The M198 155mm Towed Howitzer provides destructive, suppressive and protective indirect and direct field artillery fires in support of combined arms operations involving ground forces and air support.
The M198 Howitzer is categorized as a medium artillery system that provides direct support fires on an interim basis to the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams and direct general support fires to light and special purpose forces (Airborne and Air Assault).
As the successor to the older M114A1 155mm towed system fielded in World War II, the M198 provides significant improvements in lethality, range, reliability, availability, emplacement and movement. Normally towed by a 5-ton utility truck, the M198 system can also be dropped by parachute or transported by air by a CH47 Chinook helicopter or C130 aircraft. This makes the M198 artillery system highly adaptable to a changing battlefield environment.
The carriage of the M-198 Howitzer has a retractable suspension system and a top carriage which can be rotated 180 degrees to decrease overall length for shipment or storage. The fire control equipment may be used by one or two crewman for direct or indirect fire. The gunner on the left side controls left and right (traversing) settings and the assistant gunner on the right side controls up and down (elevation) settings.
A fire rate of 4 rounds per minute maximum can be achieved with a capable crew or 2 Rounds per minute in a sustained firing mode.
Elevation/depression of the main gun is +72/-2 degrees respectively. Left/right movement is 22.5 degrees with 360 speed traversal. Effective range is reported at 22,400 meters (14 miles) with conventional ammunition and 30,000 meters (18.6 miles) with Rocket-Assisted Projectiles (RAP).
The M198 155mm towed howitzer saw extensive action in the Persian Gulf War. It has been replaced by the BAe Systems Land Systems M777 Ultra-Light Howitzer.