M110 howitzer

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8" M110 self-propelled howitzer
203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer M110A2.JPG
M110A2 of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in 2007
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]
Mass28.3 metric tons (62,390 lb)
Length10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Width3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Height3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Crew13 (driver, 2 gunners, 2 loaders, (8 support crew–other vehicle))

Armor13 mm (.51 in)
8" (203 mm) M201A1 howitzer
EngineDetroit Diesel 8V71T, 8-cylinder, 2-stroke, turbocharged diesel
405 hp (302 kW)
SuspensionTorsion bar
16 km to 23 km
Maximum speed 54.7 km/h (30 mph)

The 8 inch (203 mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer is an American-made 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 16,800 meters to approximately 25,000 meters when firing standard projectiles, and up to 30,000 meters 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 deactivated 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 gun system has been retired from U.S. Army service; howitzers above 155 mm caliber are no longer considered to be practical, as technology has closed the range and firepower gap,[citation needed] and heavier weapon systems require more resources to operate. Gun barrels from retired M110s were initially used as the outer casing in the manufacture of the GBU-28 "bunker buster" bomb.

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

German M110 during training, winter of 1970–71

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 alongside with M107 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.

Iran used its M110s during Iran–Iraq War against Iraqi forces during its offensives against Iraq.

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.


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. ^ LLNL achievements in the 1970s
  7. ^ Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. "Transfers and licensed production of major conventional weapons". Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  8. ^ Defense Security Cooperation Agency. "Excess Defense Articles". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  9. ^ "Deals in the Works". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  10. ^ John Pike. "Pakistan Army Equipment". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  11. ^ Pike, John. "Army Equipment - Taiwan". www.globalsecurity.org.
  • TM 9-2350-304-10 dated October 1979

External links[edit]