How do lighting rounds work with artillery

M198 howitzer

The Howitzer M198 is a medium-sized 155mm rifled artillery piece developed for use by the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. It was commissioned to replace the 155mm M114 howitzer from WWII. It was designed in 1969 at the Rock Island Arsenal and developed as a prototype. The fire tests began in 1970 and were put into operation there in 1978. It was put into operation in 1979. Since then, 1,600 units have been produced and put into operation.

The M198 will be replaced by the M777 howitzer in US and Australian service.

Description [edit]

The 155mm M198 Howitzer weighs less than 7,300 kg and can be parachuted or transported by a CH-53E Super Stallion or CH-47 Chinook. The M198 is a towed howitzer that is transported by its tail first. The cannon barrel can be rotated over the howitzer's rear legs to reduce its length. However, this requires the removal of the muzzle brake or has to be left in the firing position for faster use. When firing, the weapon is lowered onto the base plate and not anchored to the ground, which enables quick deployment. The lock is operated manually via a screw mechanism that is low in an ergonomic position.

The M198 fires ammunition with a separate load (not fixed) and can be loaded with a variety of propellants and projectiles. The effective range is 18,100 meters when firing standard projectiles, which increases to 30,000 meters when firing missile-supported projectiles and guided ammunition. With the modification of the caliber 52, the range can exceed 40,000 meters. The weapon system requires a crew of 9 men and is capable of firing at a maximum speed of four rounds per minute, two of which are sustained.

The M198 is deployed in separate corps- and army-level field artillery units as well as in artillery battalions of light and air divisions. Until the M777 howitzer was introduced, it supported all organizations of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with field artillery fire.

Ammunition types [edit]

Royal Thai Army fires M198 howitzer
High explosive (HE)
(M-107 NC / DC): Explosive Composition B material packed in a thick, internally scored shell that causes a large explosion and sends razor-sharp fragments at extreme speeds (5,000–6,000 meters per second). The kill zone has a radius of approximately 50 meters and the radius for victims is 100 meters. The Marine Corps and US Army also use the M795 High Explosive round.
Missile-launched projectile (RAP)
A missile assisted HE (also known as HERA) M549 round that increases the maximum range of normal HE. For the 155 mm RAP lap, the maximum range is 30.1 kilometers.
White phosphorus (WP)
A basic ejection projectile that is available in two versions: felt wedge and standard. White phosphorus smoke is used to start fires, incinerate a target, or create smoke that is useful for obscuring the movement of friendly units.
Lighting projectiles are basic projectiles that deploy a bright parachute torch ideally 600 meters above the ground and illuminate an area of ​​approximately 1 grid square (1,000 square meters). Light rounds are often used in conjunction with HE rounds to illuminate the target area so that HE rounds can be fired more effectively. Lighting laps can also be used during the day to mark targets for aircraft. The M485 lighting lap will burn for 120 seconds.
Improved Conventional Ammunition for Two Purposes (DPICM)
A base ejection projectile that drops 88 bomblets over a target. Each bomblet has a shaped charge ammunition that can penetrate two inches of solid steel, as well as a frag casing effective against outdoor infantry. The DPICM round is effective against armored vehicles, even tanks (as the top armor is usually the thinnest on the vehicle) and is also extremely useful against entrenched infantry in overhead cover positions.
Area Denial Artillery Munition System (ADAMS)
An artillery round that releases anti-personnel mines. These mines throw trip wires to act as booby traps and, when triggered, are shot upward before exploding. They are designed to self-destruct after a set period of time.
Remote Anti Armor Mine System (RAAMS)
An artillery round that releases anti-tank mines that are normally used in conjunction with ADAMS rounds to prevent the anti-tank mines from being removed. Designed to self-destruct after a set period of time.
An artillery launched guided high-explosive ammunition, which was used for very precise aiming at high-value targets such as tanks and fortifications. It requires that the target be marked with a laser marking system. This round is currently no longer produced or used by the US military.
Feel and destroy ARMor (SADARM)
An experimental ammunition that is fired in the general direction of an enemy vehicle. The grenade is activated at a specific point in time by ejecting a parachute and then guides itself to the next vehicle.
M45 AFAP (Artillery Atomic Projectile) (W48)
The M45 AFAP (W48) nuclear artillery shell had a caliber of 155 mm and an explosive yield of only 72 tons. All units were taken out of service in 1992.

Replacement [edit]

BAE Systems was awarded the contract to replace the M198 in the US Army and Marine Corps with the 155 mm / 39 cal M777 towed howitzer, which weighs less than 4,200 kg. [3] It was introduced in 2005.

Operators [edit]

Map with M198 operators in blue and earlier operators in red
Australian M198 firing during a training exercise

Current operators [edit]

Former operators

See also [edit]

References [edit]