This thing would have been a beast; 155mm auto-loader on an Abrams-based chassis. Good thing it was cancelled as it never worked right, was super expensive, and over 50 tons in its combat loaded configuration.
Walk-around of the one of the test vehicles at Ft Sill, OK from Prime Portal.
Not my particular bag, but you’ve got to hand it to I Love Kit - they bring out some interesting stuff!
They seem to be on a howitzer kick lately, which I am all for.
M55 - Homer Simpson-type sigh(!). That’ll be a hefty piece of plastic when it does hit the streets though; I was considering the Elite Modellbau resin version, but events have overtaken such plans (as they often do given the gestation of my planning).
@HeavyArty It never worked? What was wrong with it?
I thought it worked during trails and that the critics and pundits said that it was too heavy (need two C-17s, one for the Crusader SPH and the other for its ammunition carrier) and thus killed the Crusader program, hence the FCS 155mm NLOS-Cannon that was too light and too short ranged compared to the Crusader.
It never really worked as originally designed; a liquid-propelled gun. This was abandoned for a traditional powder propellant, which wasn’t much better, nor longer range, than the Paladin. Overall, it was an overpriced system that didn’t really give us any more range nor capability.
Sounds like many other inventions or new products,
too expensive for almost no extra benefit …
The German self propelled gun was looked at-why wasn’t it chosen?
The US Army and Govt wanted a US system and found it more cost-effective to continue to upgrade the M109 system. The current M109A7 and future M1299, along with improved munitions and propellants, are quite effective.
actually there were several different versions built off the same hull. I suspect that it had a total cost of more than the Abrams. The first was a hybrid diesel electric drive, and this was the first one shot down at Ft. Bragg. The second one was similar, but used a gas turbine and a modded X1100 power pack. It was a total failure. Not sure they even fire one round thru it. That hull was brought back to the first concept, and sat in storage while we built another gear box (takes about six weeks in the tool room). It later got the new 155 gun that used liquid propellants. Really shot well, and there was a lot of serious thought to changing over. There was a third hull built that used a thermo magnetic gun. The real isse with it was not the hull or drive train, but the electronics. In very humid weather; they were prone to failure. That was fixable, but the idea was shelved with new ideas in mind using the other two guns with a total electric power pack that was charged with a small diesel engine.
My former son in-law was on the section that shot them, and would call me two or three times a week with the latest news. The hull and power pack were reworked several times during that time frame. Most mods were moving bolt holes and adding new stuff. They did this about twenty five feet from where I worked, and was over there several times a day. The project got far enough along that they were in the tooling design phase. The idea was to be able to use a lot of the tooling that was designed for the AAAV, but still different. A very expensive exercise. Another interesting thing about it was that there were at least six nations wanting it
the folks shooting it love the liquid propellant system as it was much easier to take care of. The thermo magnetic gun was just an experiment when they noticed how robust the power supply was.
Recoil was very low and the breech was good for several times the shots that gun powder gave them. The liquid stuff gave them a variable charging system that work off of a triple stack servo valve system. They could do charges down to a tenth of a charge if need be. If I remember right they had Vickers do the design work, and that was where the variable displacement valves came from a few years later
It was an electrical nightmare. Eight years later it would have worked
It’s still a really nice looking vehicle; I’mma get one if it becomes more than vaporware just for how cool it looks.
I definitely want a kit of the Sholef
The Sholef would make a great kit, I’d jump on it too. But I’d really like to see a KRAB, and since I’m about halfway onto doing one with a Trump AS90 turret on the Academy K9 hull, it would fulfill an old adage: once one is scratched or converted, the actual kit is soon to follow.
And, to throw fuel on another fire, the KRAB is fielded in Ukraine.
I am thinking about doing the prototype version:
Using this paper card model as “drawings”, the AS90 turret and some T-72 bits and pieces
Neat idea! I’m far enough along that all I need are turret and gun rest details.
Is it too much to ask for an M1299 with ammo resupply vehicle?