Truck-mounted howitzers are artillery systems, based on wheeled
rather than tracked chassis. Recently there is a trend to obtain
truck-mounted howitzers opposed to traditional tracked artillery
systems. Typically truck-mounted howitzers are less expensive to
produce and to maintain, but as capable as tracked artillery
systems. Yet still truck-mounted howitzers are much more mobile than
towed howitzers. These artillery systems are used as combat support
weapons. Normally they provide indirect fire, however, if needed,
they also have direct-fire capability. Some modern self-propelled
howitzers have armored cabs. In modern combat these artillery
systems often exploit their mobility for shoot-and-scoot type
attacks in order to avoid counter-battery fire.
So which is
the best truck-mounted howitzer in the world? Which is the most
advanced, capable and effective truck-mounted howitzer? This Top 10
analysis is based on firepower, rate of fire, ammunition load,
deployment and redeployment time, protection, and some other
only includes truck-mounted howitzers, that are currently in
service. It does not include artillery systems that are under
development or at the prototype stage. Also it does not include
artillery systems, that received no production orders.
top 10 truck-mounted howitzers in the world are these:
is a Swedish next-generation self-propelled howitzer. Development of
this artillery system began in 2003. First Archer's were delivered
to the Swedish Army in 2013.
has a rapid, automatic loading system. The whole artillery system is
operated remotely, so there is no need for the crew to leave an
armored cabin. There is a high degree of automation.
range of fire is 30 km with ordinary projectile and 40 km with
rocket-assisted projectile. The Archer also fires Excalibur
precision guided extended range projectiles with a maximum range of
60 km. It is also compatible with Bonus precision guided
of fire of 8 - 9 rounds per minute. The Archer is capable of
multiple-round simultaneous impact firing. It fires up to 6 rounds
in 30 seconds, each in different trajectories, so that all of the
shells arrive on target at the same time. The Archer transports 20
only 30 seconds to stop and be ready for firing. Out of action time
is also as short as 30 seconds. Brief redeployment time allows to
avoid counter-battery fire.
artillery system is mounted on the commercially available Volvo A30D
6x6 articulated hauler chassis. It looses in terms of cross-country
mobility to tracked vehicles. It is one of the most advanced and
capable truck-mounted howitzers.
truck-mounted howitzer is supported by an associated ammunition
re-supply vehicle. Reloading time is up to 8 minutes. If necessary
the gun can be loaded by re-supply personnel alone. The Archer is
also assigned with one support (maintenance) vehicle per unit. It
conducts refueling and simple maintenance.
the G6 Rhino is an old design, it is still a very successful
First prototype was built in 1981. This artillery system saw action
in Angola, even before it was mass produced. It entered service with
the South African National Defense Forces in 1988. A number of these
self-propelled howitzers were exported to United Arab Emirates and
The G6 Rhino
was designed to meet a South African National Defense Forces
requirement. A 6x6 wheeled chassis was preferred over tracked one
due to their terrain. The G6 uses a specially-developed wheeled
chassis that is well armored.
Its front arc provides protection against 20 mm rounds. All-round
protection is against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters.
This vehicle is well protected against landmines. It is also fitted
with automatic fire suppression system.
This artillery system is fitted with a 155 mm/L45 gun-howitzer,
developed from the G5 field gun. It is completed with a
semi-automatic ammunition loading system. The G6 Rhino is compatible
with all NATO 155 mm ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with
standard HE-FRAG projectile and 39 km with rocket-assisted. It also
fires newly developed velocity enhanced long range projectiles with
a maximum range of 50 km. Maximum rate of fire is 4 rounds per
A total of 47 rounds are carried.
of action time is as short as 30 seconds. It allows to exploit
hit-and-run tactics and avoid counter-battery fire.
artillery system is operated by a crew of five. All crew members
operate under complete armor protection.
The G6 Rhino
might not be the most modern in terms of technology, but it is
superior to most other wheeled self-propelled howitzers both in
terms of firepower and protection.
Zuzana is a Slovak 155 mm NATO compatible version of the
It has improved fire control system and some other improvements. The
first prototype was built in 1995. This artillery system has been
adopted by Slovakia in 1998.
As of 2015 Slovak Army operates 16 of these systems. This artillery
system is also in service with Cyprus (12).
is armed with a turret-mounted 155 mm/L45 gun-howitzer. This gun
is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition.
Range of fire depends on
projectile and charge combination.
Maximum range of fire is
40 km with rocket-assisted shells.
The gun is
mounted externally between two separated compartments of the turret.
In this way the crew is completely isolated from potentially
dangerous gun and autoloader mechanisms and is protected from the
powder gasses generated during firing. The gun
is fitted with an autoloader, so rounds are fed automatically. The
loads shells and charges at any elevation.
A total of 40 rounds are carried by this artillery system. This
artillery system can automatically launch 6 rounds within the first
minute, or 30 rounds within 6 minutes. Manual rate of fire is
reduced to 2 rounds per minute. Sustained rate of fire is around 1.5
rounds per minute.
This artillery system has
an automatic gun-laying mode, when the firing data is calculated by
the onboard computer and the gun is automatically laid on the
claim that this system is capable of Multiple Round Simultaneous
Impact Firing (MRSI). It
can launch a couple of projectiles at different trajectories in
order for them to hit the target simultaneously.
artillery system uses a special 8x8 chassis developed by Tatra.
It uses many mechanical
components of the
Tatra T815 Koloss
heavy high mobility truck.
CAESAR 8x8 (France)
8x8 is a new French truck-mounted howitzer. Sometimes this artillery
system is referred as CAESAR 2. It emerged more than 20 years after
was introduced and has some improvements over its predecessor.
However basically it is an updated version of the CAESAR that can
shoot faster, is more accurate, more mobile, and can carry more
ammunition. In 2017 Denmark selected this artillery system to
replace their old
truck-mounted artillery system is fitted with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer,
which is capable of direct and indirect firing. The CAESAR 8x8 has a
brand new fully automated ammunition loading system. It is operated
by a crew of 2-3 men. Maximum rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute.
Though the CAESAR 8x8 is also proposed with a semi-automatic loading
system, which requires a crew of 4-5 men.
8x8 fires all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition, including ordinary
and rocket-assisted HE-FRAG rounds, cargo rounds with anti-tank or
fragmentation bomblets, smoke and illumination rounds. It is also
capable of firing BONUS or SPACIDO precision-guided anti-tank
munitions. The Bonus round carries two smart anti-tank submunitions
to a range of 34 km. Maximum range of fire is 42 km with
rocket-assisted HE-FRAG projectile and a whooping 55 km with a VLAP
projectile. Range of direct fire is up to 2 km.
8x8 is capable of MRSI firing. Furthermore the CAESAR 8x8 has a
brief in and out of action times and can be used on shoot-and-scoot
missions in order to avoid counter battery fire. It takes only 60
seconds to prepare this artillery system for firing or leave the
firing position. Within 2 minutes the CAESAR 8x8 can fire 6 rounds
and leave its position.
The CAESAR 8x8 is
based on a
Tatra T815-7 8x8 truck chassis. It has higher payload rating and
cross-country mobility than the original CAESAR, based on 6x6
chassis. The 8x8 version can carry almost twice more ammunition (30
rounds opposed to 18).
8x8 is available with 2- or 4-door armored cab. It provides
protection for the crew against small arms fire and artillery shell
splinters. Maximum level of ballistic protection is against 7.62x51
mm armor-piercing rounds. Maximum level of mine protection is
against landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with
explosive power equivalent to 6 kg of TNT. A 12.7 mm machine gun can
be mounted on top of the roof for self-protection.
B-52 is a Serbian self-propelled artillery system.
It was developed to replace older artillery equipment in service
with Serbian Army. First batch of 12 artillery systems was delivered
in 2007. It has been exported to Bangladesh (18), Myanmar (30), and
The NORA B-52 is fitted with 155 mm/L52 gun-howitzer. It is a
further development of the Yugoslavian M84 NORA A field howitzer. It
fires all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition. It is fitted with an
automatic gun loader enabling rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute.
Vehicle carries a total of 36 rounds. Autoloader holds 12 rounds.
Maximum firing range is 20 km with ordinary projectile and 41 km
with rocket-assisted projectile.
First versions of the NORA B-52 were mounted on Serbian FAP 2832
trucks. However improved production versions were mounted on the
Russian KamAZ 8x8 trucks chassis.
is also an armored version of this artillery system. Vehicle
provides the crew protection against small arms fire and artillery
shell splinters. There is also an NBC protection system for the
crew. Vehicle withstands blasts equivalent to 6 kg of TNT anywhere
under the hull.
The ATMOS (Autonomous Truck MOunted howitzer System) self-propelled
gun-howitzer was developed by Soltam of Israel as a private venture.
It was aimed mainly at export customers. Official details on this
artillery system were released in 2001. In 2003 an undisclosed
export customer ordered an undisclosed batch of these artillery
systems. In 2013 deliveries commenced to Thailand.
The ATMOS is armed with a 155 mm/L52 gun-howitzer. It was developed
from the Soltam ATHOS 2052 towed howitzer. This artillery system is
fitted with a load assisting system. It is compatible with all
standard 155 mm NATO ammunition. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with
standard HE projectile and 41 km with rocket assisted projectile.
Vehicle carries a total of 32 projectiles and associated charges.
Rate of fire is between 4 and 9 rounds per minute.
The ATMOS is also proposed with other guns, including a shorter
Soltam 155 mm/L39 and 155 mm/L45 guns. This artillery system can
be also fitted with a Soviet
M-46 130 mm field gun.
Advanced fire control system of the ATMOS receives target
information from forward observers. It includes navigation and
aiming systems and ballistic computer.
Vehicle is normally operated by a crew of four, including two
loaders. Cab of the ATMOS is armored and protects the crew during
travelling from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters.
The ATMOS is based on a Tatra T815 6x6 truck chassis.
French truck-mounted howitzer. It was developed by GIAT to meet the
fire support requirements of rapid deployment forces. The main
concept behind the CAESAR was to mount a howitzer on an army truck,
rather than to tow it. This artillery system is in service with
France. It has been exported to Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
The CAESAR evolved from the ageing F3 self-propelled howitzer, based
AMX-13 light tank chassis. It is armed with a 155 mm/L52
gun-howitzer, that has a semi-automatic ammunition loading system.
It fires all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition, including ordinary and
rocket-assisted HE-FRAG rounds, cargo rounds with anti-tank or
fragmentation bomblets, smoke and illumination projectiles. Maximum
range of fire with rocket-assisted projectile is 42 km. It is also
capable of firing Bonus precision-guided anti-tank munitions with a
range of 34 km. Maximum rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. Vehicle
carries only 18 rounds and associated charges.
The CAESAR can be set into and out of action in less than one
minute. Brief redeployment time allows to avoid counter-battery
fire. Vehicle can be also used on shoot-and-scoot missions.
This artillery system is operated by a crew of 6. The CAESAR has an
armored cab which protects the crew during traveling.
once in operation the gun crew has got no protection.
CAESAR truck-mounted howitzer is supported by an associated
ammunition supply vehicle, that is also based on a 6x6 truck
The CAESAR is fully air transportable and can be airlifted by the
C-130 Hercules or
A400M transport aircraft.
155 mm truck-mounted howitzer was developed in China. It was first
publicly revealed in 2007. It is a capable design. However it was
not adopted by the Chinese armed forces. The SH-1 has been exported
to Pakistan, and Myanmar.
The SH1 is armed with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer. It is compatible with
all standard 155 mm NATO ammunition, as well as ammunition developed
by NORINCO. Claimed maximum range of fire is 53 km which was
achieved with a rocket assisted V-LAP projectile. This artillery
system is able to use Chinese precision guided munitions, based on
the Russian Krasnopol technology.
Ammunition box of the SH-1 artillery system houses 25 rounds of
seven different types and their modular charges.
The SH1 is fitted with a computerized fire control system,
navigation, positioning and targeting systems. Vehicle receives
target information from a battery command post vehicle.
Vehicle has a crew of five. In traveling order an armored cab
provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell
once in operation
the gun crew has got no protection.
152 mm artillery system was developed in the former Czechoslovakia.
It was designed as an alternative for the Soviet
2S3 Akatsiya. Unlike many other howitzers of that period the
DANA is based on a wheeled chassis. Its production commenced in 1981
and ceased in 1994 with over 750 units built. Currently it is in
service with Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland and Libya.
The DANA is armed with a turret-mounted 152 mm/L39 gun-howitzer.
It fires all standard Soviet and indigenous 152 mm rounds. Czech
army currently uses three main types of ammunition, high-explosive
rounds with a maximum range of 18 km, improved shape high-explosive
with a maximum range of 20 km, and high-explosive anti-tank rounds
for direct fire at armored targets. The DANA carries 60 rounds.
Around 40 rounds are stored in the autoloader and are fed
It is worth mentioning that the DANA's autoloader was unique for its
time. It is able to load shell and cartridge in any elevation. This
feature is considered as standard nowadays and DANA was one of the
first artillery systems with such loader in service.
crew members of the DANA operate under complete armor protection.
artillery system uses an 8x8 armored chassis, that is based around
automotive components of the
Tatra T815 Koloss heavy high mobility truck. Czechoslovakia
preferred a wheeled chassis, because it was less expensive to build
and to maintain comparing with a tracked chassis.
The A-222 or
Bereg is a Russian coastal defense artillery system. It
was developed in the late 1980s. It was developed as a supplement to
mobile costal defense missile systems. A small number of these
artillery system is currently in service with Russia. First systems
were delivered in 2003. The Bereg is being proposed for export,
however as of 2015 it received no orders from other countries.
The main mission of this artillery system is to engage surface ships
and prevent over-the-beach landings of enemy forces. It can also
engage small-size fast moving naval targets, such as small landing
ships, fast attack craft and air-cushioned vessels at a range of up
to 20 km. It can also engage ground targets.
Bereg is armed with a 130 mm/L54 gun. The gun has a load-assisting
The Bereg fires HE-FRAG, armor-piercing and illumination rounds. It
is also compatible with laser-guided rounds, however this feature is
proposed as an option. Maximum range of fire is 27 km. Maximum rate
of fire is up to 10 rounds per minute. A total of 40 rounds are
artillery system is operated by a crew of 8.
The Bereg is based on a
MAZ-543M 8x8 high-mobility chassis. It has great cross-country