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Equipment

Artillery and air defence

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. 

AS90

Overview

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°.

Dimensions

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Length

9.07m

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Width

3.5m

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Height

2.49m

Armament

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Main armament

1 x L31 36-calibre ordnance

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Ammunition carried

48 x 155mm rounds

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Secondary armament

1 x 7.62 GPMG on turret

Rate of Fire

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Burst

3 rounds/ 10 sec

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Intense

6 rounds/ min for 3 min

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Sustained

2 rounds/min for 60 mins

Range

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EFFECTIVE RANGE

24.7 km

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Vehicle Range

420 km

Specifications

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Maximum Speed

53 kph

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Crew

5

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Engine

Cummins VTA903T turbocharged V8 660 bhp diesel

AS90 SELF-PROPELLED GUN FIRING

L118 light gun

Overview

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.

Dimensions

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Length

8.8m

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Width

1.78m

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Height

2.13m

armament

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Ammunition

HE, Smoke, Illumination and Target Marking

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Rate of Fire

6-8 rpm

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Maximum Range

17.2 km (HE)

Specifications

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Combat weight

1858 kg

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Crew

6

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Manufacturer

BAE Systems

Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)

Overview

The 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 circa £2Bn Land Deep Fires Programme (LDFP) is modernising and enhancing the Army’s Deep Fires capability in line with the Integrated Review 2021. The Chief of the General Staff has stated that modernised Land Deep Fires is one of his highest priority capabilities. 

Under the ‘One Launcher, Many Payloads’ vision, the UK’s aim is upgrade the fleet to deliver a state-of-the-art M270 A2 launcher. It's use will be expanded to two Regular regiments (3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and 26 Regiment Royal Artillery) and one Reserve regiment (101 Regiment Royal Artillery). It will be quipped with a suite of missiles to include: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), Extended Range GMLRS (ER-G), Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and Land Precision Strike (LPS). 

Additionally, the UK’s Technical Demonstrator 5 (TD5) project is developing alternative payloads (targeting at range using UAVs and Area Effect (multiple warheads for inclusion into ER-G and PrSM)).

Dimensions

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Length

6.85m

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Width

2.97m

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Height

2.59m

Rate of fire

  • Rockets: 12 rounds in 40 seconds
  • Missiles: 2 rounds in 10 seconds

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. 

Specifications

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Vehicle range

640 km

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Max speed

65 kph

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Effective range

70 km

Land Ceptor

Overview

Land Ceptor, replacing its predecessor Rapier, is an air defence missile system comprising of three separate components: its radar, its command and control and its missiles.

It can control the flight of 24 missiles simultaneously whilst in flight, guiding them to intercept 24 separate targets.

Although pictured in the photograph together, in reality they would be expected to operate at distances of up to 15km apart. 

Radar

The eyes and ears of the system is the Giraffe Agile Multi Beam 3D medium-range surveillance radar.

Its radar rotates atop an extending mast which allows it to be elevated above tree lines and other obstructions to identify low flying intruders.

The Giraffe can see a full 360 degrees out to a range of 120km.

Command and Control

The second component is the Battle Management and Intelligence suite:the command and control centre. It links the radar with the missiles and sends them to their targets.

It also provides Link 16; a tactical datalink that allows Land Ceptor to share its information with Royal Navy vessels, the Royal Air Force, and our allies.

The system can be fully integrated with joint, combined, or NATO operations.

Missiles

The third component is the Land Ceptor intelligent launcher and missile itself. At 99Kg each, the missiles are double the weight of the Rapier it replaces and have three times the range.

It is the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) that reaches speeds of 2300mph and can eliminate fighter aircraft, drones, and laser-guided smart bombs.

Uncrewed Air Systems

Watchkeeper

The Watchkeeper is the British Army's long range FIND capability and operates in all weathers with a combination of electro-optical, infrared and radar sensors.

It is normally operated at the Divisional level but can be utilised by Brigade's to gather vital information on the whereabouts of potential threats, non-combatants and friendly forces.

Watchkeeper provides situational awareness at the highest level for British Army formations and can also be employed for target acquisition and information operations such as collateral damage assessment.

Desert Hawk

Desert Hawk is an extremely versatile and small Uncrewed 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.

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.

Lightweight Multiple Launcher & Shoulder-launched Starstreak

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 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.

 

Starstreak self-propelled high-velocity missile system

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.

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Missile range

1500m - 5500m

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Flight time

8 seconds

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Guidance

Semi-automatic, line of sight, beam riding

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Time into action

SP - less than 10 seconds to 10 minutes. LML - 2 minutes. Single missile - less than 10 seconds

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Ceiling

1000m