Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / AS90

AS90

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    United Kingdom

  • NICKNAMES
    Braveheart (project for L/52 development)
    L131 (official UK designation)
    Krab (Polish development)

  • DESIGNED
    1986 - 1989

  • DESIGNER
    Vickers

  • PRODUCTION
    1992 - 1995

  • PRODUCERS
    United Kingdom

  • QUANTITY
    179

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    High burst rate of fire
    Well armored
    Good accuracy
    Limited road speed
    Shorter range than contemporary systems

Introduction

The AS90 is a modern tracked 155mm self-propelled howitzer of British origin. The AS90 was developed in the 1980's and was selected in 1989. The first units were in active service in 1993. AS90 stands for Artillery System for the 1990's. The official UK military designation is L131.

Layout

The AS90 has a conventional layout. The crew of five consists of a commander, driver, gunner and two loaders. The driver is seated in the front hull with the drive train to his right. The turret is mounted at the rear and houses the rest of the crew.

Firepower

The AS90 is armed with a 155mm L/39 howitzer connected to a fully automatic loader. The maximum range is 24.7km and 30km with assisted ammunition. A burst rate of fire of 3 rounds in less than 10 seconds can be achieved. The maximum rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute and sustained fire is 2 rounds per minute. A total of 48 projectiles are carried. A 52-caliber barrel is available. A MAG machine gun is mounted on the turret roof for self-protection.

Protection

The AS90 is operated under full armor protection. The thick steel armor provides protection from small arms fire, shell splinters and 14.5mm rounds over the frontal arc. An NBC and fire extinguishing system are standard and 10 smoke grenade dischargers are fitted to the turret.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides the AS90 with a good cross country performance. A Cummins 660hp diesel engine provides propulsion and an APU provides power when the engine is not running. Due to the weight of the system the speed is somewhat limited.

Users

The AS90 is only used by the United Kingdom. A total of 179 units have been produced of which a large quantity will be phased out to be replaced by a lightweight and highly mobile piece of artillery. In Poland the Krab, which is an AS90 turret mated with a local chassis, is undergoing trails.

Variants

AS 90

The AS90 is a tracked self-propelled howitzer. The AS90 is armed with a 155mm L/39 howitzer connected to an automatic loader. Many AS90's were to be upgraded with a L/52 barrel, but this project has been canceled. In Poland the Krab is under development which is an AS90 turret mated with a local chassis.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew5 (commander, driver, gunner, 2 loaders)
Length7.20 m (hull), 9.90 m (gun forward)
Width3.40 m
Height3.00 m (overall)
Ground clearance0.41 m
Weight45.0 t combat load
Ground pressure0.9 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 6 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear, 4.59 m length, 0.55 m width
Turn radius?
EngineCummins VTA-903T-660 V8 diesel, 660 hp at 2.800 rpm
Power ratio14.7 hp/t
TransmissionRenk LSG 2000 automatic, 4 forward, 2 reverse
Speed55 km/h
Fuel750 L
Range370 km at 45 km/h
Wall0.88 m
Trench2.8 m
Gradient60% gradient, 25% slope
Fording1.50 m
ArmorSteel, up to 17 mm
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
Smoke2x5 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament155mm L/39 howitzer
7.62mm MAG machine gun
Weapon1155mm L/39 howitzer
48 rounds
-5 to +70° elevation, 10°/s
360° traverse, 10°/s
non-stabilized
Weapon27.62mm MAG machine gun on turret roof
1.000 rounds, 100 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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