US Army engineers have developed a new muzzle brake design for the M119 towed howitzer system in a bid to reduce the weapon's recoil.
A team of engineers at Watervliet Arsenal designed a 105mm low blast overpressure (LBOP) muzzle brake, which redirects propellant gases towards the gun's rear section.
The more efficiently a muzzle break redirects gases to the rear of the gun, the greater the recoil reduction, according to LBOP design engineer Robert Carson.
LBOP programme lead Alan Ng said: "It is important to the warfighter because it allows them to be more lethal by sustaining [a] higher number of rounds fired per day.
"The blast overpressure from this new muzzle brake that is experienced by the artilleryman is significantly lower."
The new LBOP muzzle brake is said to be the first high-calibre muzzle brake designed specifically for an existing gun system, and increases safety compared to the current brake.
Ng said: "The reduction in impulse noise [blast overpressure] varies between 13% and 48% at various quadrant elevations and crew locations.”
The 105mm LBOP muzzle brake will be used with the M119 towed howitzer during short-range howitzer missions and training, the US Army stated.
Image: The M119 105mm howitzer, outfitted with the LBOP muzzle brake, ready for live-fire testing at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.