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M1128 Mobile Gun System
MobileGS.jpg
Mobile Gun System, firing its 105 mm cannon
Type Assault gun
Place of origin United States
Specifications
Weight 18.77 tonnes (20.69 short tons; 18.47 long tons)
Length 6.95 m (22.92 ft)
Width 2.72 m (8.97 ft)
Height >2.64 m (>8.72 ft)
Crew 3

Armor 14.5 mm resistant[1]
Primary
armament
M68A2 105 mm cannon
Secondary
armament
M2 .50 caliber machine gun; M240C coaxial machine gun; 2, M6 smoke grenade launchers
Engine Caterpillar 3126 turbo diesel
260 kW (350 hp)
Suspension 8×8 wheeled

The M1128 Mobile Gun System is an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle mounting a 105 mm tank gun, based on the Canadian LAV III light-armored vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics Canada. It is in service with the United States[2] and was also being considered for adoption by several other countries, including Canada.

Design[edit | edit source]

Firepower[edit | edit source]

The MGS' remote weapon-station has a small silhouette, is stabilized and autoloading. The remote weapon-station mounts a 105 mm M68A2 rifled cannon. The vehicle is primarily outfitted to support infantry combat operations. While it could take on some of the roles of tanks, it is not designed to engage in combat with tanks. The MGS can store 18 rounds of main gun ammunition in the turret. It has a rate of fire of six rounds per minute.[3]

Mobility[edit | edit source]

Because the Mobile Gun System uses a similar chassis as other MOWAG Piranha derivatives, it would have the same mobility, and could be rescued or salvaged by a Piranha-derived recovery vehicle.

Crew amenities[edit | edit source]

Because the vehicle was designed without air conditioning, crews are given individual cooling vests that circulate cooled water from outside the vehicle to the garment. Vehicle computers still overheat regularly.[3]

The large remote weapon station and relatively smaller hatch can make emergency exits difficult.[3] Because of General Dynamic's choice to incorporate a remote weapon-station into the MGS instead of a true turret it is very possible for the crew of a MGS to encounter an auto-loader stoppage in the heat of battle and not be able to repair it without disembarking from the vehicle and standing atop it to access the auto-loader.

Distribution[edit | edit source]

Nine Mobile Gun Systems are allocated to a battalion.[3] There were 27 Mobile Gun Systems per Stryker Brigade, but the Army is cutting the number per brigade to 10.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Following the end of the Cold War some theorists believed that the existing suite of U.S. armored vehicles, designed largely to fight Soviet mechanized forces in Europe, were not well suited to the lower-intensity missions U.S. armed forces would be tasked with. This led to the development of a new armored fighting vehicle designed for lower-intensity combat, rather than large-scale battle. However in actual service vehicles derived from the LAV III and its predecessor the MOWAG Piranha have been found to be vulnerable to weapons such as the RPG-7, requiring the improvisation of slat armor to defeat anti-tank rockets.

Canada had liquidated about half of its park of Leopard 1s in the early 2000s, with the intention of replacing them with the airmobile Mobile Gun System. The decision was reversed. In fall of 2006 a squadron of Leopards were sent to Afghanistan, and as of the summer of 2007 Canada is in the process of acquiring 100 surplus Leopard 2 main battle tanks for quick deployment.[5] Full-rate production has been indefinitely deferred.[6]

Airborne light tank[edit | edit source]

In early 2013, Army leaders began to say lightly-armed brigades needed mobile protected firepower for forced-entry style missions. After operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, they realized infantry brigades had a capability gap, with forcible entry forces lacking a sufficient protected firepower platform. Air assault forces, specifically the 82nd Airborne Division, relied on fire support from strike fighters. This risked civilian casualties and was not effective at destroying concealed or covered positions. The widespread use of improvised explosive devices also turned attention away from creating a C-130 transportable vehicle balancing speed, protection, off-road mobility, and lethality to focus on protection. Faced with a future conflict where airborne forces might have to combat heavily armed enemies while only equipped with light weapons, the Army revealed in September 2013 that they were looking for a light tank to support lightly-armed Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. The plan is to provide the XVIII Airborne Corps with a light tank which can be flown by C-130 cargo planes and airdropped into a combat zone. The idea is similar to the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance Airborne Assault Vehicle, which was removed from service in 1997. The vehicle must have a base armor package capable of defeating 14.5 mm ammunition, be able to bolt on additional armor packages after follow-on forces arrive, and be able to drive off road. Both tracked and wheeled vehicles are being considered, and no specific caliber gun has been chosen. The Army does not plan to spend money creating a new design and will choose an available vehicle. Due to budget constraints, the selection process has a relatively tight deadline of 24 months. Out of up to 140 candidates under evaluation, 10 potential vehicles will be narrowed down. Army officials will evaluate them to prepare to write requirements to inform interested vendors of a future solicitation. After a light tank is selected, they will buy some for testing and give them to the XVIII Airborne Corps for trials. The Airborne Corps will be equipped with a flotilla of vehicles with 44 in a battalion. Four vehicles will be in each platoon and 14 will be in a company. This distribution plan is referred to as 4-14-44. The last effort to acquire light armored vehicles was the Future Combat Systems program, which was conceptualized in 1999 and ended in 2009. The vehicles it developed could not survive roadside bomb attacks, and it used immature technologies at too high a cost. Army officials deny the light tank effort is taking after FCS, as it is meant to support the airborne-specific mission with armored capabilities. One of the vehicles being considered a light-tank candidate is the Stryker Mobile Gun System. Army officials say it would need additional blast protection a new suspension for more effective off-road mobility. General Dynamics claims it can make those modifications if the Army has final requirements.[4][7]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Army Fact File – Stryker". http://www.army.mil/factfiles/equipment/wheeled/stryker.html. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  2. Soldiers train on Stryker gun system
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Matthew Cox (4 February 2008). "Mobile Gun System brings the heat in Iraq". Gannett Government Media Corporation. http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/02/army_new_MGS_080204w/. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Army Looks to Mount 30mm Cannons on Strykers - Military.com, 20 September 2013
  5. Capt Brian Corbett (19 September 2007). "Canada’s new main battle tank – Leopard 2". http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Commun/ml-fe/article-eng.asp?id=3740. Retrieved 10 December 2009. [dead link]
  6. Brannen, Kate. "AUSA: U.S. Army Plans Post-War Management of Stryker Fleet." Defense News. February 23, 2012.
  7. U.S. Army in the Market for ‘Light’ Tanks - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, 7 October 2013

External links[edit | edit source]

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