handling and automatic loading devices are enclosed in a compartment that can be elevated and traversed. The three crew members (driver, commander, and gunner) are located on the armored compartment behind the weapon system.
(C) It is envisioned that the propellant would consist of a combustible case containing the primer and predetermined base charge. The remaining number of charges as required by the mission would be added from a dispenser that contained a certain number of zoned propellant increments in separate compartments. Fusing with either must be universal-predetermined or be mechanically set. Loading and ramming the projectile and propellant would be accomplished by a mechanical system.
(C) The desired weapon elevation and azimuth would be controlled by a crew member trough an electronic coupling between the weapon and the fire control system located in the crew compartment. With a suitable electronic link, current fire control systems could be adapted to this concept.
(C) The adjustable height suspension system will permit lowering the vehicle nearly to the ground to improve firing stability. Even though a full traverse ring is provided, weapon traverse would probably be limited to approximately 25 degrees to either side for vehicle stability in the yaw plane.
(C) Characteristics and Outstanding Features
a. Weight (with fragment & small arm protection): 25 ton
b. Width: 124 inches
c. Height (top of hull) min: 90 inches
d. Height (overall) min: 111 inches
e. Length: 366 inches
f. Ground pressure: 8.7 psi
g. Variable ground clearance: 8-26 inches
h. Primary armament: 155 mm Howitzer.
i. Driver and crew member have good vision.
j. Vehicle can also be driven backwards in case of a suspected mine threat, and thus reduce vulnerability.
k. Vehicle can be easily adapted with amphibious skirting.
l. Automatic loading system reduces crew size.