U.S. National Guard has tested Hawkeye 105mm mobile artillery system

On July 23, 2019, U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard, tested the Hawkeye 105mm mobile artillery system, as part of Exercise Northern Strike 19, one of the largest reserve component exercises. This event is hosted annually at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Aleena Combat Readiness Training Center, as well as over the skies of northern Michigan and Lake Huron.

US National Guard has tested Hawkeye 105mm mobile artillery system during Northern Strike 19 925 001
Sgt. Joshua Bourbonnais of Test Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 122 Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard sights in the Hawkeye 105mm Mobile Weapon System during a simulated drill on Camp Grayling, Mich. 23 July, 2019. (Picture source Maj. W. Chris ClyneU.S. DoD )

The goal of Exercise Northern Strike 19, is to maximize the full-spectrum combat readiness of National Guard units through realistic, cost-effective joint fires training in an adaptable environment, with an emphasis on cooperation between joint and coalition forces.

The Hawkeye is a mobile artillery system based on the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (Humvee) fitted with a U.S. Army standard M20 105mm cannon mounted at the rear of the vehicle. This artillery vehicle is called 105mm Mobile Weapon System (MWS) and HAWKEYE by the manufacturer, AM General.

The AM General Hawkeye is based on a M1152A1 Humvee with a crew cab at the front and cargo platform at the rear fitted the 105 mm howitzer. The 105 mm cannon uses a hybrid soft recoil technology allows weapon to be paired with AM General HMMWV. The vehicle was unveiled by AM General during the Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting and exhibition in October 2016.

The 105 MWS battery is organized to suppress, neutralize, and destroy both ground forces and structures in an indirect and direct fire mode. The system allows the weapon to move, shoot, and move again without relying on heavy equipment or large number of troops/logistic support. The HMMWV platform provides unparalleled off-road mobility over all types of terrain to support this mission.

The AM General Hawkeye uses the MG 9000 digital fire control system which incorporates Northrop Grumman’s LN-270 Inertial Navigation System, Weibel Scientific’s MVR-700C Muzzle Velocity Radar System, Sekai Electronics’ DFS-02 Direct Fire Camera System, Sensor Systems’ S67- 1575-76 Global Positioning System antenna and Mandus’ DK 10 Gunner’s Display Unit.

In firing position two hydraulic jacks are lowered on the ground at the front of the vehicle and two large spades at the rear. A total of 4 to 6 ammunitions can be carried on the vehicle. To increase the number of ammunition another Humvee in cargo variant can be used to carry additional ammunition.

The HMMWV/Hawkeye Howitzer 105mm howitzer can be ready to fire in less than 2 minutes with a total crew of 4 soldiers. It can fire standard NATO 105 mm ammunition with a maximum range of 11.5 km with conventional projectile and 15.1 km with rocket assisted projectile.