M119 105mm Howitzer

The M119 is a light weight air mobile air droppable (by parachute) or Towed Howitzer with an average crew of seven soldiers. It provides destructive, suppressive and protective indirect and direct field artillery fires in support of combined arms operations. The howitzer can be quickly moved and employed to provide maximum fire power with a minimum of combat loaded weight. It also provides a low silhouette and requires no recoil pit. These aspects combined makes the M119 Howitzer one of the most lethal weapon systems in the Army inventory. It replaced the M102 105mm Howitzer, beginning in 1989.

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Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment M119 Howitzer, Kirkuk, Iraq, 30 June 2007
Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment M119 Howitzer, Kirkuk, Iraq, 30 June 2007.

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Howitzer, Light, Towed: 105 mm, M-119

The M119 was originally designed, developed, and produced by Royal Ordnance, Nottingham, England as the L118/L119 British Light Gun. In the L118 configuration, the weapon uses separate loading 105mm Abbott type ammunition. The L118 served with distinction during the Falkland Islands conflict. The L119 is identical to the L118 except for the cannon tube which is reconfigured to fire all NATO standard 105mm semi-fixed ammunition. The M119 incorporates standard U.S. Fire Control and other changes from the British Howitzer.

The M119 is normally towed by the Truck, Utility: Heavy Variant, 10,000 GVW, 4X4, M1097 (HMMWV).

Light Artillery System Improvement Program (LASIP)

The Light Artillery System Improvement Program (LASIP) Block I improvements, initiated in 1998, provided a new low-temperature recuperator, which increased low-temperature capability (from -25 F to -50 F), increased brake diameter from 11" to 12", improved interchangeability of spare/repair parts, simplified tail light assembly, improved trail access cover, reduced maintenance on the elevating clutch, increased trail life, and added brackets to incorporate a chronograph and battery computer system. Block I improved howitzers were redesignated as the M119A1.

Additional LASIP improvements in Block II include a redesigned elevation gearbox, removal of radioactive tritium from the fire control system, installation of a new buffer with improved seals and no compensating tubes, simplified oil filling and monitoring hardware, addition of a rollbar to reduce damage during airdrop, and an improved rammer/extractor tool. Application of LASIP Block II to the M119A1 fleet was scheduled to be completed in FY2004. Howitzers with Block II applied are designated as M119A2.

M119 Howitzer Specifications

Length 20 ft 9 in. (6.32 m) (Tube in firing position)
Width 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Height 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) (Tube locked in clamp)
Weight 4,270 lbs
Bore diameter 105 mm
Range 14,000 m (standard rounds)
Range 19,500 m (rocket-assisted rounds)
Rate of fire: Maximum 6 rounds per min for 2 min
Rate of fire: Sustained 3 rounds per min for 30 min

M119A1 firing exercise.
M119A1 firing exercise.

M119A1 being rigged for airdrop on an air delivery platform.
M119A1 being rigged for airdrop on an air delivery platform.

Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, position an M119A1 Howitzer near Forward Operating Base Cobra, Afghanistan, in support of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment who participated in Operation Crackdown, 23 October 2004.
Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, position an M119A1 Howitzer near Forward Operating Base Cobra, Afghanistan, in support of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment who participated in Operation Crackdown, 23 October 2004.

Soldiers from 37th Field Artillery fire an M119 Howitzer as part of a training exercise conducted near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on 17 September 2004.
Soldiers from 37th Field Artillery fire an M119 Howitzer as part of a training exercise conducted near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, on 17 September 2004.

Soldiers from Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery train on firing points with an M119 Howitzer outside Camp Liberty in Iraq on 23 December 2005.
Soldiers from Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery train on firing points with an M119 Howitzer outside Camp Liberty in Iraq on 23 December 2005.

M-119A1 firing exercise.
M-119A1 firing exercise.