Integrated Artillery Recoil Mechanism and Automated Handling Design for 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
PACIFIC CAR AND FOUNDRY CO RENTON WA
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The objectives of this contract were to design prototype autoloader and recoil systems for the 155mm howitzer mounted in the M109A2 vehicle. These systems were to require the minimum changes possible to the existing vehicle and were not to impair the 360-degree traverse and 0- to 75-degree elevation capability of the weapon. Projectiles and powder charges would be stored and fed automatically by either powered or manual operation of all functions, with a burst rate of three rounds in 10 seconds and a sustained rate of four rounds per minute. The howitzer would have a sliding breech and a fixed or variable recoil length. The primers would be fed and ejected automatically as well. The system should be recoil operated with instantaneous selection of the various powder charges and projectiles from the gunners station. The ammunition stowage racks should hold more than 43 rounds and permit setting of the fuzes in the stowed position. The recoil system should be of modular design with each module replaceable without draining oil or gas. All cylinders should be designed for a maintenance-free life of 10,000 rounds. Each pair should be identical, and the system should function on one each of the recoil and counterrecoil cylinders. Both systems should maintain simplicity and adequate reliability while operating over a temperature range of -50 F to 160 F.