Rock Island Arsenal M198 Towed 155mm Heavy Howitzer
The M198 howitzer succeeded the 1930s-era M114 155mm howitzers in U.S. military service during the latter stages of the Cold War.
Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The medium size M198 replaced the well reguarded M114 that was developed in the 1930's. A continuing need to upgrade howitzers that could send projectiles down range at increased distances and have excellent elevation for over head plunging fire was the M198. This upgrade also needed adaptability to accept and fire all types of NATO 155 mm rounds by the contractor, the Rock Island Arsenal. Additional ammunition offered for the M198 include anti tank mine rounds, laser guided shells designed for stationary or moving targets, high explosive anti personnel grenades, illumination rounds, smoke and tactical nuclear round out the diverse weapon package.
With the Viet Nam war winding down the first prototype XM198 started testing trials. In 1979 the US Army received their first battalion delivery of 18. Soon after, the U.S.M.C. and Australia and some Middle Eastern armies placed battalion size orders.
The M198 is not a self propelled howitzer and is towed by a 5 ton truck that is used to carry the 9 man crew with supplies and ammunition. Other wheeled vehicles in the U.S. motor pool can handle the M198 along with the air mobility arm using the US Army Chinook CH-47C and the U.S.M.C. Super Stallion CH-53E. The howitzer is slung underneath for transport or be dropped by parachute to support ground forces.