Crusader's test firing at the Yuma range (Arizona) began in February 2000. In November of the same year, the 10,4 firing rate per minute was achieved. In November 2001, a preliminary design assessment (PDR) was conducted. Start of production was scheduled for 2006 year, and the adoption of Crusader into service was planned for 2008 year. Crusader was developed by Team Crusader under the leadership of United Defense.
It was assumed that the Crusader artillery system would provide better mobility, efficiency and survival, and would also be much easier to maintain and deploy than the existing systems. A battery from 6 Crusader can deliver 15 tons of ammunition to the target in less than 5 minutes.
To achieve these characteristics, United Defense has reduced the weight and size of the crusader — from the initial 60 tons to the 38 –41 tons. This made it possible to simultaneously transport 2 howitzers by C-17 or C-5 aircraft. Thus, the use of a self-propelled howitzer Crusader for fire support was facilitated.
The Crusader includes two vehicles - a self-propelled howitzer XM2001 and an armored transport and loading machine XM2002. The high level of automation makes it possible to reduce the crew of both a loading machine and howitzers to reduce to just three people. The process of loading and firing is controlled from a computer-equipped cabin, which is hidden under the armor and has a protection system weapons mass destruction. The armored transport loader has not only a tracked but also a wheeled variant.
Self-propelled howitzer XM2001
The XM2001 howitzer is equipped with a fully automated loading and firing system, which makes it possible to shoot 48 projectiles (full howitzer ammunition) with a maximum speed of up to 10 rounds per minute over 40 thousand meters. 15 seconds are required to produce the first shot. In addition, Crusader can produce a series of shots with a simultaneous hit on the target shells. One Crusader machine provides simultaneous hit on one target to 30 projectiles. The digital fire control system calculates the solution separately for each of the 8 shots.
XM2002 transport loading machine
The Crusader howitzer ammunition is replenished with the XM2002 transport loading machine, which is equipped with a fully automated loading subsystem. This subsystem enables the crew of the HM2002, consisting of an 3 man, to replenish the fuel supply and load 48 shells into a howitzer in less than 12 minutes. without leaving armor protection. Loading can be performed in the conditions of bacteriological / chemical contamination. It takes less than 60 minutes to load the transport vehicle with projectiles and fuel.
Command and control
The Crusader command center is equipped with tactical systems that provide assistance in decision making, navigation and positioning, and an automatic friend-to-friend recognition system.
The Crusader control system sends and receives real-time battlefield data using the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS). Crusader can communicate with other machines directly. A secure information transmission network links a howitzer, a loading vehicle, as well as all other combat units on the battlefield, transferring real-time data to each machine in real time.
Armament self-propelled howitzer Crusader
For Crusader shooting, all types of projectiles are used, including high-explosive fragmentation, smoke, incendiary (with white phosphorus), dual-purpose cluster anti-personnel and anti-tank (DPICM) and anti-tank cluster projectiles (Sense and Destroy Armor, SADARM).
Artillery subsystem Crusader used solid propellant. It consists of the actual instrument, machine and laser charge ignition system. The extremely high rate of fire is ensured by the integral cooling system of the barrel of the cannon between the double walls. To minimize wear and environmental impact, the barrel of the gun and charging chamber are coated with chrome. The gun charge chamber is compatible with MACS (Modular Artillery Charge System), which use solid propelling agents.
Engine and suspension
Hydropneumatic suspension and the Crusader engine provide highway traffic at speeds up to 67 km / h, over rough terrain - 48 km / h. The transmission allows you to select the gear ratios and the mode of the engine in automatic mode for maximum fuel economy. The control system consists of electronic motion control, as well as assistance in motion planning and positioning.
The U.S. Army has selected General Electric and Honeywell International Engines as developers for the Crusader LV100-5 gas turbine engine. They wanted to use the same engine for tank M1A2, as part of the Abrams / Crusader single engine program. The new engine was supposed to be smaller and lighter, with faster acceleration, no visible exhaust and less noise.
Weight - 48100 kg;
Length - 12900 mm;
Width - 3500 mm;
Height - mm 2900;
The caliber of the main gun - 155 mm;
Barrel length - 56 calibers;
Ammunition of the main gun - 48 pcs .;
Maximum elevation angle - 75 degrees;
The minimum angle of declination is minus 3 degrees;
Firing range - 40000 m;
Maximum speed on the highway - 67 km / h;
- gradient - 60%;
- bias - 40%;
- vertical wall - 900 mm;
- trench - mm 2500;
- water barrier depth - 1220 mm;
Cruising on the highway - 405 km;
Engine power - HP 1500 .;
The rate of fire - 10 shots per minute;
Crew - 3 person.
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