Indonesian Marine Corps to get 8x8 self-propelled howitzers
The Indonesian Marine Corps gets a budget allocation for the purchase of self-propelled howitzers, according to reliable sources echoed by Defense Studies. The selected model of howitzer will have a caliber of 155mm, which is bigger than the current 105mm LG1 towed howitzer and M1938 (M-30) 122mm howitzer.
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Nexter CAESAR 8x8 as recently inducted in the Danish army (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Consequently, the plan to add French-made LG1 towed howitzers for the 2020-2024 period has been canceled. The purchase of self-propelled howitzers also completes the modernization of the Marine Corps’ defense equipment so that each unit will be mobile.
In contrast to the Kostrad Forces which required air-transportable capabilities for howitzers to move by themselves, which resulted in a Nexter CAESAR on 6x6 chassis, for the Marine Corps this limit did not exist because self-propelled howitzer transportation would use warships (LPD or LST). Thus, the size limitation is the gate for LPD and LST ships owned by the Indonesian Navy, Defense Studies reports.
So far, the Indonesian Marine Corps has not used heavy tracked artillery. So, choosing a wheeled SPH is more realistic. An 8x8 type is considered to provide wider operational capabilities than a 6x6.
Following the Marine Corps custom of purchasing products from the Eastern Bloc, the following is a selection of truck-mounted SP Howitzers available that adhere to NATO standards (weight, range of fire with original projectiles, number of projectiles carried, number of crew members) but we start the list with a French-made SPH, as the Indonesian armed forces are already familiar with a howitzer of the same origin:
* CAESAR 8x8 (28.4 to 32 tins, range 40 to 42 km, 3- to 5-man crew)
* Kryl 6x6 (23 tons, range 30 km, 5-man crew) made in Poland,
* Bohdana 6x6 (28 tons, range 35-40 km, 5 people) made in Ukraine,
* DITA 8x8 (29 tons, reach 39 km, 2-man crew) made in Czech,
* Suzana 2 8x8 (28.5 tons, 39.6 km range, 3-man crew) made in Slovakia,
* EVA 8x8 (28.1 tonnes, 41 km range, 3-man crew) made in Czech-Slovak,
* Aleksandar 8x8 (34 tons, range 37.5 km, 3-man crew) made in Serbia,
Compare with the Nexter Caesar 6x6 currently operated by Kostrad (17.7 tonnes, 42 km range, 5-man v-crew), it appears that all of these systems have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Considering the number of Marine Corps field artillery battalions is only 3 for 3 PasMars and even then composites, the Marine needs will not be much for this type of howitzer, Defense Studies concludes.
A self-propelled howitzer will equip the Indonesian Marine Corps (Picture source: Konstrukta)