GLOBAL DEFENSE MARKET
EUROSATORY NEWS: Wheeled Howitzer Touts Quick Deployment Time
Excalibur Army photo
Paris — Excalibur Army from the Czech Republic has introduced a prototype for its new self-propelled howitzer concept called Morana.
The company, which designs a range of military vehicles, unveiled Morana during the Eurosatory international defense conference in Paris. Its 155 mm weapon system and 52 caliber barrel — coupled with a suite of digital capabilities — ensures the howitzer can deploy and fire as quickly as possible, said Frantisek Krompolc, project manager at Excalibur Army, on the sidelines of the conference.
“For Morana, it takes less than 40 seconds after stopping to provide aiming, loading and to shoot the first round,” he said. “Then to leave that firing position, it takes less than thirty seconds.”
The howitzer carries 45 ready rounds. With automatic loading capabilities, Morana can fire up to 6 rounds in under one minute from establishing its initial position.
The howitzer’s armored cab seats a three-person crew — a driver, commander and weapons operator — and features subsystem displays onboard to help a crewmember complete multiple tasks at once.
For example, during a demonstration at Eurosatory, the commander’s position displayed one computer that performs ballistic trajectory calculations based on the environment and mission and another panel to control hydrological and mechanical components of the weapons.
Among the features onboard Morana are navigation tools for the driver, an automated weapon aiming system, combat controls and ammunition management tools.
Krompolc noted that the weapon system can also fire multiple shots and time them to hit the same target at once, a technique known as “multiple rounds simultaneous impact.” The howitzer begins by shooting a round at a maximum elevation, and then fires consecutive shots as the barrel lowers — all timed to hit the target together.
Depending on the distance of the intended target, Morana can fire up to five rounds using this technique, Krompolc said. The ballistic calculations to make this possible are all done using the howitzer’s digital tools, he added.
Instead of being mounted in the center of the chassis, Morana’s superstructure is situated in the very back of the vehicle with the power unit located behind the cabin.
The entire vehicle includes an independent tower artillery system and armored cabin mounted on a 9.8-foot-wide chassis made by Czech Republic-based Tatra Force. This combines the mobility of a lightweight truck-mounted gun with the lethality of heavy artillery from the armament.
The width of the chassis is greater than what is used for the company’s other vehicles, providing more support for the howitzer’s weapon system and barrel, Krompolc said.
“It helps us have more stability during firing, so then you are more precise on the target,” he added.
The firepower of the gun allows Morana to hit targets from up to 25 miles away, something Excalibur Army’s customers were looking for, he said.
Topics: Global Defense Market