|CRUSADER 155mm Self
Crusader self-propelled howitzer was being developed for
the US Army as a replacement for the Paladin and the US
Army requirement was expected to be for over 800 vehicles.
In May 2002, the Crusader program was officially
terminated by the Department of Defense because it was not
considered sufficiently mobile or precise for the evolving
security needs of the 21st century. In August 2002, United
Defense received the formal termination which ends all
further work on the program. United Defense has been
awarded a contract to use technologies developed for the
Crusader program to produce a lighter and more deployable
Objective Force Cannon or Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) cannon.
"Objective Force" is the working title for the US Army's
long-term future combat force. The NLOS cannon is planned
to be fielded in 2009.
Live firing trials of the Crusader began in February 2000
at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona, and in November
2000 a firing rate of 10.4 rounds per minute was achieved.
The system successfully completed its Preliminary Design
Review (PDR) in November 2001. The first production
versions were due in 2006 and it was planned to enter
service in 2008. The Crusader program was being carried
out by Team Crusader, led by United Defense.
Crusader artillery system was intended to provide enhanced
survivability, lethality and mobility and be more easily
deployable and sustainable than current systems. A battery
of six Crusaders can deliver 15t of ammunition in less
United Defense reduced the weight and size of the Crusader
vehicle from 60t to 38t to 41t allowing two vehicles
rather than one to be transported on a C-5 or C-17
aircraft. This allowed the howitzer to be more easily
available for fire support missions.
The Crusader consists of two vehicles, the XM2001 155mm
self-propelled howitzer and the XM2002 armored re-supply
vehicle. The high level of automation means that the
howitzer and re-supply vehicle each require only three men
to operate it. The gunners can control the entire loading
and firing process from the safety of the computerized
cockpit under armor and nuclear biological and chemical
warfare protection. In addition to the current tracked
system, the Crusader Armored Re-supply Vehicle is being
offered in a wheeled variant.
XM2001 SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZER
Crusader's 155mm self-propelled howitzer, XM2001, has
fully automated ammunition handling and firing that allows
firing of the 48 on-board rounds at rates of up to 10
rounds per minute to ranges in excess of 40km. The first
rounds of a mission can be fired in 15 to 30 seconds.
Additionally Crusader has the capability to fire multiple
rounds to achieve simultaneous impact on target (MRSI).
One Crusader vehicle can fire up to 8 rounds to strike a
single target at the same time. The digital fire control
system calculates separate firing solutions for each of
the 8 projectiles.
XM2002 RESUPPLY VEHICLE
Crusader is re-supplied by the XM2002 ammunition re-supply
vehicle, which is equipped with a fully automated
ammunition handling subsystem. This allows its three-man
re-supply crew to automatically transfer, under armor, up
to 48 rounds of ammunition and fuel to the howitzer in
less than 12 minutes. Resupply can be carried out in a
The resupply vehicle itself can be fully loaded with fuel
and 110 rounds of ammunition in less than 60 minutes.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
Crusader's command center is equipped with onboard
tactical systems including decision aids, and advanced
position and navigational aids and an automated IFF
The Crusader sends and receives real-time battlefield
information through the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical
Data System (AFATDS) and it can communicate directly with
other combat vehicles. The secure data transmission
network digitally links the Howitzer, Resupply Vehicle and
the rest of the battlefield to give every vehicle real
time situational awareness.
can deliver any type of round including high explosive,
white phosphorus and smoke, DPICM, illumination and SADARM
The Crusader solid propellant armament system consists of
the cannon, gun mount, and a laser ignition system. The
Crusader cannon tube is Integral Midwall Cooled (IMC)
which enables extremely high rates of fire. The cannon
chamber and tube are chrome-plated to minimize wear and
erosion. The chamber is compatible with the Modular
Artillery Charge System (MACS) solid propellant propulsion
The Crusader's engine and hydro pneumatic suspension give
a road speed of up to 67km/h and a cross-country speed of
48km/h. The transmission allows automatic scheduling of
engine speed and transmission ratio for fuel economy. The
driving system features drive-by-wire, positional
navigation and movement planning decision aids.
The US Army selected Honeywell International Engines and
Systems and General Electric to develop a new LV100-5 gas
turbine engine for the Crusader, in common with the M1A2
main battle tank, as part of the Abrams/Crusader Common
Engine Program. The new engine would be lighter and
smaller with rapid acceleration, quieter running and no