Artillery and air defence
Artillery weapons include some of the most potent, sophisticated - and loudest - equipment in the British Army. Field Artillery guns and rocket launchers can bring massive firepower to bear, while sophisticated air defence missiles allow our troops freedom to operate without interference from enemy attack aircraft.
The AS90 is a 155mm self-propelled gun that equips three field regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Artillery.
The AS90 is fitted with a 155mm, 39-calibre gun barrel. In trials, two AS90 guns were able to deliver a total payload of 261kg on to a single target in less than ten seconds.
An automated loading system enables the gun to fire with a burst rate of three rounds in fewer than ten seconds, an intense rate of six rounds a minute for three minutes and a sustained rate of two rounds a minute.
The gun is equipped with a recoil and hydrogas suspension system, which allows the turret to traverse and fire through a full 360°.
1 x L31 36-calibre ordnance
48 x 155mm rounds
1 x 7.62 GPMG on turret
3 rounds/ 10 sec
6 rounds/ min for 3 min
2 rounds/min for 60 mins
Cummins VTA903T turbocharged V8 660 bhp diesel
L118 light gun
The versatile 105mm light gun is used by the parachute and commando field artillery regiments of the British Army.
The light gun can be towed by a medium-weight vehicle or carried around the battlefield underslung by a Chinook helicopter.
Royal Artillery L118 light guns are fitted with an automatic pointing system (APS), which enables the gun to be unlimbered and in action in 30 seconds. APS is based on an inertial navigation system, operated via a touch screen, it replaces the traditional dial sight.
HE, Smoke, Illumination and Target Marking
Rate of Fire
17.2 km (HE)
Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)
The state-of-the-art M270B1 Multiple Launch Rocket System, firing the M31 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) munition, is the mainstay of the British Army's deep and shaping fires capability.
The system provides pinpoint accuracy, delivering a 200 lb high explosive warhead to its target with over twice the range of other artillery systems used by the British Army. The MLRS also represents the bulk of the Army's precision fires capability, with the GPS guidance capability integral to the system and highly accurate beyond 70 KM.
The weapon system is manned by a small crew of three Gunners and is mounted on a tracked armoured launcher, which is highly robust and manoeuvrable.
The GMLRS fires surface-to-surface rockets and the army tactical missile system (ATACMS). Without leaving the cab, the crew of three (driver, gunner and section chief) can fire up to 12 rockets in less than 60 seconds.
The GMLRS launcher unit is loaded with 12 rockets, packaged in two six-rocket pods. The launcher, which is mounted on a stretched Bradley chassis, is a highly automated self-loading and self-aiming system. It contains a fire control computer that integrates the vehicle and rocket-launching operations.
The rockets can be fired individually or in ripples of two to 12. Accuracy is maintained in all firing modes because the computer re-aims the launcher between rounds.
Rapier Field Standard C is a technologically advanced short range air defence system developed by MBDA (previously Matra BAe Dynamics) and is in service with the Royal Artillery.
It is a 24-hour, all-weather guided weapon system with a primary role of providing limited area air defence cover against fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) and cruise missiles.
It has the capability of engaging two targets at once.
Rapier FSC is compact, mobile and air portable, making it suitable for worldwide operations.
500m - 8200m
Unmanned Air Systems
Desert Hawk is an extremely versatile and small Unmanned Aerial System designed for discrete operations.
It is operated normally at the company level but is equally well employed above and below this. It has an extremely good record.
It provides an excellent 'over the hill' view for commanders on the ground.
The T-Hawk micro air vehicle, or Tarantula-Hawk, is part of the new Talisman suite of vehicles to counter the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Talisman is the latest weapon to help counter the threat posed by IEDs and mines. The suite of vehicles, operated by the Royal Engineers, is used to help clear routes of IEDs and mines. It was bought as an Urgent Operational Requirement worth more than £180m.
Watchkeeper is a tactical Unmanned Aerial System that came into service in 2013. The Watchkeeper air system includes the following features:
- Dual-payload configuration
- Flexible, all-weather operation with de-icing capability
- Improved access to sub-systems for easier maintenance
- Automatic takeoff and landing
Starstreak high velocity missile
The Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) is designed to counter threats from very high performance, low-flying aircraft and fast 'pop up' strikes by helicopter attacks.
The missile, which travels at more than three times the speed of sound, uses a system of three dart-like projectiles, allowing multiple hits on the target. HVM can be fired from the shoulder, from a lightweight multiple launcher or from the Stormer armoured vehicle.
The portable shoulder-launched (single missile) Starstreak is assembled and ready to fire in a few seconds. Preparation for firing involves clipping an aiming unit on to the missile canister.
The aiming unit includes an optical head consisting of a stabilisation system, an aiming mark injector and a monocular sight. The target is acquired and optically tracked using the monocular sight and aiming mark.
The lightweight multiple launcher (LML) has an automatic fire unit and can be carried on any light wheeled vehicle, such as a Land Rover.
The multiple launcher employs three canister missiles together with clip-on equipment and a standard aiming unit. Three targets can be engaged in quick succession without the need for reloading.
The Starstreak SP HVM is mounted on a tracked Stormer vehicle. The system has eight rounds of Starstreak missiles ready to fire, with a further 12 missiles carried.
SP HVM is fitted with a roof-mounted air defence alerting device (ADAD). The ADAD's infrared scanner and processor provide target detection and prioritisation, and the system automatically slews the weapon sight on to the target.
1500m - 5500m
Semi-automatic, line of sight, beam riding
Time into action
SP - less than 10 seconds to 10 minutes. LML - 2 minutes. Single missile - less than 10 seconds