The French 75mm filed gun designed in 1890s is considered to be the grandfather of all modern artillery guns. The gun had an Oil-Nitrogen hydro pneumatic systems that negated the recoil of the gun. The average rate of fire for an artillery gun was 10 rounds per minute. But the 75mm filed gun has a firing rate of 20 rounds per minute. The gun was the mail artillery for France in World War I. Artillery guns gave the armed forces ability to hit targets from considerable distance. By the end of World War 2, proximity fuses were introduced to increase the effectiveness of artillery fire. The focus shifted from range to accuracy of fire. Today’s artillery systems have sophisticated fire control systems for accurate firing.
The M777 is an ultra-light weight artillery operated by a 5 men crew. The artillery system has a digital fire control system which greatly increases precision. The M777 A2 can fire the Excalibur projectile. With an impact distance of less than two meters from the target, the Excalibur projectile is a real precision weapon. The Excalibur weapon delivers precise first-round effects at all ranges and in any weather, in contrast to “near precision” guidance systems. This weapon system also increases the range of.39-caliber and.52-caliber artillery to more than 40 km and 50 km, respectively. The time, expense, and logistical load associated with other artillery ammunition are drastically reduced by using the Excalibur projectile’s level of precision. It is claimed that, it can take at least ten conventional munitions to achieve the same results as one Excalibur weapon. It is conformed that 108 M777 have been already sent to Ukraine to support Ukrainian defense forces against Russian invasion.
CAESAR 8X8 SELF PROPELLED ARTILLERY
Self-propelled artilleries have the ability to get in position quickly since they are mounted on a wheeled or tracked platforms. Caesar 8×8 is mounted on a wheeled platform and hence has a very low maintenance and life cycle coast when compared to its tracked counter parts. Caesar can get into fire position in less than one minute. The system is very suitable for shoot and scoot operation since it has a very low deployment and redeployment time. It is very difficult to destroy a Caesar with a counter battery fire and hence it has high survivability. A crew of two to three men operate the Caesar and the system has an automatic loading system. Six rounds per minute is the maximum rate of firing. Although a semi-automatic loading system for the CAESAR 8×8 is also suggested; this method requires a crew of 4-5 personnel. It is claimed that a total of 6-8 Caesar 8×8 have been deployed by the Ukrainian forces to fight the Russian invasion.
PzH 2000 HOWITZER
Germany’s next-generation 155mm self-propelled howitzer, the PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000), is one of the most effective howitzers. Its fast rate of fire, wide selection of ammo, and maximum shooting range of up to 36 kilometers ensure efficient assistance for the German troops. The crew is protected, and the system as a whole is made more resilient by its modular armor, high mobility, and nuclear, biological, and chemical ventilation system. With its current ammo, the PzH2000 can engage soft and semi-soft area targets. The acquisition of the 155-mm smart artillery (SMArt) seeker-head ammunition will enable the howitzer to precisely strike semi-hard and hard individual targets while reducing collateral damage for the first time. The newly developed 52 cal. The navigation and positioning of the gun barrel are done using a hybrid Global Positioning Technology [GPS] navigation system. a radio data link to an on-board ballistic computer. As per reports, Ukraine has already deployed pzH 2000s against Russian invasion.
In May 2020, the first shipment of the most recent 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzers was delivered to the Russian Army. The same month saw the start of testing for a Koalitsiya-SV on wheels built on a Kamaz-6550 truck chassis. The most recent artillery system’s trials should be finished in 2022. Armored vehicles, tanks, tactical nuclear weapons, anti-tank weapons, artillery and mortar batteries, enemy manpower and equipment, infrastructure, air defense missile systems, as well as command and control centers are all targets for the 2S35 self-propelled howitzer. A 152mm 2A88 cannon with a muzzle brake and a recoil mechanism serves as the main weapon. The self-propelled cannon can hold approximately 60 rounds of ammunition, and its maximum shooting range is believed to be about 60 kilometers. The cannon is able to fire up to eight rounds per minute thanks to an automatic loader and a pneumatic rammer.
Though tracked self-propelled artilleries are costlier to operate, they can navigate tough terrain when compared to wheeled platforms. It is also evident that rocket artilleries are only used as a quick barrage weapon system. With the introduction of drones and loitering munitions, artillery systems become easy targets and are hence sitting ducks when enemy drones and loitering munitions are deployed.