XM2001 Crusader

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XM2001 Crusader
XM2001 Crusader.jpg
XM2001 Crusader firing a shell
Weight 43 tons
Length 7.53 m
Width 3.31 m
Height 3.00 m
Crew 3 (Commander, Driver, Gunner)

XM297E2 155mm cannon
Engine GE/Honeywell LV100-5 turbine engine
1500 hp (1119 kW)
Suspension torsion bar
Speed 39-48 km/h

The XM2001 Crusader was to be the United States Army's next-generation self-propelled howitzer (SPH), designed to improve the survivability, lethality, mobility, and effectiveness of the artillery as well as the overall force. It was initially scheduled for fielding by 2008. United Defense was the prime contractor; General Dynamics the major subcontractor. In early May 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld cancelled the $11 billion USD program because he considered it neither mobile nor precise enough.[1] The prototype SPH vehicle is on display at the cannon park at Fort Sill.


The Crusader was intended to replace the M109A6 Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer and the M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle (FAASV). It was intended to be an automated gun artillery system to support the Interim Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) Counterattack Corps and a basis for other vehicle developments.

Key features of the Crusader design included:

  • A cooled XM297E2 cannon for sustained high rates of fire
  • Automated ammunition handling and loading
  • Cockpit with embedded command and control
  • Composite armor
  • Survivability features to protect the vehicle and crew
  • GE/Honeywell LV100-5 gas turbine engine to keep up with other fighting vehicles

Using the same chassis, the resupply vehicles (RSVs) would deliver automatic, reciprocal transfer of ammunition, data and fuel to the SPH or another RSV.

Program Timeline[edit]

  • 1QFY95 Approved to commence program definition and risk reduction (PDRR) phase.
  • 2QFY98 In-process review completed and manufacture of the PDRR prototype systems begun.
  • 3QFY99 Delivery of first RSV prototype.
  • 2QFY00 Delivery of first prototype howitzer SPH 1.
  • 1QFY02 Successful preliminary design review.
  • 1QFY02 More than 4000 rounds fired from SPH 1.
  • 2QFY02 Program discontinued.


Curb Weight 40 tons 36 tons 33.3 tons
Length 7.53 m 7.53 m 11.03 m
Width 3.31 m 3.31 m 2.44 m
Height 3.00 m 3.00 m 3.59 m
Cross-Country Mobility 39–48 km/h 39–48 km/h 64 km/h
Armament Cooled 155 mm none none
Max Range 400–500 km (assisted)
Rate of Fire/Resupply 10-12 rounds/min 48 rounds in 10 min 48 rounds in 10 min
Crew 3 3 3

Eventual fate[edit]

The Crusader program was cancelled, partly because it was considered too costly.[citation needed] The Pentagon preferred the Crusader design, largely due to its lighter weight.[citation needed] It also had a speed of around 40 mph (64 km/h) compared to the PzH 2000 speed of around 37 mph (60 km/h). However, the Pentagon refused German suggestions of producing a PzH that would have detachable armor, which could be shipped separately, or substituting titanium for steel in many parts.[citation needed]

Another consideration was that the existing Paladin already had advanced characteristics, making it still a very effective weapon.[citation needed]

Many of the technologies developed by the program were incorporated into the now cancelled XM1203 Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon.

Similar vehicles[edit]