Brutus 155mm truck-mounted howitzer

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The U.S. Army developed an experimental 155mm truck-mounted howitzer, called the Brutus.

The photos of experimental truck-mounted howitzer were published on the Facebook page of the 75th Field Artillery Brigade (artillery brigade in the United States Army) on 26 October.

The Brutus is a 155mm truck-mounted howitzer for increased mobility and enhanced firing capabilities. Experimental 155mm howitzer installed on an FMTV 6X6 truck chassis.

Howitzer is capable of using a wide range of ammunition for deployment against protected and unprotected targets, to create counter-mobility obstacles to block the manoeuvres of enemy armoured forces and to obscure or illuminate an area.

No further details on the type of howitzer have been released.

The U.S. Army interested in new, more mobile, lightweight artillery pieces.

Early, Army’s officials showed interest in 105mm Mobile Weapon System (105MWS), also dubbed HAWKEYE by AM General, consists of one 105mm cannon mounted at the rear on HUMVEE light tactical vehicle chassis. Maybe U.S Army is also interested in upgrades for or modification to its existing weapons, especially lightweight 155mm cannons, or various types of self-propelled guns.

Having that kind of firepower on-call is immensely important for the Army’s light infantry, especially when conducting independent operations where they might not have the guarantee of support from other services or even other elements within the Army.

https://defence-blog.com/army/u-s-army-unveils-experimental-155mm-truck-mounted-howitzer.html
 

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It's the Hummer's 105mm big brother

gSCbkA7.jpg


https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/04/26/infantry-units-need-more-mobile-light-artillery-to-counter-russian-capabilities/
 
SpudmanWP said:
It's the Hummer's 105mm big brother

gSCbkA7.jpg


https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/04/26/infantry-units-need-more-mobile-light-artillery-to-counter-russian-capabilities/
———————————————————————-

That reminds us of the experimental Bobcat 105mm SP gun.
It was based on the 1950s vintage, experimental, Bobcat Armoured Personnel Carrier. It absorbed massive amounts of R&D dollars, but never produced a reliable chassis for the Canadian Army.
They built one SP prototype with a 105mm howitzer in a high-sided hull.
Every time it fired, it landed in a different grid square!
Hah!
Hah!
 
Will be interesting to see what BAE offers the US Army in this space.
 
SpudmanWP said:
It's the Hummer's 105mm big brother

gSCbkA7.jpg


https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/04/26/infantry-units-need-more-mobile-light-artillery-to-counter-russian-capabilities/

I remember seeing a Toyota pickup with a 105mm howitzer and I wasn't sure if it was some official modification kit (Aftermarket "upgrade"?) or just another one of those ridiculous things an insurgent cobbled together. Or if it would even work.

It was low-resolution and meant to be a meme more than anything, so for all I know it could have been Photoshopped as well. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

EDIT: It just occurred to me, CAESAR is a L/52 howitzer. I can't tell easily due to foreshortening, but doesn't Brutus appear to be carrying a L/39? Does that mean they put weight into other things like protection?

EDIT 2: Hmm, now I can't tell. The second image suggests it might be a L/52, but I can't see the muzzle.
 
Word is that the gun is Mandus Group's soft-recoil 155, which can take either 39- or 52-caliber tubes.

https://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_defence_industry_military_technology_uk/u.s._army_tests_truck-mounted_low-recoil_155mm_howitzer_called_brutus.html

http://www.mandusgroup.com/news.php?topic=details&ni=15
 
TomS said:
Word is that the gun is Mandus Group's soft-recoil 155, which can take either 39- or 52-caliber tubes.

https://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_defence_industry_military_technology_uk/u.s._army_tests_truck-mounted_low-recoil_155mm_howitzer_called_brutus.html

http://www.mandusgroup.com/news.php?topic=details&ni=15

Soft recoil? Like a 155mm version of the XM204?
 
Yes, it is a fire out of battery weapon.

Not much word if and how Mandus group has resolved the longstanding problems that come with it...
 
I suppose Course-Corrected Fuze technology might help.
 
Void said:
Yes, it is a fire out of battery weapon.

Not much word if and how Mandus group has resolved the longstanding problems that come with it...

What problems existed with it, exactly? I know someone who worked in artillery who said that recoil was actually a good thing, though their explanation for it was a bit murky.
 
Test firing of the Brutus, an U.S. Army experimental 155mm low-recoil self-propelled howitzer mounted on an 5-ton FMTV ( Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles) truck at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 17, 2019.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1osxeZ9gcg


U.S. Army demonstrates experimental Brutus howitzer
https://defence-blog.com/army/u-s-army-demonstrates-experimental-brutus-howitzer.html
 
excellent thank you for posting aonestudio
 
Doesn't look like it's firing out of battery, but maybe the effect is too quick to see with the naked eye.
 
Slowing down the vid shows that there is no "out of battery" when fired.

IMHO it's due to such a small charge being used to launch the practice round.
 
Hi, a similar program exists in India, the Indian company Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited showcased this at DefExpo 18. It's simply called Bharat MGS 155mm L39. 615172

KSSL is also working with Mandus Group. They showcased the Hawkeye which was rebadged here as the Garuda 105 equipped with Indian copy of the L118 LFG at DefExpo 14.
DnLtXIkVYAAa8UE.jpg


Eventually they would change the chassis for the Garuda 105 from Humvee to the Tata LPTA 713 2.5 Tonne.
GARUDA-105.jpg
 
Hi, a similar program exists in India, the Indian company Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited showcased this at DefExpo 18. It's simply called Bharat MGS 155mm L39.View attachment 615172

KSSL is also working with Mandus Group. They showcased the Hawkeye which was rebadged here as the Garuda 105 equipped with Indian copy of the L118 LFG at DefExpo 14.
DnLtXIkVYAAa8UE.jpg


Eventually they would change the chassis for the Garuda 105 from Humvee to the Tata LPTA 713 2.5 Tonne.
GARUDA-105.jpg

All three appear to be remarkably lightweight mountings for their guns IMO. It is almost as if they were mockups of what they wanted them to look like, rather than what they should look like.
 
TomS said:
Brutus because it is supposed to kill Caesar (the French truck-mounted howitzer)?

;D
CAESAr (which is the proper spelling by Nexter and in the Armée de terre) is an acronym : CAmion Équipé d'un Système d'Artillerie. The name of the roman emperor in French is César. Sorry to disappoint.

I suppose the French name might not be intended to evoke the Roman emperor (though I suspect it was, if only for the export potential). In any case, do you think the Americans who named Brutus are aware of this? I suspect not.
 
From my understanding ... those new, light-weight howitzers don’t fire out of battery ... because the breech is locked before the firing pin hits the primer.
Rather the barrel (and breech) are not fully forward when it fires.
Basically, the recoil mechanism holds the barrel and breech to the rear after the gun fires. .... reload .... Pulling the lanyard allows the barrel to start its forward travel. The firing pin hits the primer partway through counter-recoil/forward travel. When the cartridge fires, it both stops forward momentum of the barrel and starts pushing the barrel backwards again.
 
Does anyone have information on this 155mm towed system which was apparently cancelled when the Future Combat System (FSC) program was started?

Department of Defense Annual Report on
Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions
Entered into During FY2000 Under 10 USC 2371

Title: Multi-Role Electro Thermal Chemical Armament System for Future Combat System (Formerly Future Direct Support Weapon System (FDSWS) and Viking)

Awarding Office:
U.S. Army TACOM-ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

Awardee:
General Dynamics Armament Systems, Inc.

Effective Date:
23 Dec 1999

Estimated Completion or Expiration Date:
23 Dec 2003


Technical objectives of this effort including the technology areas in which the project was conducted:

Since the OT was signed, the FDSWS program was refocused and merged under the Multi-Role Electro Thermal Chemical (ETC) Armament Program for the Future Combat System (FCS). The Recipient will participate with Integrated Product Teams, perform system engineering and integration, and identify, develop and demonstrate new technologies for lightweight weapon systems. The technologies and concept areas are relevant to ammunition handling, fire control, secondary armament, recoil mitigation, and propulsion for the Multi-Role ETC Armament for FCS.

Extent to which the cooperative agreement or other transaction has contributed to a broadening of the technology and industrial base available for meeting Department of Defense needs:
As part of the OT agreement between General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS) and the Government, GDAS is developing a “smart” or “active control” recoil mechanism utilizing Magneto-Rheological (MR) Fluid technology. This technology will reduce the maximum loads and forces seen by the weapon platform. This effort will leverage existing MR technology used in commercial automobile airbags and developed by General Dynamics.

.
 

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Sandia and partners work together to build prototype electromagnetic mortar launcher for future armies
By John German
Sandia and a team of government and university labs are building a prototype mortar launcher that could alter the way armies have launched projectiles at their enemies for a thousand years.
As part of a two-year electromagnetic mortar project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research team is building a prototype electromagnetic (EM) gun and demonstrating electromagnetic launch of mortar-class munitions. Full-scale field testing is scheduled for this fall at Sandia.
Partners in the project include the Institute of Advanced Technology at the University of Texas; the Munitions Development Division of the US Army Armaments Research, Development, and Engineering Center; and capacitor film manufacturing company TPL, Inc.
The DARPA-funded project focuses on low-cost, high-fire-rate munitions. A complementary joint Sandia project with Lockheed Martin is demonstrating EM-launched missile systems (Lab News, Jan. 21, 2005).
In conventional mortar-firing operations, crews determine mortar range by the amount of propellant (the number of individually packaged propellant charges behind the round), barrel attitude, and external factors such as terrain features and wind direction.
The science is essentially unchanged since 11th-century Chinese combatants used the first crude gunpowder-propelled projectiles to decimate enemy lines. Later in Europe, 15th-century armies perfected the use of cannonballs to pulverize castle walls.
“Although today’s mortar crews become very good over time, launching mortars is by today’s standards an inexact science, and it is constrained by the incremental degree of control offered by propellant rings,” says Bob Turman, Senior Manager for Directed Energy Systems Org. 5440.
In an electromagnetic launcher, coils stacked along the gun’s barrel are subjected to precisely timed current pulses, one after the other, creating a magnetic wave that moves quickly up the barrel and pushes the mortar and armature along with it.
No propellant is necessary, eliminating not only a safety hazard for soldiers and a logistics headache for the military, but also a major source of imprecision in conventional mortar guns. A very slight variation in propellant quality, temperature, or quantity can result in a mortar missing its target.
“There is only so much fidelity you can get with propellant rings,” says project manager Ron Kaye (5445).
The barrel-end velocity of an EM-launched projectile, on the other hand, when timed by computer, can be very precisely controlled, he says. The intensity with which individual coils are fired in succession can also be adjusted on the fly to make slight adjustments, literally while the mortar is traversing the barrel.
“This will allow the warfighter to essentially dial a range,” says Ron. “It will allow for a new degree of control.”
Because no propellant loading is necessary, launch cycle times can be reduced from the 10 rounds-per-minute maximum of a skilled mortar crew to, Bob estimates, 16 to 24 rounds per minute —determined by the time required to reload the mortar and recharge the energy-storage capacitors. Eliminating the propellant also opens the door to fully automated, robotically reloaded EM mortar guns that might achieve even faster fire rates.
EM guns produce almost no muzzle flash and a fraction of the muzzle report associated with traditional artillery. In essence, the mortar departs the barrel with a swoosh rather than a bang. In today’s world of space- and aircraft-based reconnaissance sensing, reducing the optical and acoustic signal will make it more difficult for the enemy to pinpoint the source of artillery fire, says Ron.
Sandia’s DARPA project focuses on land-based army munitions, and the Sandia team has built a nonfunctional replica of a turret containing an EM gun that could sit atop a Future Combat System vehicle or Bradley fighting vehicle.
A full-scale, 50-coil EM gun prototype has been designed and is being built in Area 4.
Projectile interaction with the EM gun barrel components have been modeled on Sandia computers and validated using data from a four-coil mock-up gun. Laboratory tests on the full-scale prototype are scheduled for this fall.
For vehicle applications, a portable electrical power generation and capacitance-based storage system would be necessary, which Bob believes need be only as large and weighty as the turrets on current military platforms.
DARPA is considering EM mortar launchers as a potential component of the US military’s Future Combat System. If hybrid electric vehicles are adopted, the EM launcher could, essentially, share an on-board power plant with its host vehicle, says Ron.
The Sandia-led project falls in the category of applied development and goes well beyond the research projects conducted at Sandia in the early ‘90s that resulted in demonstration of an EM-launched projectile across Coyote Canyon, says Bob.
“DARPA has provided the specifications and the parameters and asked us to build them a mortar demonstration using existing 120 mm mortar ammunition,” he says. “We’re getting close to a working, full-scale gun.” -- John German
 
Please notice Not a railgun


Abstract ID: 11670
Title: Versatile Electromagnetic Mortar Launcher for the JLTV-B

Abstract Text: Sandia National Laboratories has developed prototype electromagnetic coil launcher technologies of various bore sizes, lengths, and muzzle energies. Operational characteristics that distinguish induction-based electromagnetic (EM) launch from competing approaches include: continuously-adjustable, precise muzzle energy; near-silent launch; no muzzle flash; multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability; minimal EM impact on sensors/payloads in cargocapable rounds and on GPS nose/tail kits; and open breech for auto-loader. Sandia proposes rapid construction and demonstration of an 81 mm mortar launcher prototype for deployment on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) weapons carrier, payload configuration B, for use by light mobile infantry. This proposed application would be based upon induction electromagnetic gun technology developed and matured at Sandia, and leverage pulsed-power energy density and system efficiency gains achieved by industry in the past few years. Mortar launcher system performance, 81 mm mortar round flight performance, and conformity to JLTV-B carriage specifications would be developed through use of our EM and circuit modeling analysis tools, aerodynamic performance codes, and solid modeling tools. Programmatic, technology, and system maturation
 
So, this electromagnetic mortar isn't going to be mounted on anything other than a really big vehicle (to carry the generator and batteries)?
 
Assuming some reasonable rates of fire (15 rpm) and higher muzzle velocities (400 m/s) for an 81mm mortar you
wouldn't need to tow anything more than the generator/battery set being developed for the Army's 100 kW laser.
 

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Assuming some reasonable rates of fire (15 rpm) and higher muzzle velocities (400 m/s) for an 81mm mortar you
wouldn't need to tow anything more than the generator/battery set being developed for the Army's 100 kW laser.

And another trailer for all the ammunition consumed...
 
And another trailer for all the ammunition consumed...

Or you just put it in the flatbed. With no propelling charge or igniter and an IM explosive fill, storage can be more relaxed.
 

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The Brutus incorporates a groundbreaking modular design. Due to its lightweight and smaller vehicle footprint it can be deployed by air, sea, truck and rail and is adaptable to multi-mission environments. It has been initially designed to use a 39 cal cannon and will be able to upgrade to a 52-58 cal cannon when available and is adaptable to international 155mm cannons of different caliber length. The hybrid soft recoil system greatly reduces the number of components compared to traditional towed cannon systems (250 vs. 2,500). The simplified design and operation reduces crew size, maintenance, and logistic support requirements. The Brutus truly meets the worldwide need for a light and inexpensive, truck-mounted, large caliber fire support weapon.

 
Does anyone have information on this 155mm towed system which was apparently cancelled when the Future Combat System (FSC) program was started?

Department of Defense Annual Report on
Cooperative Agreements and Other Transactions
Entered into During FY2000 Under 10 USC 2371

Title: Multi-Role Electro Thermal Chemical Armament System for Future Combat System (Formerly Future Direct Support Weapon System (FDSWS) and Viking)

Awarding Office:
U.S. Army TACOM-ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

Awardee:
General Dynamics Armament Systems, Inc.

Effective Date:
23 Dec 1999

Estimated Completion or Expiration Date:
23 Dec 2003


Technical objectives of this effort including the technology areas in which the project was conducted:

Since the OT was signed, the FDSWS program was refocused and merged under the Multi-Role Electro Thermal Chemical (ETC) Armament Program for the Future Combat System (FCS). The Recipient will participate with Integrated Product Teams, perform system engineering and integration, and identify, develop and demonstrate new technologies for lightweight weapon systems. The technologies and concept areas are relevant to ammunition handling, fire control, secondary armament, recoil mitigation, and propulsion for the Multi-Role ETC Armament for FCS.

Extent to which the cooperative agreement or other transaction has contributed to a broadening of the technology and industrial base available for meeting Department of Defense needs:
As part of the OT agreement between General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS) and the Government, GDAS is developing a “smart” or “active control” recoil mechanism utilizing Magneto-Rheological (MR) Fluid technology. This technology will reduce the maximum loads and forces seen by the weapon platform. This effort will leverage existing MR technology used in commercial automobile airbags and developed by General Dynamics.

.
View: https://fxtwitter.com/Ninja998998/status/1327179450061123586?s=20
 
From my understanding ... those new, light-weight howitzers don’t fire out of battery ... because the breech is locked before the firing pin hits the primer.
Rather the barrel (and breech) are not fully forward when it fires.
Basically, the recoil mechanism holds the barrel and breech to the rear after the gun fires. .... reload .... Pulling the lanyard allows the barrel to start its forward travel. The firing pin hits the primer partway through counter-recoil/forward travel. When the cartridge fires, it both stops forward momentum of the barrel and starts pushing the barrel backwards again.
So, basically a giant Mk19...
 
So, basically a giant Mk19...

Not really. The barrel is fixed in a Mk 19, and it's the bolt that moves forward to ignite the primer, like in normal blowback, but the primer is ignited just before the bolt stops fully. The recoil's energy is used to work the bolt backwards when it fully seats:

1698740698353.png

From pg. 29 of G. Chinn's The Machine Gun vol. 4.

The barrel is part of the recoiling mass of the howitzer, and the breech face is locked, while ignition occurs partway through the barrel-breech forward movement, so not only is the breech fully locked into position, but it combines aspects of both blowback and recoil operation, because FOOB is a type of recoil operation (it has a moving barrel).


1698738849078.png

1698739383661.png

AFAIK there's no common machine guns that have both a recoiling bolt and barrel as part of the recoil mass. It's usually one or the other. There may be crazy prototypes or something that use it, and presumably the designers discovered how detrimental it is to accuracy when not fired from a trunnion mount, but that's about it. Maybe some obscure heavy machine guns or anti-tank rifles use it.

The tangible benefits of FOOB are similar to API blowback in that the recoiling mass can be cut in half, and so is the requirement for precision ignition timing. Because howitzers can be zoned, the engineering efforts of preventing misfires, hangfires, and failures to fully return to pre-fire position are harder. I think this is why FOOB howitzers in particular tend to fail. The way the Mle 1906 Mountain Gun got around this was by using a fixed charge.

ATLAS (the stubby howitzer above) used FOOB only in the high zones to achieve a very light weight for air transportability requirements. The purpose was to give something similar in mass to the M101 (7,000 lbs versus M777's 9,000 lbs) to provide airmobile troops with a muscular 155mm capacity, when combined with the HICAP 75-lbs shell. 7,000 lbs can be reliably towed by the 2.5 ton LMTV while the M777 requires a 5-ton capable truck/MTV-equivalent.


The invisible hand of the ghost of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited probably made ATLAS break a lot.
 
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Not really. The barrel is fixed in a Mk 19, and it's the bolt that moves forward to ignite the primer, like in normal blowback, but the primer is ignited just before the bolt stops fully. The recoil's energy is used to work the bolt backwards when it fully seats:
I mean, the entire recoiling mass is moving forward, so the powder burn has to first stop the recoiling mass from coming forward, and then drive it aft to the reloading position.

What makes FOOB weird is that the barrel is part of the recoiling mass of a big gun, instead of just the bolt.

It's still functionally Advanced Primer Ignition, though with a locked breech.
 
Brutus looks like a brute force approach to provide old fashioned towed artillery on the modern battlefield. Great if the enemy cannot counterfire at you. Not so great for shoot and scoot. Seems like its also top heavy.

That second vehicle appears pretty crucial to even the most routine fire mission. However, there should be a way to begin shooting without waiting for the secind vehicle to park.There is a lot of dead space in this approach. They should hold shells and charges on the flatbed in a way the loaders have 10-12 shots on the ready. They could probably use a ramped dual belt-roller system on each side of the deck. Gravity fed to the tail end with access to quickly correct misalignments when something goes wrong. One belt high and one belt low to keep them sandwiched while loaded. Keep snow and dirt off the ordnance during travel, but also provide shock proof storage for travel. The key would be that your gun is ready to fire sooner but in the event that second vehicle is knocked out or late. In that case you still have rounds available as soon as your stabs are down.
 
It's still functionally Advanced Primer Ignition, though with a locked breech.

Advanced primer ignition requires three things: a fixed barrel, a moving bolt, and a lack of a piston or direct gas operation to cycle the bolt.

Brutus looks like a brute force approach to provide old fashioned towed artillery on the modern battlefield.

Guns on trucks are currently in vogue, mainly because they provide all the real tangible benefits of a self propelled howitzer like M109, but actually able to be operated regularly in today's increasingly budget conscious economies.

They should hold shells and charges on the flatbed in a way the loaders have 10-12 shots on the ready. They could probably use a ramped dual belt-roller system on each side of the deck. Gravity fed to the tail end with access to quickly correct misalignments when something goes wrong. One belt high and one belt low to keep them sandwiched while loaded. Keep snow and dirt off the ordnance during travel, but also provide shock proof storage for travel. The key would be that your gun is ready to fire sooner but in the event that second vehicle is knocked out or late. In that case you still have rounds available as soon as your stabs are down.

My guy it is a developmental prototype to see if the MTV chassis can take a soft recoil gun that's all it is. It's not at all a production ready system, it doesn't even have a A-kit cab. Also yes a second vehicle is absolutely necessary because where else would the other half of the gun crew be? A CAESAR or ATMOS 2000 also typically has two trucks per fire unit.
 
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Advanced primer ignition requires three things: a fixed barrel, a moving bolt, and a lack of a piston or direct gas operation to cycle the bolt.
I think we're going to disagree a lot on this.

On big guns, there is no moving bolt at all. They're recoil operated. Arguably long recoil operated, since the breechblock stays locked down until the shell is loaded. But the barrel is part of the recoiling mass (because of how much weight you need for a blowback cannon), so instead of the shell moving into the barrel the barrel is moving towards the forward/locked position.

It's still using the burning propellant to stop the recoiling mass from coming forward, then pushing it back to the loading position.
 
I think we're going to disagree a lot on this.

I'm just going to say that a cannon designed to fire API blowback would probably kill its operating crew, or at least achieve the exact opposite of a FOOB howitzer (being heavier rather than lighter), because they are inversions of each other in real terms. FOOB does this by making the effective recoiling mass heavier, while API blowback makes the recoiling mass lighter, because howitzers are usually falling blocks or threaded screw breeches: they simply don't the problems of automatic small weapons which need to eject a case from a breech.

This is because you open the breech of a howitzer long after the projectile has left the tube and fire it while the cannon breech is fully locked, while an automatic weapon still has significant tube pressures when it actuates, and an API blowback in particular because the bolt (a small arm's breech) is not fully locked into place.

FOOB is only similar in that it's highly sensitive to ignition timing and hangfires, and that it makes the overall system lighter. Which is to say it's not terribly similar at all, except to maybe something like an extremely large caliber anti-tank rifle, like a Steyr IWS 2000. Which is why electro-thermal chemical ignition is actually useful: it has single or double digit millisecond difference timing in its ignition curves.
 
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The Indian Bharat MGS 155mm L39 is going to beat up the barrel as it travels. It may be preferable to shoot facing away from the cab, but your vehicle center of gravity shifts away from the center of the vehicle. All that mass on a long barrel is going to whip about and oscillate like mad during travel. Having a storebar over the cab keeps your mass more centralized and minimizes these same forces.
 
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