• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Bring back the light pack howitzer?

cluttonfred

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
98
Website
cluttonfred.info
From the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Baghdad, I think there is a case to be made for bringing back a light towed gun like the old U.S. 75mm pack howitzer. With modern materials and design it ought to be possible to provide a very handy weapon much lighter and easier to use than the original (which could be towed by a standard-issue Jeep). With a lightweight composite gun shield for crew protection it would be good for both direct and indirect fire roles. Does anyone know of any such projects?
 

smurf

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
547
Reaction score
26
There was a 105mm Italian Pack howitzer which saw quite wide use; a similar Indian gun, 75mm IIRC; the British 105mm light gun which superseded the Italian gun in British service. That could be towed by a 1-ton FC Landrover.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,288
Reaction score
1,239
Today, there really isn't much point. A 120mm mortar matches the pack howitzer for portability and range, but delivers a much heavier round. Likewise, there are any number of direct fire weapons that can replace it in that role, starting with man-portable rocket launchers (e.g., Panzerfaust 3 and AT-4) and ending with man-portable or packable missile launchers (e.g., TOW or Javelin).

There were a bunch of direct-fire-only 90mm gun proposals in the late 1980s that never came to anything. More recently, the only thing that comes close is Denel's 105mm LEO gun-howitzer. That is primarily an indirect-fire weapon, but its vehicle-mounted version is touted for having a useful direct-fire capability.
 

lastdingo

Blogger http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
585
Reaction score
24
Website
defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de
120mm mortars have a higher maximum elevation than 105-122mm light guns, and are thus more useful in mountaineous terrain.
155mm howitzers can be sling-loaded by helicopter and moved (+sustained) in valley and on plateaus with a very good shell range.

The case for the 105mm howitzer is probably strongest in Third world countries as it combines affordable ammunition with sufficient range and both direct and indirect fire capability. A 105mm howitzer on a cheap 6x4 truck would probably be perfect for African army needs.
 

V8Interceptor

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Mole said:
From the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Baghdad, I think there is a case to be made for bringing back a light towed gun like the old U.S. 75mm pack howitzer. With modern materials and design it ought to be possible to provide a very handy weapon much lighter and easier to use than the original (which could be towed by a standard-issue Jeep). With a lightweight composite gun shield for crew protection it would be good for both direct and indirect fire roles. Does anyone know of any such projects?
The closest thing that I can think of in modern service would be the Soviet/Russian 82MM 2b9 Vasilek mortar which can be both muzzle and breech loaded (in the later configuration by a semi automatic clip fed system) and fired in both direct and indirect modes.
 

Attachments

  • 250px-Vasylek_Mortar%2C_Kyiv.jpg
    250px-Vasylek_Mortar%2C_Kyiv.jpg
    17.9 KB · Views: 378

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,288
Reaction score
1,239
The US Marines once fielded an interesting weapon called the M98 Howtar, which was simply a 107mm (4.2-inch) mortar mounted on the carriage of the 75mm pack howitzer. Again, it was basically an indirect weapon, but being carriage-mounted made it much faster in and out of action.
 

Attachments

  • m98-fig1.jpg
    m98-fig1.jpg
    65.1 KB · Views: 128

RP1

I see the truth in it.
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
447
Reaction score
86
Website
rp-one.net
Oto Melara's website implies that the 105mm Pack Howitzer is an extant part of their product line:

http://www.otomelara.it/EN/Common/files/OtoMelara/pdf/business/land/artillery/105-14.pdf

RP1
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,023
Reaction score
106
Howitzers and Mortars have very different characteristics as far as their fire goes. Mortars are inherently less accurate and tend to have problems for danger-close firemissions which howitzers do not. Howitzers tend to be more expensive and can have problems with targets behind ridges (although not as badly as guns or rockets). Howitzers' shells tend to be less effective than mortary bombs as far as amount of HE carried but have better fragmentation and penetration effects. A mix of the two is best. Both have their places in modern armies but one should not be abandoned for the other.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
161
What does this have to do with a secret project? There are plentiful web forums for proposing and discussing force structure and potential weaponry.
 

cluttonfred

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
98
Website
cluttonfred.info
Abraham Gubler said:
What does this have to do with a secret project? There are plentiful web forums for proposing and discussing force structure and potential weaponry.

My hope was to unearth some past, present or future projects for mobile firepower in light of recent conflicts, so very much in the spirt of this grounp.

The U.S. military has come to the realization that sophisticated guided weapons are not always a very cost-effective way to deal with threats (using a US$70,000 Milan anti-tank missile to deal with a "specialized" machine-gun armed pick-up truck, for example). The Navy's Spike missile project (not the Israeli one of the same name) is intended to provide a small guided missile for use against everything from bunkers to vehicles to helicopters for just $5,000 per round. It's not just a question of cost--one disposable rocket and launcher is far handier than a light cannon, but 100 rockets are less handy than a light cannon and 100 rounds of ammo and the rockets cannot generally be used for sustained or indirect fire.

Sometimes the old school solutions are worth re-examining in light of experience. A modern ultralight 75mm howitizer, perhaps with a steel-lined carbon-fiber tube and all-digital assisted aiming, might be a very useful additon to the toolchest.

Another example, the French "trench gun" Canon d'Infanterie de 37 modèle 1916 TRP (U.S. M1916) used by U.S troops in WWI and a bit in the Pacific in WWII. It was far too small to do anything against armor but it could ruin a dug-in machine-gunner's day from a mile away and weighed only 108 kg combat-ready. A modern version on wheels, even lighter, with digital fire control and a shield for the crew, could be very useful even in urban combat (no backblast, sustained fire).
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
161
Mole said:
My hope was to unearth some past, present or future projects for mobile firepower in light of recent conflicts, so very much in the spirt of this grounp.

You can talk about resurrecting pack howitzers or steel tipped lances if you want for all I care but not in this forum which is for actual projects. This thread should be moved to one of the general discussion forums. As to your stated intent to unearth some projects it was not expressed in the original post and has hardly been mentioned. It is perfectly clear that you want to talk about the hypothetical use of a weapon system which is not in-line with the stated intent of this forum within this webpage. You may take this as a harsh response but I don't want to have to troll through page after page of "M113 Gavin" like ramblings in order to learn about low profile but actual project. There is more than enough of that all over the internet and in this webpage's "bar" forum.
 

smurf

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
547
Reaction score
26
Abraham Gubler said
As to your stated intent to unearth some projects it was not expressed in the original post
Mole's original post said
I think there is a case to be made for bringing back a light towed gun like the old U.S. 75mm pack howitzer. With modern materials and design it ought to be possible to provide a very handy weapon ... Does anyone know of any such projects?
Be fair. And perhaps a little more polite?
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
161
smurf said:
Be fair. And perhaps a little more polite?

Be fair and polite? Come on don't buy into that crap. There are ZERO programs to build a 21st century pack howitzer... This is clearly a "I have an idea and I want to talk about it" thread which doesn't belong in this forum!

The only person or persons who should be apologising for their conduct are those that have started this thread and maintained it in contravention to the forum rules. Now as I've said before I'm not against you guys having this discussion but do so in the bar or another forum. Don't try and thinly coat a brainstorming session as an investigation into the secret history of artillery. Otherwise every second thread will be of this theme.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
196
V8Interceptor said:
Mole said:
From the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Baghdad, I think there is a case to be made for bringing back a light towed gun like the old U.S. 75mm pack howitzer. With modern materials and design it ought to be possible to provide a very handy weapon much lighter and easier to use than the original (which could be towed by a standard-issue Jeep). With a lightweight composite gun shield for crew protection it would be good for both direct and indirect fire roles. Does anyone know of any such projects?
The closest thing that I can think of in modern service would be the Soviet/Russian 82MM 2b9 Vasilek mortar which can be both muzzle and breech loaded (in the later configuration by a semi automatic clip fed system) and fired in both direct and indirect modes.
Have to agree with you!

It’s also light (in relationship to a conventional howitzer!), and a higher fire rate than a conventional breech-loaded howitzer.

I have always wondered as to why the West never came up with a similar concept.
Then again saying this, they would be able to help themselves in making it over complicated, and expensive – partly defeating its purpose and simplicity.

Regards
Pioneer
 

cluttonfred

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
98
Website
cluttonfred.info
[quote author=Abraham Gubler]
Be fair and polite? Come on don't buy into that crap.[/quote]

Here, let me offer your unwarranted rant the response it deserves....

[silence]
 

cluttonfred

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
98
Website
cluttonfred.info
TomS said:
The US Marines once fielded an interesting weapon called the M98 Howtar, which was simply a 107mm (4.2-inch) mortar mounted on the carriage of the 75mm pack howitzer. Again, it was basically an indirect weapon, but being carriage-mounted made it much faster in and out of action.

The M98 Howtar come closest to what I was looking for, thanks.
 

V8Interceptor

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Mole said:
TomS said:
The US Marines once fielded an interesting weapon called the M98 Howtar, which was simply a 107mm (4.2-inch) mortar mounted on the carriage of the 75mm pack howitzer. Again, it was basically an indirect weapon, but being carriage-mounted made it much faster in and out of action.

The M98 Howtar come closest to what I was looking for, thanks.
But of course the Howtar was not a direct fire weapon as far as low angle firing ( i.e you can't shoot at a window).
Many of the modern lightweight 120 MM mortar systems fold up into a wheeled travel configuration and are relatively mobile when pushed -pulled by manpower. I wonder if there have been any efforts to develop any of the newer breech loading gun/mortar systems (mainly 120MM but the French developed an 81MM weapon) into an infantry gun configuration? Those can be direct fired although they are fairly heavy (thus mainly being employed on AFV's).
I am curious though, what a modern 75MM pack howitzer would be able to do in MOUT that shoulder fired weapons like the 84MM Carl Gustav or USMC SMMAW can't (I'm specifically talking about systems firing cheaper unguided rounds)? I realize a pack howitzer is also an indirect fire weapon but modern mortars are very effective in that role...
 

Combat_Jack

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
A recent paper posted on the Small Wars Journal here http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/397-jackson.pdf tries to make a case for the same thing as being ideal for Afghanistan.

It tends to ignore the fact that the L118/L119 (the M119 used by US light infantry and airborne units) was designed specifically to replace the Italian 105mm pack howitzer which was disappointing in British service, so really what he's advocating is going round in a big circle. And from memory the Indian 105mm he mentions is just an L118 with a split trail. The L118/L119 is still a good gun, it remains one of the lightest pieces around, it can be broken into two pieces for carriage, the US versions can now fire the Denel ammo designed for the LEO, and precision-guidance kits are being developed in 105mm. They should just stick with that...
 

ocay

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
4
There is a gap which is not fully satisfied to replace 3 inch pack howitzer.

120mm mortar can only be used high elevation, no direct fire, inaccurate. But superior to area targets

RPG and Carl Gustav are very short weapons, max 1200-1300m but they are flexible and superior anti tank weapons.

ATGWs with Thermobaric or HE-FRAG warhead is ideal replacement. But they are damn expensive. TOW is still 50K and Javaline 80K dollars.

Recoilles weapon was ideal. But where are they? Only SPG-9 is in production up to 4km


AGL has limited range (2km) and limited warhead. But they have high rate of fire.

Standart 105 mm guns are still too heavy and bulky.

There are lightweight MLR like Roketsan 107mm but those are limited against point targets


So there might be lightweight low recoil 3 inch gun, even can be fired on pickup; must be effective enough against point target up to 4km and NLOS targets up to 11km also has rapid aiming and all round 360 degree targetting capability. It can also fire smart munitions.
 

Similar threads

Top