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Future Artillery 2023: Dstl develops Lightweight Fires Platform to replace 105 mm Light Gun

Dstl is developing a Lightweight Fires Platform technology demonstrator to replace the 105 mm Light Gun. The red boxes on the sides represent batteries, the ‘Mickey Mouse ears' house propellant, and up to 14 rounds can be stowed behind the elevating mass. (BAES IP)

The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is working on a Lightweight Fires Platform technology demonstrator programme to replace the 105 mm Light Gun, Janes learnt on the last day of Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2023 conference held in Munich from 30 May to 1 June.

A three-year pre-concept study to de-risk technologies on which a new Light Gun could be based was conducted in 2020–23 by BAE Systems, together with QinetiQ and engineering consultants Horiba Mira and Arke. This resulted in a detailed design for a remote-controlled/autonomous unmanned 127 mm self-propelled gun technology demonstrator that is electrically powered and optimised for strategic and tactical mobility. It is fitted with a 14-round magazine and autoloader and weighs less than 3,000 kg, with further mass reduction possible.

The concept is designed to withstand the recoil forces generated by a 127 mm gun, a calibre between 105 mm and 155 mm, found only on maritime platforms for which the capacity to manufacture ammunition already exists, albeit predominantly in Italy and the United States.

The technology demonstrator programme is funded directly by the British Army, with Dstl managing it on the service's behalf.

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