Australia to purchase M795 155mm howitzer projectiles from United States

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm HE projectiles for an estimated cost of $148 million.

Australia to purchase M795 155mm howitzer projectiles from United States 925 001
A U.S. Marine with Battery I, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment stands ready to load an M795 High Explosive round into an M777 Lightweight 155mm Howitzer during the 11th Marine Regiment's Desert Fire Exercise aboard Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, Calif. April 23, 2013. (Picture source U.S. MoD)

The Government of Australia has requested to buy two thousand, five hundred four (2,504) rounds of M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm High Explosive (HE) Projectile. Also included are 155mm High Explosive, Illumination and White Phosphorous munitions, point detonating fuzes, electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232/M232A1 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $148 million.

The M795 155mm projectile is the US Army and US Marine Corps' standard 155mm high explosive (HE) projectile for howitzers. It is a bursting round with fragmentation and blast effects.

The M795 is designed to be a more lethal, longer range version of the M107. A welded band replaced the swaged rotating band of the M107 allowing the M795 to be fired with M119, or M203 propelling charges generating 6,000 meters more range. The explosive payload was also improved as was the fragmentation pattern, giving 30% higher lethality.

The M795 is fire by American-made M777A2 155mm lightweight towed howitzer. In 2008, the Australian Defence Force made a US Foreign Military Sales request for 57 M777A2s worth an estimated US$248m. Subsequently, 35 guns were purchased for the Australian Army to re-equip the 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery ;4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery and the 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery; replacing 155 mm M198s and 105 mm L119 Hamels. The first deliveries of M777A2 began in late 2010. An additional 19 guns will be bought directly from American production lines to enable a total of six batteries.

The M777A2 is an improved version of the standard M777 lightweight 155mm towed howitzer (referred as LW155 in U.S. army) designed and manufactured by the Company BAE Systems. The M777A2 is a towed 155 mm Howitzer jointly developed by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to replace the M198 155mm towed howitzer.

The M777A2 lightweight 155mmm towed howitzer can fire the full ranges of U.S. 155mm ammunition including unassisted projectiles to a range of 24 km and assisted projectiles to 30 km.


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