The new system is reportedly called the Advanced Multirole Light Artillery Gun Capability, or AMLAGC. The AMLAGC will be based on an existing 105-mm artillery system, but will have a “significant increase” in capabilities.
For some years now, Denel has been developing a 105-mm light towed gun-howitzer, to which it has given the name Leo. This is the obvious basis for the AMLAGC.
The Leo prototype has a mass of 3,8 t, although the objective for production developments was to get the mass to below 3 t. In its towed position, the Leo is 6,9 m long, 2,02 m wide, and less than 2,1 m high. It has a crew of five, who can deploy the weapon in two minutes and take it out of action in three minutes. There is no need to prepare the ground before firing the gun.
The Leo can be towed by a 5-t 4 10005 4 vehicle at speeds of up to 100 km/h on highways, and 50 km/h on secondary roads, and it has a fording depth of 0,6 m. It has a maximum rate of fire of six rounds a minute for eight minutes at maxi- mum charge; the sustained rate of fire is two rounds a minute. Maximum range at sea level with standard ammunition is more than 24 km, with base bleed shells more than 28 km, and with velocity enhanced long-range artillery projectiles, it can exceed 36 km.
The barrel is 52 calibres long (that is, 52 10005 105 = 5 460 mm); the barrel is fitted with a pepperpot muzzle brake, rifled on the inside, which has the same effect as lengthening the barrel by a further five calibres – to simplify, the longer the barrel, the longer the range. The recoil length is fixed at one metre.
The Leo is highly transportable – two guns, with ammunition, can be fitted into a single C-130 Hercules aircraft (this is currently the largest transport aircraft in the South African Air Force).
The Leo can, and the AMLAGC also certainly will, use the same ancillary equipment as the South African Army’s existing G5 and G6 155-mm artillery systems. These comprise the command and fire control systems, the meteorological systems, observation systems, and voice and data communication systems.
The need for the development of the AMLAGC lies in the growing commitment of the South African Army to potentially hazardous peace missions elsewhere in the continent (see Engineering News March 16, 2007).