Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Light Infantry Division:The Field Gun




Photo:U.S. Army photo by PFC Joshua Grenier/Released

The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be the only ballistic artillery system in the British Army's Heavy Cavalry,Medium Infantry and Light Infantry Divisions and the Royal Navy's Royal Marine Division.




Photo:Sgt Si Longworth RLC (Phot) Crown Copyright


Within the Heavy Cavalry Division,the Five and a Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be mounted on the self propelled Chaplain gun carriage,a variant of the Charger family of Cavalry Heavy ARmoured vehicles.




Photo:U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard W. Jones Jr./Released


Within the Medium Infantry,Light Infantry and Royal Marine Divisions,the Five and a Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be mounted on the towed Field Gun carriage.



Photo:Sgt. Si Longworth R.L.


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall use a manually loaded variable charge system.






The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall fire the same family of projectiles as the Five and a Half inch Naval Gun,a heavier barrelled weapon with a charge system designed for use with a mechanical loader.




Photo:P.O. Owen Cooban Crown Copyright


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall fire the same family of projectiles as the Five and a Half Inch Tank Gun,a shorter barrelled weapon with a dual charge system.




Photo:Sgt. Si Longworth R.L.


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer's High Explosive Extended Range Full Bore projectiles shall weigh one hundred pounds.





The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer's High Explosive Extended Range Full Bore projectiles shall be longer and narrower than equivalent 155mm projectiles and have a significantly higher ballistic coefficient.




Photo:Cpl. Ross Fernie R.L.C. Crown Copyright


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer's barrel shall have tighter rifling than that of a 155mm weapon to stabilise the longer projectiles.




Photo:United States Army


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall have a larger chamber and longer barrel than a fifty two calibre 155mm weapon,to compensate for the propellant gasses having a smaller bore area to work on.



Photo:GrandLogistics


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall have a range of at least twenty five miles with unassisted Extended Range Full Bore projectiles,further with Base Bleed or more exotic projectiles,this is beyond the performance of 105mm,4.5 Inch,120mm,125mm,5 Inch,130mm,152mm or 155mm weapons.




Photo:L.A.(Phot) Dan Rosenbaum Crown Copyright


Due to their higher ballistic coefficient,a
t any given range,the Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer's high explosive projectiles shall have a shorter time of flight than 100mm,105mm,4.5 Inch,120mm,125mm,5 Inch,130mm,152mm or 155mm high explosive projectiles and hence less windage and target movement resulting in fewer rounds being fired to achieve a given kill probability or a higher kill probability per round fired. 




Photo:Graeme Main Crown Copyright


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be less vulnerable to location by counter battery radars than 105mm,4.5 Inch,120mm,125mm,5 Inch,130mm,152mm or 155mm weapons due to it's ability to engage at greater distances from enemy radars,the performance of which is range dependent,and it's ability to fire on a flatter trajectory with a shorter radar horizon at any given range.


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be able to achieve counter battery fire superiority over 100mm,105mm,4.5 Inch,120mm,125mm,5 Inch,130mm,152mm or 155mm weapons as it can engage them from beyond their maximum ranges.


The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer shall be able to achieve counter battery fire superiority over 100mm,105mm,4.5 Inch,120mm,125mm,5 Inch,130mm,152mm or 155mm weapons,even when within their maximum ranges,as it's projectiles have a shorter time of flight at any given range allowing the enemy less time to exit their firing position.



The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer mounted on the towed Field Gun carriage shall be able to emplace or displace in two minutes thereby reducing the range at which enemy counter battery fire may be effective.





Photo:U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Nathan Knapke 

The Five And A Half Inch Gun Howitzer mounted on the towed Field Gun carriage shall normally be towed by the Light Protected Truck or Medium Infantry Vehicle but may also be towed by the Field Car.   



Photo:P.O.(Phot) Si Ethell Crown Copyright

A Super Merlin or Ultra Merlin helicopter shall be able to carry ten gunners internally and a Five and a Half Inch Field Gun,with an eighteen round ammunition Unit Load Container (a total weight of eight long tons),as a sling load to a radius of fifty miles.




A Centaurus aircraft shall be able to air drop eight Field Guns,rigged in pairs,with eighteen rounds of ammunition per gun and up to one hundred and sixty gunners (eighty to a radius of at least four thousand nine hundred and fifty miles). 




Photo:New Zealand Defence Force


The towed Five and a Half Inch Field Gun shall replace the L118 and L119 Light Guns.