Asia boosts artillery capability [ID14D1]

05 November 2014

Countries in Southeast Asia are now enhancing the capability of their field artillery elements with the procurement of new towed and increasingly self-propelled (SP) artillery systems, with some also procuring artillery rocket systems (ARS). There is also a trend in Asia to field artillery systems with a 155mm/52 calibre ordnance, which have a longer range than the earlier and widely deployed 155mm/ 39 calibre systems.

As with all types of artillery systems, target acquisition is the key to the successful engagement of targets at longer ranges. As these are beyond the line-of-sight of forward observation officers, other sensors such as unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery/ mortar locating radars are now becoming of increasing importance.

The Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, TNI–AD), has started to modernise its artillery and late in 2012 ordered 37 French Nexter Systems CAESAR 155mm/ 52 calibre truck-mounted artillery systems, which is sufficient to form two regiments. Indonesia has also taken delivery of a batch of five 155mm FH-77 towed systems from Singapore and in 2012 ordered the Brazilian ASTROS II ARS, with first systems already delivered.

Malaysia has now taken delivery of 28 Denel Land Systems 155mm/45 calibre G5 towed artillery fitted with an auxiliary power unit (APU), with the latter very useful in deploying the weapon in difficult terrain such as that encountered in Asia. More recently, Malaysia has taken delivery of the Brazilian ASTROS II ARS, with two regiments now equipped with this system. These fire SS30 and SS40 unguided rockets.

Singapore has completely reequipped its field artillery with weapons designed, developed and manufactured by local company Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK). These include the 155mm/39 calibre FH-88 and the 155mm/52 calibre FH-2000, with both of these being fitted with an APU. The latest artillery systems to be deployed by Singapore are the Pegasus 155mm/39 calibre Light Weight Howitzer (LWH) and the Primus 155mm/39 calibre tracked SP system.

Singapore has also taken delivery of 18 Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

With the introduction of additional 155mm artillery systems, Singapore has phased out of service its Nexter Systems 105mm LG1 Light Guns, and some of these have now been sold to Thailand. The Royal Thai Army operates six CAESAR 155mm/ 52 calibre systems, plus larger numbers of the Nexter Systems 105mm LG Mk II Light Gun and the former Royal Ordnance 105mm Light Gun.

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