British Army - Artillery - 105mm Light Gun - a6a6 - Armed Forces



Royal Artillery's 105mm Light Gun

The 105mm Light Gun has been in service with the Royal Artillery for over 30 years and has just received its first and only major upgrade in that time.

The enhancement is an Auto Pointing System (APS) which performs the same function as the DRU (Dynamic Reference Unit) on the AS 90.

The APS is based on an inertial navigation system which enables it to be unhooked and into action in 30 seconds. The APS replaces the traditional dial sight and takes into account trunion tilt, without the requirement to level any spirit level bubbles as before.

A touch-screen display tells the gun controller when his gun is laid onto the correct target data provided. This enhancement improves the accuracy of the fall of shot to a greater degree of accuracy than possible with the dial sight.

The Light Gun is in service with three Artillery Regiments as a go anywhere, airportable weapon which can be carried around the battlefield underslung on a Puma or Chinook. In addition artillery units deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan can be equipped with the Light Gun.

The gun was first delivered to the British Army in 1975, when it replaced the 105mm Pack Howitzer. A robust, reliable system, the Light Gun proved its worth in the Falklands, where guns were sometimes firing up to 400 rounds per day. Since then the gun has seen operational service in Kuwait, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

During March 2005 the UK MoD placed a contract for an advanced and more effective light artillery shell. This contract for 105 mm Improved Ammunition awarded to BAE Systems will, subject to successful qualification, lead to an initial buy of 50,000 High Explosive shells, and was worth around 17 Million.

The new High Explosive munitions will be more effective against a range of targets than current shells and will incorporate the latest Insensitive Munitions (IM) technology, making them even safer to transport and handle. Under the programme, planned deliveries will commence late in 2006 and will be spread over three years, with possible future buys until 2017.

The Light Gun has been extremely successful in the international market with sales to Australia (59), Botswana (6), Brunei (6), Ireland (12), Kenya (40), Malawi (12), Malaysia (20), Morocco (36), New Zealand (34), Oman (39), Switzerland (6), UAE (50), United States (548) and Zimbabwe (12).

105MM LIGHT GUN Specifications
Approximately 142 available
Crew 6
Weight 1,858kg
Length 8.8m
Width 1.78m
Height 2.13m
Ammunition HE, HEAT, WP, Smoke, Illuminating, Target Marking
Maximum Range (HE) 17.2kms
Anti Tank Range 800m
Muzzle Velocity 709m/s
Shell Weight HE 15.1kg
Rate of Fire 6 rounds per minute