AM General to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye 105 mm mobile howitzers to US Army

According to information published on May 18, 2021, American company AM General, a global leader in military-grade tactical vehicles and mobility systems, recently received a Firm-Fixed-Price (FFP) contract from the United States Army to provide two HUMVEE 2-CT Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Howitzer Systems (MHS) for the U.S. Army’s characterization test.
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Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Weapon System while crew rest from conducting drills 23 July 2019 assigned to a test Platoon of 2nd Battalion, 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard.(Picture source U.S. DoD)

AM General and its strategic partner, Mandus Group, have been integrating the soft recoil technology (SRT) onto light, mobile, transportable, and survivable platforms without sacrificing firepower. SRT is a disruptive technology that will reduce the firing loads for direct and indirect weapons systems, enabling combat systems to meet emerging requirements. The technology is ready now and can be deployed on existing weapons platforms for an immediate effect on the battlefield. Soft recoil enables a reduction in overall system weight, making systems more agile and responsive to benefit the supported maneuver commander.

The HUMVEE 2-CT (M1152 two-door cargo truck) that serves as the mobile platform, will come with a standard 14,100 lb. gross vehicle weight, 205 hp engine, and antilock braking system (ABS). While the U.S. Army conducts characterization testing of the 2-CT Hawkeye MHS over the next year, AM General and Mandus Group will continue to refine the technology for integration of the soft recoil technology onto other mobile platforms. Scalability is already being tested with a 155mm prototype. The group is also exploring integration into other existing and future combat systems.

The Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Artillery Weapon System was tested by the U.S. 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard in July 2019.

The HUMVEE 2-CT nicknamed HAWKEYE, is a 105mm mobile self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured by AM General in collaboration with the company  Mandus Group. This artillery system consists of an M1152A1 Humvee 4x4 tactical vehicle with a crew cabin and flatbed platform which is fitted with one M20 105mm cannon. The Hawkeye 105mm Weapon System is a lightweight, modular, high-performance howitzer designed to be integrated with many types of combat transportation. By utilizing emerging technologies, it will set the standard for light artillery in the areas of firepower, tactical mobility, strategic deployability and command and control. The Hawkeye will be a superior alternative to existing weapon systems such as the 106mm Recoilless Rifle, 120mm Mortar, and other 105mm artillery systems due to its low-cost precision strike capability.

The Hawkeye has incorporated a groundbreaking modular design. Due to its lightweight and low recoil forces it can be mounted to many types of military vehicles including wheeled, tracked, rail, watercraft, aircraft and towed systems. This means that a performance based 105mm artillery system can be deployed to the land, sea, and air in ways that were never before possible. Additionally, the Hawkeye has been designed to accommodate a full spectrum of barrel lengths if range is a primary requirement.

With the application of a digital fire control system and on-board communication, the need for surveyed firing points, aiming circles, and wire lines is eliminated. The 2-CT™ Hawkeye is able to shoot a two-round mission and vacate the area in 3 minutes (1 ½ minutes to first round fired). The 105mm cannon is mounted on a circular platform allowing firing operations on 360°. The gun has a maximum firing range of 11.6 km with standard ammunition and 19.5 km with rocket-assisted projectiles. It can be almos used for direct fire with a maximum range of 2 km.

The accompanying support vehicle utilizes a HUMVEE 2-CT™ and provides a high level of crash protection and safety restraints for up to four soldiers who assist artillery units.