M110 howitzer

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8" M110 self-propelled howitzer
M110 203 mm self-propelled howitzer of the Royal Netherlands Army
TypeSelf-propelled artillery
Place of originUnited States
Service history
WarsVietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Iran–Iraq War
1982 Lebanon War
Kurdish–Turkish conflict (1978–present)
Gulf War
Production history
ManufacturerGeneral Motors (transmission)[1]
Mass62,390 lb (28.3 metric tons)
Length35 ft 5 in (10.8 m)
Width10 ft 2 in (3.1 m)
Height10 ft 2 in (3.1 m)
Crew13 (driver, 2 gunners, 2 loaders, (8 support crew–other vehicle))

Caliber203 mm
Effective firing range16.8km-25km
RAP 30km

Armor.51 in (13 mm)
8" (203 mm) M201A1 howitzer
EngineDetroit Diesel 8V71T, 8-cylinder, 2-stroke, turbocharged diesel
405 hp (302 kW)
SuspensionTorsion bar
Maximum speed 30 mph (54.7 km/h)

The 8 inch (203 mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer is an American self-propelled artillery system consisting of an M115 203 mm howitzer installed on a purpose-built chassis. Before its retirement from US service, it was the largest available self-propelled howitzer in the United States Army's inventory; it continues in service with the armed forces of other countries, to which it was exported. Missions include general support, counter-battery fire, and suppression of enemy air defense systems.


According to the operator's manual, the M110's typical rate of fire was three rounds per two minutes when operated at maximum speed, and one round per two minutes with sustained fire. The M110 featured a hydraulically operated rammer to automatically chamber the 200+ pound projectile. These rammers were prone to breakdown and generally slowed operation of the gun because the rammers required crews to completely lower the massive barrel before using it. Well trained and motivated crews could achieve two to four rounds per minute for short periods by using the manual rammer, essentially a heavy steel pole with a hard rubber pad on one end. Using the manual rammer was physically demanding, but crews were not required to lower the barrels as much as with the hydraulic rammer.

The M110's range varied from 10.4 mi (16.8 km) to approximately 16 mi (25 km) when firing standard projectiles, and up to 19 mi (30 km) when firing rocket-assisted projectiles.[2]


The M110 howitzer first entered service with the U.S. Army in 1963 and was used in the Vietnam War by the United States Army. Later versions were used in the Gulf War - Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm by Tango Battery 5th Battalion 11th Marines, and the British Army's 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.[3]

In 1977 the upgraded M110A1 entered service, featuring a longer M201 series barrel which gave an increased range. The M110A2 is the latest version with a double muzzle brake, in contrast to the earlier A1 version which had a plain muzzle. The 2nd Battalion 18th Field Artillery (U.S. Army) which inactivated in 1994 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the 5th Battalion 18th Field Artillery served in Desert Storm with the M110A2 Howitzer, as well as the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade (Arkansas Army National Guard), and 1st BN 181 Field Artillery (Tennessee Army National Guard). Most of the U.S. Army and USMC relied on the M109 series 155-millimeter howitzer gun systems during this conflict; sending remaining M110s to reserve or National Guard units. These units then took possession of M109s as they returned from service in the Gulf. M110s were still in service with the 3/92 FA (USAR) and running fire missions at Camp Atterbury as late as the summer of 1994.[4]

The howitzer has been retired from U.S. Army service having been replaced by the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System.

The M110A2s were made from refitted M110s or M107 175 mm SP guns[5]

Dutch artillerymen with their M110 in firing position, 1972

At the end of the Cold War under U.S. Division Plan 86, all armored and mechanized infantry divisions included a battalion of heavy artillery that included two batteries of M110A2 SP howitzers with six guns each for a total of 12 guns, plus one battery of nine M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System rocket artillery.[citation needed]

Israel used M110s along with M107s during Yom Kippur War against Egyptian and Syrian forces. Again in 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee, Israel used M110 systems against PLO and Lebanese allies with deadly effect during Siege of Beirut.[citation needed]

Iran used its M110s during Iran–Iraq War against Iraqi forces during its offensives against Iraq.[citation needed]

Turkish Armed Forces have used M110A2 systems against Kurdistan Workers' Party since the 1990s and during Turkish military intervention in Syria, mainly against People's Protection Units.[citation needed]


A 203 millimetre W33 nuclear artillery shell on display


Map with M110 operators in blue and former operators in red
U.S. Army M110A2 howitzers in a staging area prior to transport, Port of Antwerp, 1984

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Defense Industry Bulletin, April 1968, p. 47.
  2. ^ "The M110 at Military-today.com".
  3. ^ 32 Regiment RA in action - Gulf War 1991
  4. ^ a b UK M110 Artillery in action Gulf War 1991
  5. ^ (Hunnicutt).
  6. ^ Thomas B Cochran; William M Arkin; Milton M Hoenig (1984). Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume I: US Nuclear Forces and Capabilities (PDF) (Report). Natural Resources Defense Council. p. 47. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 September 2021. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  7. ^ Henry E Hudgins (January 1977). Aerodynamics, Dimensions, Inertial Properties and Performance of Artillery Projectiles (PDF) (Report). Picatinny Arsenal. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  8. ^ Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. "Transfers and licensed production of major conventional weapons". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  9. ^ Defense Security Cooperation Agency. "Excess Defense Articles". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Εξοπλισμός Εθνικής Φρουράς (Κύπρος)". www.ellinikos-stratos.com. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Deals in the Works". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  12. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (February 2023). The Military Balance 2023. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-032-50895-5. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  13. ^ Foss, Christopher F. (2005). Jane's Armour and Artillery 2005-2006. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2686-8. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  14. ^ Bak, Dongchan (March 2021). Korean War : Weapons of the United Nations (PDF) (in Korean). Republic of Korea: Ministry of Defense Institute for Military History. pp. 108–110. ISBN 979-11-5598-079-8. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022.
  • TM 9-2350-304-10 dated October 1979

External links[edit]