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  • Rock Island Arsenal M119 Towed 105mm Medium Howitzer

    The M119 was nothing more than an Americanized license-production version of the British L118/L119 105mm howitzer.

     Updated: 5/10/2017; Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The 105mm M119 was originally designed, developed, and built by the Royal Ordnance Factories of Nottingham, England, as the L118/L119 British Light Gun. The United States Army saw the advantages of the British-designed gun against the US Army's M102 howitzers then in service. In 1987, the United States purchased license rights to produce the L118/L119 series locally and assigned the designation of "M119" to the system. Differences between the two were subtle to the uninitiated and include Americanized digital fire control systems, an increase to low-temperature capability (-50 from -25 degrees F), improved maintenance and repair features and other simplifications/improvements based on US Army operating criteria.

    At its core, the M119 is a light-weight howitzer, primarily towed into position by a HUMMWV multipurpose utility vehicle or by way of air mobility systems such as a transport helicopter. Additionally, the M119 is cleared as an air droppable system from certain military aircraft - this including the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor helicopter and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane - its fall retarded by way of parachute. To handle the set up and firing of the M119, a standard crew of seven personnel is the norm.

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    Rock Island Arsenal M119 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1989
    Type: Towed 105mm Medium Howitzer
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Royal Ordnance, Nottingham, UK
    Production: 5,000

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 7
    Length: 20.73 feet (6.32 meters)
    Width: 5.84 feet (1.78 meters)
    Height: 7.25 feet (2.21 meters)

    Operating Weight: 2 tons (2,050 kg; 4,519 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: None
    Nightvision Equipment: None

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): None. This is a towed artillery piece.

    Engagement Range: 7 miles (12 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 105mm barrel

    Dependent on ammunition carrier. Types include HE, illumination and smoke and may be rocket-assisted.

    Global Operators / Customers

    United States

    Model Variants

    M119 - Base Production Model fielded in 1989.

    M119A1 - Improved M119 with Block I update; new low-temp recuperator; increased low-temp capability; increased brake diameter; improved repair functions; revised trail access cover; battery computer system.

    M119A2 - Improved M119A1 with Block II update; improved sighting package; revised elevation gearbox; sans radioactive Tritium in fire control system; new buffer with revised seals; simplified monitoring hardware; rollbar for air drop protection.