With its adoption in 1988, the FH-88 series of 155mm field howitzer became the first indigenously designed and produced artillery piece for the Singaporean Army. Development of the system began in 1983 in an effort to modernize exiting artillery stocks (replacing the Israeli-originated Soltam M-71 series of 1975 in the process), broaden artillery fire support for the Army and develop less reliance on imported military goods. Development was headed by Ordnance Development (ODE) which since went on to become ST Kinetics - a major arms producer for Singaporean government forces. The weapon was designed to the 155mm NATO standard and entered serial production in 1987.
Its design was heavily influenced by the work done by Canadian-American artillery engineer Gerald Bull. Singapore purchased Bull's guns and went on to produce them locally.
The FH-88 relies upon a semi-automatic firing action and integrated recoil mechanism. Projectiles are loaded through the breech via an interrupted screw design with electronic rammer assist. The barrel is of 155mm caliber and capped by a perforated muzzle brake. The barrel sits atop its mounting system which allows for -3 to +70 degrees elevation and traverse +/- 20-degrees. This allows the crew of eight to engage to primarily indirect fire of enemy positions at ranges in excess of 10 miles (longer with rocket-assisted projectiles). The FH-88, like other field guns of its type, can fire conventional and chemical-based munitions as required. The gun and mounting system sits atop a six-wheeled split trail carriage which allows the system to be towed by mover vehicle.
The FH-88 is fielded alongside the limited production FH-2000 and newer SLWH Pegasus 155mm gun systems. Indonesia is the only foreign operator of the FH-88 system as of 2013.
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