Artillery Systems

Artillery systems provide warfighters with direct, reinforcing, and general support towed artillery fires for maneuver forces. Picatinny organizations provide direct support artillery for the Stryker and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) and replace all current towed howitzers in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Army Fires Brigade missions.

An ever-evolving organization, Picatinny artillery systems support both conventional and precision-guided artillery rounds.

Picatinny is responsible for:

  • Towed Howitzers
  • Howitzer Digitization
  • Non Standard Howitzers
  • Gun Laying/Surveying Equipment

M777A2 155 mm Joint Lightweight Howitzer (LW155)

Picatinny takes a joint (Army and Marine) perspective in managing the development, acquisition, testing, systems integration, product improvement and fielding of the M777A2 155 mm Joint Lightweight Howitzer (LW155) system, designed to enhance strategic mobility and provide the infantryman and Marine with effective and responsive fire support. The LW155 is a joint Marine Corps and Army program that replaces the M198 155 mm Towed Howitzer. The LW155 is a general support system for the Army's light units, a direct-support cannon fire support system for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the sole howitzer in the Marine Corps. The LW155 uses the M776 155 mm cannon, giving it a maximum firing range of approximately 30 kilometers with rocket-assisted projectiles, 24.7 kilometers with standard rounds and up to 40 kilometers using Excalibur. It has a maximum firing rate of four rounds per minute and a sustained rate of two rounds per minute. The M777A2 is fitted with onboard electronics, giving it self-locating, self-laying and digital communications similar to the M109A6 Paladin. The M777A2 adds the ability to fire the Excalibur precision guided munition.

M119A2 105 mm Howitzer

The M119A2 is a lightweight, 105 mm howitzer that provides continuous close fires to IBCTs. The system weighs 4,330 pounds and is air assault/air drop capable. It has a range of 19.5 kilometers with rocket-assisted munitions (14 kilometers unassisted). The M119A2 fires all currently fielded U.S. munitions, and has a rate of fire of six rounds per minute. Its approved prime movers include the Humvee and 2.5-ton and 5-ton trucks.

A program to integrate digital fire-control capability onto the M119A2 howitzer was approved in 2008. The application of a digital fire control will allow the digitized M119A2 to emplace and displace faster, provide more responsive fires, and become more survivable on the battlefield. Using the software for the M777A2 155 mm howitzer maximizes commonality in operation and training while minimizing program cost, schedule and risk.

M198 155 mm Towed Howitzer

The Army began fielding the M198 155 mm Towed Howitzer in early 1979 to provide greater range and lethality for light unit fire-support elements. As a successor to the older M114A1 155mm towed system, the 15,750-pound (original fielded weight) M198 provided a maximum range of 30 kilometers (with rocket-assisted projectiles) and the capability to fire a broader range of ammunition options than those available for 105 mm units. Normally towed by a 5-ton truck, the M198 can also be moved by a CH-47D Chinook helicopter or Air Force assets (C-130 and larger). The M777A2 has replaced the M198.

D-30 Howitzer program

Picatinny also supports the D-30 Howitzer program. The D-30 howitzer is an M122 mm Soviet towed howitzer that entered service in the 1960's. It weighs 7,055 pounds and has a maximum range of 15.4km (21.9km assisted). The D-30 has a maximum rate of fire of ten to twelve rounds per minute and a sustained rate of five to six rounds per minute. PM TAS was given a requirement to provide 204 D-30's to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) and to date has delivered 152 howitzers, provided training on the operation and maintenance of the weapon system, and has established a refurbishment capability in Afghanistan that is allowing Afghan workers to refurbish additional howitzers.

Improved Position and Azimuth Determining System (IPADS)

The IPADS provides common inertial survey control for all U.S. Army and Marine Corps field artillery, mortar, artillery meteorological and radar systems. PM TAS is also managing the effort to add a Global Positioning System (GPS) feature to the IPADS. IPADS-G will augment operations of the fire support community by providing the ability to maintain the current accuracy of the IPADS without stopping for zero velocity updates, increasing artillery timeliness, availability of fires, lethality, survivability, and force protection on extended convoys or artillery missions. The IPADS will be aided by an internal GPS receiver; however, it must also be capable of operating in an inertial fashion independently of GPS aid.