Is it new? The concept is certainly not new as insurgents on many continents have used the method of a heavy gun on a flatbed. Using the same concept but with the application of existing equipment configured and redeployed to fill a capability gap, AM General (Stand N5-152) is about to put into production a solution for the strike force and infantry, which the company says will be a welcome addition.
It is called the HMMWV Hawkeye, which may initially be confusing until it is explained that is not a UAV, nor is its heritage Australian. It is the Hawkeye Howitzer M20 cannon produced by Mandus Group, which has been mounted on a Humvee using only four bolts. The UK representative Andrew Gillespie said: ‘‘The need for agility and speed to ‘shoot and scoot’ is an absolute must. Placing a 105mm howitzer on a Humvee or any four-wheeled drive platform does have its problems particularly with recoil, which typically meant that the 105mm howitzer traditionally was a towed gun.
‘‘AM General has overcome this issue with 70 per cent of the energy expelled forward, and 30 per cent of the recoil is used to reload. The solution has many advantages. The platform is transportable by most, if not all, air transporters, including C-27, C-130, A400 and Chinook − albeit underslung.
‘‘The logistic footprint of the vehicle is low, as are the life-cycle costs. Simplicity of design and use of existing equipment already available, maintenance and crew training is minimal making the solution a winner for a gap that needs to be filled.’’