M119 Howitzer being fired as part of an exercise near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||U.S. Armed Forces, Saudi Arabian Army |
|Manufacturer||JMTC- Joint Manufacturing Technology Center, Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, IL.|
|Variants||M119, M119A1, M119A2|
|Weight||With BII: 4,690 lb (2,130 kg)
Without BII: 4,270 lb (1,940 kg)
Cannon alone:1,389 lb (630 kg)
|Width||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Height||Combat: 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
Travel: 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
|Crew||5 to 7|
|Caliber||105 mm (4.13 in)|
|Elevation||-100 to +1244 mils|
|Traverse||Left or right 100 mils|
|Rate of fire||Maximum: 8 rpm for 3 minutes
Sustained: 3 rpm for 30 minutes
|Maximum range||Charge 7: 7.2 mi (11.6 km)
Charge 8: 8.5 mi (13.7 km)
M195 RAP: 12.1 mi (19.5 km)
|Sights||3 × M90A2 telescope, M137A1 panoramic telescope|
The howitzer was designed and produced by the British Royal Ordnance Factories as the L118/L119 Light Gun. In the L118 configuration, the 105 mm ammunition is cased separate loading ammunition (not semi-fixed projectile and propelling charge as sometimes stated). The L118 entered service with the British Army in 1975 and is used by the Parachute and Commando Field Artillery Regiments. It saw combat during the Falklands War, where the 30 guns in action fired up to 400 rounds per gun per day, mostly at "Charge Super" i.e. the most powerful propellant charge available. The L119 is the L118 reconfigured to fire NATO-standard US/NATO 105 mm semi-fixed ammunition.
In 1987 an agreement was reached to produce the L119 under license by the U.S. as the M119, to replace the M102 howitzer. It entered service with 7th Infantry Division, Fort Ord, California, in December 1989. Some improvements were made to produce the M119A1, including increasing its extreme low temperate envelope from -30 C to -45C,improving maintainability.The army has renewed contracts for the M119 to be produced by the Rock Island Arsenal-Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) at Rock Island, Illinois into the year 2013.
The M119 is currently fielded with all Regular Army infantry brigades, including those in the 10th Mountain, 25th Infantry, 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne Divisions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and certain National Guard field artillery battalions. It is routinely airdropped in airborne operations and sling-loaded under Chinook or UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in air assault operations.
In April 2009, the M119A2 howitzer was being fielded by the 4th Infantry Combat Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division to provide better support in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was the only brigade in the division equipped with it, as the other three brigades were "heavy" brigades and therefore equipped with the M109A6 Paladin.
The M119A1 fires all standard NATO semi-fixed ammunition as well as special rocket-assisted projectiles, including:
- M1 High explosive
- M314 Illuminating
- M60/M60A2 Smoke Cartridge
- M913 HERA Range: 19.5 km
- M760 HE Range: 14.5 km
- M119 - Original copy of the L119
- M119A1 - Minor improvements, including fire control and maintenance.
- M119A2 - Improved sight package consisting of telescope (M90A3) or panoramic telescope (M137A2) and an inertial navigation system for self location.
- M119A3 - Modernised version with digital fire control system, entered service in April 2013.
- US Army Fact Files - Towed Howitzer (105mm) M119A1/A2
- Artillerymen at Fort Bragg first unit in U.S. Army to receive digitized towed howitzer M119A3 - Armyrecognition.com, May 18, 2013
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