Nexter Systems LG1 105mm Howitzer

Colombian soldiers with their Nexter Systems LG1 105mm howitzer.

KUALA LUMPUR: Nexter Systems LG1 105mm howitzer. Shortly after the 2018 Budget was announced, the Defence Ministry came out with a statement that some 20 assets will be purchase. Among those items stated in the statement was “105mm pack howitzer”. The media understandably reported it as such including Malaysian Defence.

However, I can revealed that the statement is incorrect. The army is not buying the 105mm pack howitzer. As Leonardo, the new name for Oto Melara, is no longer marketing the 105mm pack howitzer, this was puzzling to say the least. Many assumed that we are buying the Norinco-made copy of the pack howitzer which reportedly have been sold to Mexico.

Nexter LG1 105mm howitzer. It is displayed in the sling-load configuration at DSA 2016.

Well the Army is buying the 105mm howitzer but its the Nexter Systems LG1 105mm howitzer. Although I wrote in the previous post that the decision to get new 105mm guns came out of the blue, it must be noted that Nexter displayed the LG1 at last year’s DSA.

Nexter Caesar 155mm SPH displayed at DSA 2016.

It is likely that there was a requirement for new towed and air-transportable 105mm guns together with new 155 towed/self-propelled howitzers. As I had mentioned before there was a conundrum over the 155/105 guns especially among the bean counters at the ministry.

An Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer getting reconnected to its Vamtac hauler after firing rounds at the Firepower Exercise 2017 in April.

This will continue as the Army also wants new towed or truck mounted 155mm howitzers to go along with the tracked M109 SPH we are getting. And yes we are getting the M109s from the US.

Canadian Army LG1 105mm howitzer

It must be noted that Singapore, one of the first adopters of the LG1 howitzers, have retired them in 2008 in favour of a towed 155m howitzer. Malaysia will be joining Thailand and Indonesia as the users of the LG1 in the region.

A PUTD Nuri hauling an Oto Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer at the Firepower Exercise 2017 in April

As for the Nexter guns, I am told that the number being bought is enough to equip one artillery regiment with another two more guns meant for the artillery school in Port Dickson for training and testing (new rounds and techniques).

Two 105mm pack howitzer crew getting the gun ready to fire at the Firepower Exercise 2017 in April.

I am not purview to the Army plans for the new guns or what will happen to the pack howitzers. There is always the possibility that a new artillery regiment be raised for the Nexter guns while the pack howitzers soldiering on for another decade or so. The latter is more likely as I believed there is six Kor Artileri Di Raja close support regiments together with a single regiment with the 10 Para, equipped with the pack howitzers.

An Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer in service with the 10 Para Brigade artillery battery, in its parachute delivery mode.

It is likely that the contract for the guns will be signed soon – after the details are sorted out – with the public signing conducted at DSA 2018. And whether or not more tube artillery will be bought – 155/105 – towed or truck mounted – remained unknown.

The crew of a G5 155mm howitzer prepping the gun for firing during the firepower demo 2016.

From Nexter.

The light towed 105mm gun is fully adapted to be used by rapid deployment units. Lightness,
ruggedness and ease of handling are its major operational assets.
In operation, the 105 LG1 has proven its unequaled reliability, mobility, manoeuvrability and firepower. Today, it makes the ideal fire support weapon for troops engaged
under all climatic conditions, including on the most difficult terrain. It can fire all compatible
ammunition available within NATO, such as US M1 or the extended range HE ER G3 from Nexter Munitions (more than 17km).
Nexter offers an optional system for the artillery environment (ballistic computer and inertial positioning and laying system) which is simple and adapted to flexible use of the equipment. The 105 LG1 can be integrated in all Fire Control Systems (all types of C3I system, etc

Colombian soldiers with their Nexter Systems LG1 105mm howitzer.

By the way, Deftech has revealed further details of the C-pattern Condor upgrade. Read it here.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
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34 Comments

  1. Unfortunately seems many even in the army does not really know the meaning of “pack howitzer”, just parroting what they are called and assume all howitzers are “pack howitzer”.

    The sudden appearance of the LG1, starstreak etc etc without any open tenders would raise a lot questions…

  2. The LG1 Is Good Accrucy and versetile, I think we get 20 105mm Only. By the way Marhalim Which one M109 Varaites is. Upgrade to A6 or Goes to A5 version ?

  3. OOT,
    About the MPA program:

    ‘ he said, adding that the offer from Japan was nevertheless, not related to the MPA’s procurement mentioned in the recent budget but more of a stop-gap measure’

    got that statement from other news,its means that RMAF will have two new type MPA in inventory?
    *kalau jadi la*

  4. Heh, heh:

    The Condor C has a V shaped hull, so it will be an MRAP/armoured people mover of sorts after all.

    I do not think all military purchases need an open tender. Not many people make 105mm guns anymore…

    I am also amazed that the RMAF is now even thinking about SIGINT capability for the MPAs.. vow. That sure is taking it up a step! Its not going to be a very basic MPA.

    Reply
    SIGINT has always been there just that something not talked about, on the other hand ELINT..

  5. I understand the need for the M109 155mm but a truck mounted or towed 155mm is just redundant. So does this deal for the LG1 105mm howitzer. Or are the tubes of the Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer and the G5 155mm is exhausted enough that they required complete replacement? Are they no more spare part available?

    Personally, the money could have been better spent elsewhere like for another MBT Regiment(VT4 tanks) or sights for the M4s or even bulletproof vest for the army. More RPGs(produce locally) could also be nice. Not a fan of the small and old M72 Law.

  6. Marhalim,

    Not sure if it’s still the case but in the past the Model 56s were operated by the Royal Artillery [Para] Regiment and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Close Support Regiments.

    We already have G-5s and we’re going to get M109s. If we get Caesar we’ll then have 3 types of 155mm guns – not the most ideal of situations.

    Tom Tom – ”The Condor C has a V shaped hull, so it will be an MRAP/armoured people mover of sorts after all.”

    It’s like saying that even though it can be penetrated by 7.62mm the Condor is still an ”armoured” vehicle.

    Tom Tom – ”I am also amazed that the RMAF is now even thinking about SIGINT capability for the MPAs”

    Nothing to be amazed about, the Beechcrafts with AMASCOS have the ability with the DRS300s.

    Reply
    Thanks. I fixed that.

  7. After M109 and LG1 What’s Next ?. M777 or Whealed 155mm SPH. As far as i know Marhalim. When look at the Archer Artillery System it is great and well good Firiring for 30 tones but The Cost ?. Don’t know how much. And M777, We Don’t need that as we have G5 Howitzers.

  8. Rocks – ” he said, adding that the offer from Japan was nevertheless, not related to the MPA’s procurement mentioned in the recent budget but more of a stop-gap measure’’

    It means that a budget for MPAs has already been allocated but given that new MPAs will take time to be delivered; it is possible that ex-Jap P-3s [which can be delivered faster] will be operated as a ”stop-gap measure’’; meaning exactly that – if the P-3s are acquired, they will be retired when new MPAs enter service …

    Reply
    I was at the same PC but chose not to write much about it. As for the P-3Cs I don’t think it will happen even as an interim measure which was the main reason the offer was taken up. I stand to be corrected of course

  9. azlan-

    “It’s like saying that even though it can be penetrated by 7.62mm the Condor is still an ”armoured” vehicle. ”

    are you sure condor can be penetrated by 7.62mm even it already go for black hawk down scene that they over there using AK-47?

  10. harry,

    Let me correct myself. The Condor is supposed to provide all round protection, including the driver’s glass panel, up to 7.62mm but it can be penetrated by 7.62mm AP. Same goes with the BTR, Sibmas, M-113 and VAB [in Bosnia numerous examples were penetrated by artillery mortar fragments]. At Bakara Market all the Condors were knocked out by RPGs. As I have mentioned previously, from the onset the Condor was intended for low threat scenarios – judging at the comments made about the upgrade, some overlook this.

  11. MA,
    So it is not “pack” howitzers after all. Oh well. If I recall correctly, TDM use 6 guns per battery, 3 batteries per regiment, plus 2 guns for training, that makes 20 LG1 howitzers?

    Azlan,
    “We already have G-5s and we’re going to get M109s. If we get Caesar we’ll then have 3 types of 155mm guns – not the most ideal of situations.”

    Tell that to the air force, eh… Sukhois and Hornets to be joined by J-31s in future? At least we can use NATO 155mm for all howitzers. In future will we have Vympels, AMRAAMs and PL-15s in inventory?

    Since we are getting the M109A5s (how many again? 30?) I guess we won’t be buying the 155mm CAESAR, unless on a replacement basis.

  12. @ chua

    The ideal condition is to get the MRCA as a replacement for the hornets, not to add to it. Same goes for the new LCA, to ideally replace the hawks and mb339s. There are willing buyers for retired hawks and mb339s, look at the migs, there are interested parties for the migs even if we a not serious in selling them off. Now western air forces are looking at contractor air training support, and they need lots of used fighters for this task. Contractors have been buying fighters from new zealand (mb339, skyhawk), czech (L159), jordan(f5), france(mirage f1), germany(alphajet), israel(skyhawk, kfir, f-16)for this purpose.

    Chinese fighters mostly are capable of using western weapons. Look at the JF-17, it can use chinese, western, russian and south african weapons including missiles.

    ……………

    Btw i the current artileri organisation with 105mm oto melara pack howitzers

    1 RAD para melaka
    2 RAD johor
    3 RAD perak
    4 RAD negeri sembilan
    5 RAD kelantan
    6 RAD sabah
    7 RAD pahang

    1 regiment now with 155mm g5 (21 RAD)

    2 regiments with astros (51 and 52 RAD)

    My take:
    Probably the LG1 to go to 1 RAD para. A new regiment (8 RAD? )with oto melara in sarawak. Re-establish 22 RAD with M109.

    BTW what happened to the retired singaporean LG1s? Stored? Scrapped?

    Reply
    I have no idea what happened to the Singaporean guns. I could be wrong but I think they will set up a new regiment for M109s. It is likely the positions and their equivalent ranks of the regiment you mentioned, 22 KAD. have been redistributed throughout out the Army. By creating a new regiment they can create new positions and the equivalent ranks. If they were to reestablished the old unit, they will have no positions to fill up as all of them have been redistributed elsewhere. That’s the reason RMAF cannot reused the old storied squadrons for the A400M. In the past this does not happened so they did it but nowdays its no longer possible due to the paper shuffling.

  13. @ marhalim

    That BS excuse is only applicable to TUDM (up till now their leaders have no regard to historical continuity of previous squadrons and plans as if they are living in dream land where money is unlimited). The army regularly reuse their old regiment numbers (most new battalions in sabah was battalion numbers stood down after the end of communist insurgency). The old 22 KAD personnel is transferred into 52 KAD astross. I expect 22 KAD to be stood up again with new personnel and M109 SPH.

    Reply
    It’s not an excuse but fact. They cannot have a historically correct squadron without no positions for the personnel. Yes they could do it but getting back positions which have been distributed to other personnel at other units is difficult. It is easier to get the JPA to get new positions. At the same time it is good for the higher ups to get the opportunity to promote more people ie empire building. You mentioned that the people of 22 KAD were transferred to 52 KAD, probably that was the reason the Rocket Brigade was finally stood up in 2016.

  14. Can Anyone tell me that What if A400M Can Transport the M109 and G5 Howitzers ?

    Reply
    I am not sure about the M109 but the G5 is likely though we have not done so AFAIK. The Caesar ability of being able to be driven into and out off the A400M was among its selling points.

  15. Malaysia making 105mm howitzer sakti
    What happen 105mm howitzer sakti?
    Dont making same mistake

    Reply
    When did we ever build the Sakti? Local production was offered if we buy them. Since we never did how is this a mistake?

  16. The army regularly does this. For a new batralion, the stood up 10 Regimen Ranger Diraja in 2008. This battalion was disbanded in 1995. They did not use a new number for a new battalion. A lot of other examples in RAMD, RRD, RAD that reuses old regiment numbers. New numbers are created only if old numbers are unavailable.

    For the M109 into the A400M.
    The A400M should be able to carry 1x M109 SPH
    https://i.imgur.com/rS2huMT.jpg

  17. … – ”Chinese fighters mostly are capable of using western weapons”

    Indeed they are BUT integration will be needed. Western OEMs will still have to share product/source codes with Chinese OEMs and the Chinese plane will have to be certified to release non Chinese ordnance. Even if a particular customer was willing to pay for this, whether the Western OEMs will agree is an entirely different matter.

    … – ”up till now their leaders have no regard to historical continuity of previous squadrons and plans as if they are living in dream land where money is unlimited”

    That’s an unfair an simplistic statement. There are many factors to consider as Marhalim took the time to explain.

    Chua – ”Tell that to the air force, eh… Sukhois and Hornets to be joined by J-31s in future?”

    The RMAF always wanted a single frontline type ….

    Gladly, there is no intention at all to get JF-17. After years of trying to reverse engineer stuff the Chinese are still unable to produce their own fighter engines.

  18. Hazwan – ”I understand the need for the M109 155mm but a truck mounted or towed 155mm is just redundant”

    No …. It depends on the requirements. Obviously if an end user had an expeditionary role then lorry mounted guns would be needed as they have a lighter footprint than tracked SPHs. Take the French for example, they have tracked SPHs but still see the need for CAESAR. In our case, it would take several sorties but if we were faced with a need to rapidly deploy guns to East Malaysia; CAESAR can be loaded on C-130s. An advantage CAESAR has its that it’s mobile; unlike the G-5s.

    In the past I speculated whether the army still saw a future need for 105mm guns; now I have my answer. Then again things could change in the future. Under a new Army Chief and head of the Artillery Directorate; the army in the future might decide on an all 155mm structure.

    Marhalim – ”probably that was the reason the Rocket Brigade was finally stood up in 2016.”

    Yes, despite an announcement about the raising of the Rocket Brigade being made several years previously. People overlook the fact that there’re various bureacratic issues to be looked at. Even something considered ”trivial” like adding the number of guns to a battery will have implications as to the extra crews needed and ranking; never mind the needed staff and seniority issues associated with more complex stuff like raising a new brigade.

    Maha – ”What happen 105mm howitzer sakti?”

    The Sakti narrative started and ended in 1997 …. Just like the plans to get a Bosnian MLRS before we bought ASTROS.

    Chua,

    On the Chinese fighters and Western ordnance, a point to take note is just because a particular weapon is advertised as being able to be operated from a particular aircraft; doesn’t necessarily mean that actual integration and certification has been done. In the majority of cases the OEM will only take the needed steps if a customer wants and is willing to pay for it; assuming all parties agree.

  19. …,

    If memory serves me well – 21st Regiment originally operated the FH-70s but later received the G-5s operated by 22nd Regiment; which was re-designated 52nd Regiment, with ASTROS. The unit that operates ARTHUR is 61st Regiment, part of the Rocket Brigade. Given that ARTHUR is part of the Rocket Brigade we can deduce what we intend to use ARTHUR for.

    Chua – ‘If I recall correctly, TDM use 6 guns per battery, 3 batteries per regiment,

    What is officially authorised and how Regiments are organised can be different things due to manning levels, number of guns, etc. At present if I’m not mistaken; most Close Support Regiments have batteries with 6 guns, organised in 3 troops of 2 guns each
    [as you mentioned] however this is the official TOE; the reality is different I suspect, just like how not all regiments will have 3 batteries [some infantry regiments had less than the authorised number of companies].

    The term ”regiment” can be confusing :] Following British practice it can mean a regiment [what other armies would call a ”battalion”] consisting of several batteries but can also include a ”regiment” consisting of only a single battery.

    Marhalim,

    A mystery is when the term ”Close Support Regiment” came into being? Take the 3rd Royal Artillery Regiment, it’s also been called the ”3rd Close Support Regiment”.

    Reply
    Not really sure. I believed the CS regiment designation came into being with the arrival of the FH70/G5 guns I believed. As you may know, battalions and regiments from certain brigades/divisions could end up in another. One officer described it to me as “Biasalah askar Malaya. I think it is done purposely to confuse the enemy as well as enthusiasts and reporters including myself. That said I think those who is paid to keep track of our units for a living may well have our ORBAT pretty tight.

  20. G5 selling point is being able to be transported by C-130 after all (other being its 52 caliber gun).

    As for the LG1, the concern is more about it can be underslung by Nuri or EC725 rather than being able to be transported by transport aircraft. Prolly the reason why we go for LG1 after all instead of L118 or Kh-178 since LG1 is the lightest of between them. Even when indonesia bought Kh-178, they are meant for the army regular artillery force while their QRF (kor marinir) got the LG1 as well

  21. @ azlan

    The normal series regiments with pack howitzers are called the close support regiment aka regimen bantuan rapat as it operates close to the troops that is supported

    The 2x series regiment with 155mm howitzers is just called support regiment aka regimen bantuan. It is quite confusing as it sounds like it is a logistics element when it is actually the king of battlefield.

    Yes it came into being when the 2x series regiment came into being.

    Artillery batteŕies can be detached for operations independently. For example 1 of the 3 RAD perak battery is now in alor setar.

  22. Dundun,

    The Indians had a major problem when the IAF said its Mil-26s weren’t certified to lift M777s and didn’t have the needed slings. Enter the Chinook.

    I think the main reason we bought or are buying the LG1 is because Nexter has been actively pushing it and the local agent has some ”pull’. I suppose it’s consolation for Nexter given that its been trying to Caesar here since the early 2000’s.

  23. Q:

    1. Why does the LG 1 have a longer range than the Oto Melara despite both being 105mm. Has it something to do with calibre ad muzzle velocity.

    2. Why are 120mm howitzers not commonly used? Why is it only155mm vs 105mm? Isn’t 120mm a good compromise?

    Reply
    I think for the first question the LG1 has a longer barrel allowing the shell more velocity hence a longer range

  24. @ tomtom

    1. Yes, probably has to do with the longer barrel increasing the muzzle velocity and a sturdier frame design to windstand the stronger recoil caused by the higher muzzle velocity. LG1 also has a special base-bled round, and that is the round used to get the 17km range.

    2. 105mm and 155mm howitzer calibre commonisation in the western world is because of nato choosing that 2 size for commonality.

  25. Tom Tom – ”Why are 120mm howitzers not commonly used? Why is it only155mm vs 105mm? Isn’t 120mm a good compromise?”

    Depends on a users requirements and preference. Some armies have gone down the 120mm route; some haven’t. Some looked at 120mm mortars but decided not to acquire any – of the opinion that 120mm mortars don’t provide any key advantages not provided by a howitzer. Some armies – notably the French have towed 120mm mortars but these are heavy and require a ladder for the loader due to the height – towed Thomson Brandts were used in Iraq by the French; towed by VABs. The Sings are believed to have operated Soltam towed 160mms in the past. The Americans has a 107mm M113 mounted mortar.

    Irrespective of the calibre a mortar can only complement but never replace a mortar. We originally looked at 120mms in the late 1990’s but dropped the idea and went for 81mm Expals instead.

  26. “The Sings are believed to have operated Soltam towed 160mms in the past.”

    They did in fact, I have images of the mortar featured in Pioneer that I saved before Military Photos forum went down.

    The mortars were either Soltam or Tampella, which were related designs anyway. Muzzle loaded which made them slow to fire and required a large crew, which made their life in the SAF real felt short. In was likely in the 1980s to 1990s.

  27. Malaysia has always used the 81mm mortars for support at company level. Platoon level uses the 60mm mortars. We have 120mm mortars too but on carriers.
    Howitzers of the 105 n 155mm has different ranges based on the calibers. The longer gun has longer ranges because the gas has more length to push the shell to a higher velocity n thus distance. There are also shells with different base designs.

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