Military Review

Self-propelled artillery "Crusader". Project XM2001 Crusader (USA)

For half a century, the foundation of the US self-propelled artillery is the ACN of the M109 family. The last modification of this self-propelled gun called M109A6 Paladin was put into service in the early nineties. Despite the fairly high performance, the “Paladin” self-propelled gun does not fully meet the requirements for modern self-propelled guns. For this reason, soon after the start of production of combat vehicles, the M109A6 launched a new project XM2001 Crusader (“Crusader”). While still in its earliest stages, this project received a lot of praise. Sometimes it was argued that thanks to the new self-propelled gun in the artillery there will be a real revolution.

The first studies on the subject of promising artillery systems began in the mid-eighties, but projects of such combat vehicles appeared much later. In the mid-nineties, when the development of the ACS XM2001 began, it was planned to complete the project over the next ten years. The first serial self-propelled guns were planned to be built in the 2004 year, and in the next to begin their operation in the army. It should be noted, the timing of the implementation of a particular part of the project has been repeatedly changed. So, at the beginning of the two thousandth, when the experimental self-propelled gun "Crusader" was put to the test, the adoption was transferred to 2007-2008 years. The need for troops was estimated at 800 combat vehicles.

The project is promising self-propelled developed company United Defense and General Dynamics. In accordance with the requirements of the customer, the new combat vehicle had to surpass the existing equipment in a number of parameters. It was necessary to increase mobility, fire efficiency and survivability. In addition, it was necessary to reduce the complexity of maintenance. Such requirements led to the fact that development companies decided to use a large number of new automated systems, and this ultimately had a decisive influence on the appearance of the self-propelled artillery installation.

During the development of the project ACS Crusader several times changed its appearance. For example, in the early versions of the project, the combat weight of the self-propelled guns exceeded 60 tons. However, the requirements relating to mobility, forced to change the project, reducing the combat weight of the machine almost one and a half times - to 40 tons. In the future, this parameter has changed several times in small limits. The dimensions and weight of the self-propelled guns were reduced primarily because of the need to transport it by existing military transport aircraft.

Self-propelled artillery "Crusader". Project XM2001 Crusader (USA)

In the course of the XM2001 project, the crew was supposed to be reduced, which accordingly affected the layout of the internal hull volumes. Thus, in the front part of it, they placed the department of management with the jobs of three crew members (driver, commander and gunner). In the middle and aft parts of the hull were the engine-transmission and combat compartment. The gas-turbine engine LV100-5 with the power 1500 hp was considered as a power plant. and diesel Perkins CV12 of the same power. And he and the other engines could provide high-mobility ACS. In addition, it was assumed that the use of a gas turbine engine will allow to unify several types of modern armored vehicles. In the end, the prototype ACS was a gas turbine engine.

The new tracked undercarriage consisted of seven road wheels on board and a rear drive wheel. Hydropneumatic suspension, according to calculations, could provide enough maneuverability and smoothness, even at high speed. During the tests, the ACS XM2001 accelerated on the highway to the speed of 67 km / h. When driving over rough terrain, it was possible to develop the speed of 48 km / h. Cruising on the highway exceeded 400 km. With such mobility, a promising self-propelled gun could quickly leave the firing position and avoid retaliation.

The entire crew of the Crusader self-propelled gun was to be located in the general management department, which placed special demands on the electronic equipment of the combat vehicle. Crew jobs were equipped with a complex of radio-electronic equipment designed for navigation, calculating guidance angles, monitoring the state of machine units, etc. The self-propelled gun was also equipped with a tactical information exchange system allowing the crew to use third-party target designation.

The transfer of crew jobs to a single volume inside the hull, isolated from the crew compartment, led the project authors to create automated systems for the supply of ammunition and weapon control. An equipment was installed inside the slewing turret, capable of independently obtaining ammunition from an armored carrier, placing them in stowages and loading a weapon. The gunner or commander could only give a command to start the desired procedure and, if necessary, indicate the type of ammunition required. All further operations were performed automatically. The automatic systems were also used to guide the gun, which were responsible both for calculating pickup angles, and for turning the turret or raising the barrel. The system of installation of the gun made it possible to shoot with the angle of elevation of the trunk from -3 ° to + 75 °.

In the XM2001 self-propelled gun tower it was proposed to install an XM297 gun of 155 caliber of millimeters with a barrel of 56 caliber length. This tool already at the stage of calculations showed its high prospects in relation to the range of fire. To improve the accuracy when firing uncontrollable shells, it was equipped with an integrated liquid barrel cooling system. The problem of reducing recoil was solved by the original recoil devices and the muzzle brake. When developing a tool, it was decided to chrome the barrel bore and chamber to reduce wear.

The XM297 gun retained the separate loading of the traditional for its class of artillery. For greater flexibility, it had to use the MACS modular propellant charge system. By varying the number of modular charges, it is possible within certain limits to adjust the firing range. In the automated styling of the combat department of the Crusader ACS, 48 shells of various types and 208 propellant modules were placed. The number of modules being sent to the chamber was calculated immediately before the shot, along with other shooting parameters.

While working on the project of the new ACS, the employees of the company United Defense and General Dynamics paid much attention to the rate of fire. An important "skill" of the modern artillery system is the method of firing MRSI (the so-called barrage of fire). This means that the self-propelled gun can make several shots, combining the power of the propellant charge and the angle of elevation of the weapon, with the result that several projectiles fall on the target with a minimum interval. This method of shooting allows you to cause damage to the enemy for the minimum time before he has time to respond. In this regard, the project XM2001 used a whole range of measures aimed at improving the rate of fire.

The main work to ensure a high rate of fire fell on the automatic loader. Within a few seconds, she had to remove the projectile of the required type from the installation, send it to the chamber, extract the specified number of propellant charge modules, send them to the chamber, then close the bolt. With a calculated rate of fire at the level of 10 shots per minute, the automation had to do all these operations in 4-5 seconds. To increase the reliability, the XM297 was equipped with an original laser ignition system. The MACS charge modules had a completely combustible casing, which eliminated the automation from having to remove the cartridge case or pallet. When shooting according to the method of MRSI, the Crusader could make a series of up to eight shots.

The XM297 can use the entire range of 155-mm shells that existed in the late nineties. Depending on the task being performed, the Crusader self-propelled gun could fire high-explosive, smoke, incendiary, cluster type DPICM (anti-tank and anti-personnel) or SADARM (anti-tank). When using conventional shells, not equipped with a gas generator or rocket engine, the firing range reached 40 km. The nomenclature of ammunition for the new SAU was planned to include the Excalibur guided projectile with a maximum range of up to 57 km.

Simultaneously with the XM2001 self-propelled artillery installation, an armored XM2002 ammunition carrier was created as part of the Crusader project. Both cars had a common chassis and were unified by 60%. The carrier of ammunition differed from self-propelled guns in that on the roof of its hull, instead of a tower, there was an armored casing and equipment intended for storing and transferring projectiles and propellant charge modules. In addition, the carrier could carry fuel. All ammunition reloading and fuel transfer operations were carried out automatically. Crews of two cars only controlled the course of the process, without leaving their jobs. At full load of ammunition and fueling took no more than 12 minutes. The crew of the carrier consisted of two people.

High speed, rate of fire at the level of 10 shots per minute, the possibility of firing by the method of MRSI and other features of the project "Crusader" were the reason for many positive assessments. According to various experts, the survivability of the XM2001 ACS was 3-4 times higher than that of the M109A6 Paladin. Combat effectiveness was also high. Calculations showed that in 5 minutes a battery of six self-propelled guns could bring down tons of shells on the enemy’s heads to 15. For this, however, the combat vehicles needed to work together with the ammunition carriers.

At the end of 1999, the first prototype of the advanced ACS was put to the test. The XM2001 combat vehicle fully confirmed all the calculated characteristics, although some problems were identified during the tests, which were soon fixed. Trips to the landfill and shooting at conventional targets continued for several years. So, in November, the 2000 of the year the self-propelled gun "Crusader" reached a rate of fire in the 10,4 shot per minute, which was the maximum value of this parameter during the tests.

High running and firing characteristics made the ACS XM2001 Crusader an outstanding example of artillery equipment. However, in May 2002, after a series of successful tests, the Pentagon notified United Defense and General Dynamics of the termination of the project. The reason for this was the economic features of the promising self-propelled artillery. The use of a large number of new automated systems designed specifically for the new ACS, has affected its price. According to the calculations of that time, each of the Crusader series machines would have cost the budget 25 million dollars. For comparison, the German self-propelled howitzer PzH-2000, slightly inferior to the XM2001 in performance, at that time cost no more than 4,5 million.

Careful analysis of the characteristics and capabilities of the new self-propelled gun clearly showed that superiority in firepower or survivability cannot compensate for a significant loss in price. Because of this, the work on the Crusader program was curtailed. It should be noted that the developments on this project are not lost. Shortly after the project was closed, the company United Defense received a new contract for the creation of promising artillery systems. This order of the military meant the improvement of existing designs for use in new projects.

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  1. makarov
    makarov 6 December 2013 08: 37
    "..According to the calculations of that time, each of the production vehicles" Crusader "would have cost the budget 25 million dollars. For comparison, the German self-propelled howitzer PzH-2000, slightly inferior to the XM2001 in characteristics, at that time cost no more than 4,5 million. .. "

    Concrete proof that the Americans steal the budget skillfully, and do not get involved in the "sawmills", probably because they steal at all levels, ...
    1. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 13
      The price data is a complete mess !!!! For the first time the data appeared on the Polish roofing felts sites for "supplicants". This misinformation was picked up and now she is walking at full speed in the virtual. Once I read an article by the Canadian artillery general staff officer, who said that Canada was considering the option of acquiring 20 crusader batteries, totaling $ 2,4 billion, and considered this to be an acceptable price for such unique machines. It turned out $ 20 million per set. I will not argue, since I have not found this article now. It turns out that they wanted to reduce the number of crusaders for the US army to 480 units, and from this number of cars the cost of twenty-five million dollars came out. Where did the Canadian twenty million for the kit come from? If the order remained at 800 kits for the US Army plus 120 kits for Canada, the price would drop to 20-21 million.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 14
      Now about the price of the German PzH-2000 worth 4,5 million, which is 5,5 times less than the price of Crusader. I searched for data on the cost of the German self-propelled guns for a long time, until I came across this figure: “In total 121 units were sold. in the amount of $ 817 million. In 2006-2009. 116 guns worth $ 780 million were delivered for export, a portfolio of orders for 2010-2013. so far it is 5 CAO in the amount of $ 37 million"Accordingly, 6,752 million, 6,724 mil., 7,4 million dollars per unit, which means not 5.5 times, but 3.7 times. Also found data on Qatar's intention to purchase 24 units of PzH-2000, for a total of $ 165000000 billion at a price of $ 6875000 per unit... But the most interesting thing was under my nose, namely in the English-language Wikipedia - "The Crusader program was canceled, partly due to the $ 25 million per vehicle cost (compared to the German PzH 2000 cost of $ 10.5 million)". Translation - "The Crusader Program has been closed, in part due to the $ 25 million worth of the car (compared to German PzH 2000 worth $ 10,5 million) Where does this figure of 10,5 million dollars come from for PzH 2000? Most likely, some other options and requirements are included in ten and a half million, for example - a set of spare parts, warranty and post-warranty repairs (it is now fashionable in the USA to repair military equipment by private structures or manufacturers, rather than military), training. The same requirements, probably, were presented to the Crusader art system, respectively, and the price.
    4. The comment was deleted.
    5. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 16
      More accurate information on the cost of the Crusader artillery system is given in his article by Doctor of Military Sciences, full member of the AVN Colonel S. PECHUROV. “The American specialized media continues to discuss possible alternatives to the canceled program. The fact of sharp activation of lobbyists from among the western partners of the USA became a publicity. In particular, the Germans are hinting at the opportunity to provide their artillery system PzH-2000, the British - AS 90. But the French are especially eager to offer the development of their state-owned company GIAT SG "Kayesar" caliber of 155 mm. They promise to deliver artillery systems in the required quantity at a cost of $ 2 million each relatively quickly (for comparison, the Cruzader would cost the US North $ 7-10 million for one gun) ". As I understand it, this is for one gun without a loader.

      So, based on these figures, it is clear that the prevailing opinion in the media about the cost of the Crusader art system is overstated, and the cost of the PzH 2000 is underestimated. Based on this, it is clear that the Crusader artillery system exceeds the cost of the PzH 2000 by 2,3 - 2,4 times. And this is for two cars, the XM2001 howitzer and the XM2002 loader.

      So the "Polish duck" can be safely sent to Topka.
    6. The comment was deleted.
    7. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 30
      ... In this regard, the argumentation of the US military leadership is interesting. Thus, Defense Secretary D. Rumsfeld himself said that he “has nothing against the purely technical qualities of the new weapon,” but “the incentive to make this decision was the choice of a war strategy, that is, the strategy that should allow us to have a choice in the field of how best to prepare troops for the wars of the future. " Rumsfeld's deputy P. Wolfowitz was more specific: "This is not about eliminating a bad system, but about canceling a weapon created in accordance with the requirements of a bygone era."

      In subsequent more lengthy statements and interviews, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and his immediate circle have more clearly argued for this decision. The essence of the arguments was as follows. First, they believe that the Krusader SG is a relic of the Cold War, the decision to create which was made during the period when prevailing views on the conduct of ubiquitous large-scale wars, and, as most forecasting analysts supposedly emphasize, dominate conflicts in the foreseeable the prospect will be “light” and “medium forces”, for a virtual adversary is more likely a “partisan type” formation scattered throughout the world, rather than classical armies of the European type. The Cruzeider, however, does not fit into the dimensions of a transport aircraft and was clearly created not for such military operations. The most characteristic example of this is the allegedly ongoing operation in Afghanistan so far, where the American Armed Forces are quite able to cope with their tasks without such large and bulky B and BT.
    8. The comment was deleted.
    9. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 33
      More broadly, some very well-known specialists, such as, for example, retired General R. McDaniel, generally state that the artillery lost its role as a “god of war” after a century of domination on the battlefield and replaced it with more mobile, high-precision and powerful missile or combined fire support systems. This point of view was enthusiastically supported by the great authority in the field of military-political problems by the director of the Washington Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments E. Krepinevich, who described Rumsfeld’s decision to annul the Cruzeider program as "a brilliant contribution of the Pentagon to the creation of the future armed forces."

      The assessment of this decision by the leadership of the US ground forces, which directly affected them, deserves special mention. It should be especially emphasized the very difficult situation in which the chief of staff of this type of Armed Forces, General E. Shinseki, and his entourage found themselves, since, on the one hand, they, as it were, personify the "driving force" of the creation of the aforementioned "Armed Forces of the Future", and on the other - lose the largest "piece of the budget pie" and the artillery system itself, the plans for equipping the ground forces of which were drawn up long ago. In April 2002, the Army leadership was warned in advance of the "possible" cancellation of the Crusader program and the Pentagon invited him to conduct a detailed analysis of the likely consequences of this decision. And yet, the decision of the Secretary of Defense to close the program, announced in early May, came as a surprise to Shinseki, since, according to the American press, Rumsfeld took this step without even waiting for the results of his own analysis within the framework of the Army Headquarters. And only a week later, as emphasized in the American media, "the ground woke up." But their reaction was rather sluggish.
    10. The comment was deleted.
    11. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 35
      The meaning of the statements of Shinseki himself and other SV generals came down to unconditional agreement with the decision of the minister, but with some comments. So, the chief of staff of the ground forces cautiously hinted that "the alternatives proposed by the Pentagon are not the best choice for a similar or lower price, but ... the concentration of efforts and means on a fundamentally new weapon ... can become a worthy compensation." It should be borne in mind that it was the SV leadership that, in the fall of 1999, for the first time in practical terms raised the question of the need for immediate reform of the US military machine as a whole in order to meet the requirements of the 11st century. At the same time, Shinseki proposed an 20-year SV transformation program, the core of which was the rejection of “heavy forces” equipped with “clumsy” Abrams and Bradley combat vehicles, and the formation of essentially new so-called “medium forces” based on “light” (up to XNUMX tons) platforms — armored fighting vehicles (BBMs) of the future of various configurations, including lightweight artillery systems. Moreover, it was then that General Shinseki uttered the famous phrase that “the age of the tank as a car on the battlefield is ending”. Apparently, this also explains the very moderate reaction of the SV command to the Minister’s decision.
      Meanwhile, in support of the Kruseyder SG creation program, retired army generals unexpectedly spoke in amicable terms, including such popular politicians as D. Maddox, B. McCaffrey, former SV Deputy Minister J. Reader, and now heading a very influential public organization - The Association of US Ground Forces, the former chief of staff of this type of armed forces, General G. Salivan, who, in particular, emphasized that "the last three (before Shinseki) SV leaders are categorically against the cancellation of the program." Naturally, they could not help but find support among some congressmen. Just the day after Rumsfeld announced his decision, the Senate Committee on Armed Forces invited the Minister to speak in the Senate with explanations of the nuances of such a position of the MoD. The House of Representatives supported its colleagues. Moreover, a number of influential legislators, such as Levin, Inhouf and others, a priori refused to support Rumsfeld’s decision.
    12. The comment was deleted.
    13. skif33
      skif33 7 December 2013 02: 37
      The arguments of retired generals and legislators boiled down to the following provisions. First, they believe that military actions in the future will not be "unequivocally anti-terrorist, anti-partisan." Moreover, the real and virtual opponents of the United States, to which they include Iraq, Iran and China, are armed with a huge number of artillery systems (2, 100 and 3, respectively), which indicates a high probability of the occurrence of conventional wars with them, in including the widespread use of heavy weapons. The United States, on the other hand, in terms of the number of artillery systems in service with its Armed Forces (224 obsolete "Paladin"), today occupies "only" the ninth place in the world. Secondly, the "middle forces" on which some representatives of the generals of the Ground Forces allegedly rely, can be fully deployed only after 14 to 500 years. Thus, the core of the current American armed forces - "heavy forces" will be forced to operate with "inadequate resources." Thirdly, an artillery gun placed on a light platform of an armored combat vehicle of the future will in no way replace the classic howitzer of a new generation, which is the Crusader, especially since the said gun on a light platform should have a caliber of 950, at least 15 mm ... Fourth, even if we proceed from the absolute priorities of the "middle forces" as a "panacea" for all cases of confrontation in the future, then in this context, according to the supporters of the canceled program, the Crusader would be quite compatible with the entire range of AFVs that make up the core these same forces. And finally, fifthly, the supporters of the program, after making calculations, state that the Pentagon, having canceled it, over the next 20-105 years will have to send an additional 120 to 10 billion dollars to recreate the capabilities lost by artillery.
    14. The comment was deleted.
  2. datur
    datur 6 December 2013 14: 05
    Concrete proof that the Americans steal the budget skillfully, and do not get involved in the "sawmill", probably because they steal at all levels, ----- yes, our Serdyukovs, in comparison with their specialists, are small children !! wink wassat drinks
  3. Technologist
    Technologist 6 December 2013 16: 16
    It’s just that they’ll be closed for this for a long time, but with us it’s possible insolently.
  4. samoletil18
    samoletil18 6 December 2013 19: 59
    Russian intelligence is obliged to throw a disu to the Americans that 10000 self-propelled guns (precisely these for $ 25 million) can paralyze the will of all of Russia.
    1. Professor
      Professor 6 December 2013 20: 32
      Quote: samoletil18
      Russian intelligence is obliged to throw a disu to the Americans that 10000 self-propelled guns (precisely these for $ 25 million) can paralyze the will of all of Russia.

      They will print virtual money for themselves, while others will sell real things like oil and gas for the money.

      The bourgeoisie systematically refuse barrel artillery (except mortars) in favor of rocketry — cheaper, more practical and more efficient.

      1. twviewer
        twviewer 7 December 2013 17: 32
        Quote: Professor

        The bourgeoisie systematically refuse barrel artillery (except mortars) in favor of rocketry — cheaper, more practical and more efficient.

        throw an example :)

        PS I clarify: the example was, it became cheaper and more efficient
        1. Professor
          Professor 7 December 2013 18: 24
          Quote: twviewer
          aka throw an example :)

          PS I clarify: the example was, it became cheaper and more efficient

          1. re-read the comments of skif33 and this:Israel replaces smart rocket 155-mm howitzers
          2. a) cheaper - a TOU shot is cheaper than a self-propelled gun, so its cost includes the self-propelled gun itself, its delivery to the deployment site, etc. Therefore, we observe how fighters with Spike for $ 100 thousand or Javelin suppress firing points. I generally keep quiet about the MLRS, the launcher costs a penny compared to the "trunks"
          b) More practical - pocket artillery is always at hand,
          c) Efficient - the number of missiles to hit a target is consumed much less than shells
          1. twviewer
            twviewer 8 December 2013 01: 01
            hm professor do not simplify in a particular case and an ordinary stone can become more effective than a bullet, now you order for each case to wear a stone? :)
            1. Professor
              Professor 8 December 2013 10: 58
              Quote: twviewer
              hm professor do not simplify in a particular case and an ordinary stone can become more effective than a bullet, now you order for each case to wear a stone? :)

              I do not simplify. So the bourgeoisie sat down, counted the money and came to the conclusion that it was more useful and more effective.
      2. Prohor
        Prohor 8 December 2013 18: 39
        Wow, rockets hit the mountain! Strong! good
        American cries of idiocy are not inferior to the famous "Allahu Akbar!"
        1. Professor
          Professor 10 December 2013 11: 21
          Quote: Prokhor
          Wow, rockets hit the mountain! Strong!

          The rockets sent "Alakbar" to the prophet. Those. fulfilled their function. fellow
  5. ilea123456
    ilea123456 6 December 2013 20: 59
    one more Americans’s weapon as F-35 or there XM-8 stupidly money laundering doesn’t get beyond hundreds of samples, maybe it won’t even go into the series (it will fail because of tests like with the same F-35 and XM-8)
  6. Black
    Black 6 December 2013 22: 09
    Quote: ilea123456
    another over Americans weapon like the F-35 or there XM-8 stupid money laundering

    so that yes and no ...
    What is laundering - imagine, no? at most, inefficient spending, yes. But these are their problems, not ours. Nashi-Olympiad, corporate parties in Russian Railways ... More like a wash away.
    Speed, power reserve, total firepower are respected.
    1. ilea123456
      ilea123456 1 March 2014 18: 20
      Olympiad of norms! verified by Putin!))))))))))

      According to honest Putin, it’s simply unprofitable to slander the Olympics, so officials won’t be able to steal
    2. ilea123456
      ilea123456 1 March 2014 18: 23
      Speed, power reserve, total firepower are respected.
      Has anyone seen the real performance characteristics of this car? it is rather another farce! Americans can weave a lot about their technology. It's their style. Here either just a setup or a single "good copy" that will not be included in the series.
  7. And Us Rat
    And Us Rat 10 December 2013 02: 38
    XM2001 Crusader Video

  8. schizophrenic
    schizophrenic 1 March 2014 19: 06
    An excellent toy, 15 tons in 5 minutes will be very effective in accumulating the enemy, missiles will be worse. True, the price has let us down.