M119 howitzer

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M119 howitzer
US M119 Howitzer .jpg
M119 Howitzer being fired as part of an exercise near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Type Towed howitzer
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
Used by U.S. Armed Forces, Saudi Arabian Army [1]
Production history
Manufacturer JMTC- Joint Manufacturing Technology Center, Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, IL.
Produced 1989[2]
Variants M119, M119A1, M119A2
Specifications (M119A1)
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 firing 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 M119 Howitzer is the US designation for the L119 Light Gun, a lightweight British 105mm howitzer also used by the United States Army. It can be easily airlifted, even by helicopter, or dropped by parachute. It does not need a recoil pit.


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.

105mm howitzer being fired by A Btry, 2-218th Field Artillery of Oregon

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 and National Guard infantry brigade combat teams, including those in the 10th Mountain , 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne Divisions, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Brigade Combat Team. Other divisions may be of mixed composition between Armor, Stryker, and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. Armor having M109A6s Paladins and Stryker having M777s for their Fires Battalions. For example two of four are IBCTs with M119s in the 25th Infantry Divison. National Guard light field artillery battalions assigned to IBCTs also have M119s for example the 86th IBCT (Mountain) headquartered in Vermont. 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.

In May 2013, artillerymen at Fort Bragg became the first Army unit to receive the digitized M119A3 howitzer.[3]


M119 in the Iraq War

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)
    • M119A3 - Modernised version with digital fire control system and an inertial navigation system for self location., entered service in April 2013, with A Battery 3/319 AFAR at Fort Bragg, NC.[4][5]


  1. ^ http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htart/20111007.aspx
  2. ^ US Army Fact Files - Towed Howitzer (105mm) M119A1/A2
  3. ^ Artillerymen at Fort Bragg first unit in U.S. Army to receive digitized towed howitzer M119A3 - Armyrecognition.com, May 18, 2013
  4. ^ http://www.army.mil/article/102701/Gun_Devils_first_in_Army_to_fire_digital___/
  5. ^ http://www.dvidshub.net/news/105779/gun-devils-first-army-fire-digital-howitzer#.UZd0yqKQP6g

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