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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