Brutus is a 155mm mobile hybrid soft recoil howitzer jointly developed by AM General and Mandus Group.
Operated by the US Army, the howitzer supports the mission of field artillery by destroying or suppressing enemy units.
Brutus mobile howitzer incorporates a patented soft recoil technology similar to that of the Hawkeye 105mm mobile weapon system. The field-proven artillery reduces testing, maintenance, logistics, and training costs.
The lightweight howitzer with compact size allows it to be deployed by air, sea, truck and rail. The mobile weapon is also adaptable to multi-mission environments. It also meets the requirement of inexpensive, truck-mounted large calibre fire support weapon.
Development of Brutus mobile howitzer
The US Army unveiled plans to replace its existing 105mm and 155mm towed howitzers with a new mobile howitzer in February 2018, leading to the development of new Brutus 155mm howitzer system.
The Brutus truck-mounted artillery system made its debut and was tested at the Army’s Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, US, in November 2018.
An experimental Brutus 155mm mobile gun was exhibited at the Northern Strike 2019 event held in Michigan, US, in July 2019.
AM General displayed the truck-mounted Brutus 155mm howitzer at the annual meeting and exposition of the association of the US Army (AUSA) held in October 2019.
Brutus mobile howitzer design and features
Brutus self-propelled howitzer has a length of 7.6m, width of 2.44m and height of 3.5m. The weight of the total system without weapon and stabilisers is 13,435kg (29,620lb).
The hybrid hydro-pneumatic soft recoil technology installed in the howitzer provides increased mobility, survivability, and lethality, while minimising maintenance and manpower requirements. The simplified design of elevation and direction system further enhances reliability.
The howitzer also offers off-road mobility to keep pace with its supported manoeuvre units and enables the firing units to deliver timely and responsive direct and indirect fires. It also ensures firing with full manual back-up capabilities to support continuous operations.
The shoot and scoot capability of the howitzer increases responsiveness and improves crew survivability. The firing batteries and platoons can emplace, fire and displace before being attacked by the enemy firing units.
Five to seven crew members operate the howitzer based on mission needs for performing emplacement, firing and displacement. It also offers greater lethality as it allows fielding of additional howitzers without need of more manpower.
The mobile gun uses fielded cannons, existing ballistics kernel and reuses fielded prime mover, allowing it to improve “time to field”.
Armament aboard Brutus howitzer
Brutus howitzer is armed with a 155mm M776 cannon with a maximum rate of fire of five rounds per minute, while the sustained rate of firing is two rounds per minute.
The mobile howitzer can hit targets at a range of 24.7km with standard ammunition and attain a firing range of 30km with rocket-assisted projectiles (RAP). It uses all ammunition types which are compatible with the M776 cannon.
The gun can rotate through -5°/72° elevation angle and traverse through 360°. It can be operated in harsh temperatures ranging between -40°C and 52°C.
Fire control system of Brutus howitzer
Brutus mobile howitzer features both optical and digital fire control systems. Its optical fire control unit is equipped with M171 telescope mount carrying an M1372A panoramic telescope.
The digital fire control system integrates a pointing and aiming system, inertial navigation system, GPS antenna, muzzle velocity radar system, direct fire sight with laser range finder and a gunner’s display unit.