Things that go BOOM in the fight

Stryker Howitzer Prototype

Todd at Stryker Brigade News sent me a link to a page with some photos of an experimental 105mm howitzer-equipped Stryker. Not the Mobile Gun System, which is armed with a 105mm tank gun, but a indirect-fire artillery system.

The only reference I could find to this beast, which is apparently a pet project of General Dynamics Land Systems, notes that GDLS developed a 105mm howitzer system compatible with its Stryker LAVs in response to United Defense LP, which put a 120mm howitzer onto one of its XM8 Armored Gun System prototypes recently.

In what appears to be a tit-for-tat move, General Dynamics unveiled its own concept for a 20-ton 105 mm howitzer, which would be compatible with the Stryker family. Company officials said the Army has not yet settled on whether the FCS howitzer will be 105 mm or 155 mm, even though UDLP is developing a 155 mm non-line-of-sight cannon for FCS.

As far as FCS requirements are concerned, the Army has been “really vague,” said Dean Lockwood, combat vehicles analyst at Forecast International, a market research firm. For that reason, “contractors are showing what is possible and what is not.”

As far as I’m concerned, this is a good thing. Although this system may have a place in the Stryker Brigades, where the maintenance and general familiarity with the Stryker platform already exist, it doesn’t really seem to address the wants and needs of the Airborne and other lightfighter types looking for mobile firepower. This Stryker solution almost certainly won’t be air-droppable, and although tires do have some advantages over tracks, the lessened cross-country mobility will not help its chances in other circles.

It’s hard to tell from these pics if the howitzer is able to traverse. Given the stability problems that are plaguing the Stryker MGS, I’d be surprised if it moved more than a few degrees in either direction. We’ll see.

Go check the pictures out. They’ve got larger versions in their gallery. Good stuff.

I’m also sure I will hear all about how there are at least seven versions of the M113 that are more than twice as good as this. Let me know.

If anyone has more info or links on this system, by all means pass them on. (And an 8-wheeled, 20-ton, slat armor-protected Hat Tip to Todd at Stryker Brigade News!)

UPDATE: Here’s a Free Republic thread about this. MO is mentioned and quoted. Does that make me more “legit”? Less?


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  2. And the President knowingly and willfully LIED about the Weapons of Mass Destruction – and has the audacity to JOKE about it…’ -posted by Cave Canem ‘The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.’ — Bill Clinton in 1998 So, WHO lied?

  3. Given the stability problems that are plaguing the Stryker MGS, I’d be surprised if it moved more than a few degrees in either direction. We’ll see.’ -murdocjern It can traverse, whether or not it will bottom out it’s suspension while firing high angle, or whether it will rock backward onto it’s rear four wheels during a charge 7 low angle fire mission will be interesting to see. I suspect they will eventually fit it with spades like the Paladin has at the rear, and mabye outriggers front and rear to enable it to safely fire broadside -a boon for fire missions. Having to physically reposition the vehicle instead of traversing the turret takes time in having to go through aiming circle and safety circle checks all over again before firing -at least while doing artillery table 7&8 during training. It will be interesting to follow what they do with this vehicle. If they don’t modify the suspension any, or use spades and outriggers, there may be damage done to the suspension. I hope the designers took that into account. Charge 7 high angle can give a heck of a bounce to a vehicle.

  4. I’m not so sure about these rumors that the Mobile Gun System tips over when firing to the side. Go to and click ‘Multimedia Gallery’ and then click on the 105 MGS video. It appears to work properly when doing that. Since the gun is traversed at about 90 degrees, the fact that the vehicle is moving should not be a factor in whether it would tip over when doing the same while stationary (the gun’s recoil is not affecting the vehicle’s momentum). Another video that disproves this rumor can be found at (its in the upper right-hand part of the page). By the way, note that the vehicles in those videos are the MGS prototypes. The final production MGS has its gun slightly lowered than that of the prototype. Here’s a picture of the prototype (contrast it with the picture at This would make recoil even less of a problem. Just giving my two cents :)

  5. The 105mm howitzer mounted on LAV III can traverse 30 degrees either side of zero and can elevate from 0 to 75 degrees. It also can carry over 50 rounds of howitzer ammunition and is transportable on a C-130. It shoots over 30 km so can out shoot all 155mm howitzers currently used by the US Army.

  6. The howitzer recently completed a series of test firings at Eglin AFB and fired all top charges at from -4 to 70 degrees and from +30 to -30 deflection with absolutely no problems. Ranges were from 17 to 32 kilometers. It was then flown by C-130 to Fort Sill, OK where it rolled off the aircraft in 6 minutes and was firing on a range within 25 minutes.

  7. Guys, The GDLS 105mm howitzer mounted on the Stryker is unlike anything in existance today. It has an extremely effective muzzle brake that actually has less recoil impulse than the 105mm MGS. The gun is designed to be fired without spades and yes, it can be fired over the side without rolling the vehicle. Max range is 30+ KM (not kidding). The rounds actually go supersonic when fired (fairly rare wehn talking artillery). The military has been offered the first battalion of 18 vehicles just 18 months after someone signs the contract. It fits within a C-130. In fact this vehicle was just last week flown to Fort Sill on a C-130 rolled off, live-fired, and then rolled back on and flown away. I’m not generally impressed by artillery, but this one has me thinking.

  8. The GDLS 105mm howitzer mounted on the Stryker is a developement led by GDSL incorporating the DENEL (South Africa) 105mm Howitzer turret and ammunition based on the experience gained fron the G5 and G6 155mm Howitzer. See the link to the LIW (subsiduary of Denel) news item and extract below. ‘Both General Dynamics and Denel are funding this work dedicated to building a wheeled 105-mm artillery demonstrator. Denel is developing the turret and cannon subsystems for the demonstrator. General Dynamics is doing the systems integration and modification of the demonstrator’s chassis, a LAV III, eight-wheeled vehicle.’