German Panzerhaubitze 2200 Self Propelled Howitzer:


"Many people think that giant robots are the core of the New German Republic Military and completely disregard artillery but the reality is that they would find themselves in a world of hurt. I remember when a whole company of Jagers found themselves surrounded by hordes Gargoyles. If it was not for our artillery support, they would have been wiped out."


- Sergeant Hans VonGrey, NGR Mobile Artillery


"Ja...that's what the drivers ALWAYS say...until they're over their treads in muck and then they start screaming 'Manfred, come pick us up! Pull us out! The mud only comes up to your knees! Manfred, go punch out that giant lizard while we haul our butts out of here!' Maybe I should carry an artillery piece on my shoulder, so I don't have to constantly have to worry about pulling the drivers and their precious bang-bangs out of harm's way!"


- Sergeant Manfred Stroppel, NGR Robot Armored Division


"Honestly, guys, Manfred was just blowing off steam...he doesn't speak for all of us...You're alright....We're all on the same side...I LIKE drivers...I like artillery...I LOVE my artillery support section...Now, do you think you could drop a few rounds of one-five-five plasma about two hundred yards to my northwest, on top of those charging Simvan? Please?"


-Captain Fritz Montag, NGR Robot Armored Division


Many people studying ignore important parts of the New German military including mobile artillery, ground support aircraft, and even to some extent, heavy armor. While the giant robot vehicles are extremely visible, they could not survive without more conventional designs. Compared to mobile artillery, the main cannon of the Glitter Boy and the Flack cannon attachment on the Jager are extremely short ranged. With the ability for NGR units to call in instant artillery fire over the horizon, the first sign that the enemy sees of artillery being fired is shells landing on them. With precision guided shells included laser guided or radar guided controlled by the troops in the battle zone and terrain mapping projectiles, pinpoint accuracy can be achieved and the odds of rounds striking friendly troops in virtually eliminated. Gun Artillery can carry much larger payloads than missile artillery and the rounds are far cheaper.


The Panzerhaubitze (Armored Howitser) 2200 was actually a pre-rifts design which was developed in the later part of the Twenty-First Century. It is the main mobile artillery design in service in the New German Military and manufacture of the design continues to the present. The older Panzerhaubitze 2100 was still in reserve formations in large numbers before the holocaust of the Rifts but the NGR has been steadily retiring them as time goes on. Some have been sold outside the New German Republic including to the Polish city of Poznan. As well, some have found their way onto the Black Market. The Panzerhaubitze 2200 officially has not been sold outside of the New German Republic Military but it is rumored that a small number of these weapons have been delivered to the state of Free Quebec.


The big advance of the Panzerhaubitze 2200 over older mobile artillery was that a 155-mm electro-thermal cannon replaced the standard 155-mm cannon. The cannon can use the same projectiles as the American 155-mm electro-thermal on the Galahad Self Propelled Artillery which was designed around the same time. The main advantages of an electro-thermal cannon are a higher payload and greater range compared to a conventional cannon of the same caliber. The German mobile artillery features an automatic reloading system which allows for rapid reloading. It can fire a high speed burst of shells like the American Galahad and carries about twice as many projectiles internally. The weapon makes for an extremely deadly design. One limitation is that the vehicle must plant before firing its electro-thermal cannon. Supporting the main gun, the Panzerhaubitze 2200 carries a pair of mini-missile launchers. These are designed for protection at close range. There are some troops and designs who propose replacing the mini-missile launchers with short range missile launchers so they are more effective against incoming missiles. Payload on the mini-missile launchers is limited and would be reduced further if replaced by short range missile launchers. Pre-Rifts models of the self propelled artillery carry an 8-mm rail gun in a cupola mount above the turret but this has been replaced by a pulse laser in Post-Rifts models. The laser is similar to the TX-41 Rifle carried by many Triax power armors. There is some discussion about replacing the commander controlled mount with a fully automatic mount like is carried in the Cheetah. A host of defensive systems are also mounted on the vehicle including an anti-missile chaff launcher. The Panzerhaubitze 2200 is extremely well armored with heavier armor than the American Galahand. It is also fully environmental with life support equal to that on most robot vehicles. It also is equipped with a full array of sensors. The vehicle is nuclear powered but does not have as high a top speed as the American equivalent.


Model Type: NGR Panzerhaubitze 2200
Vehicle Type: Self Propelled Electro-Thermal Howitzer (Tracked)
Crew: Five (Driver, Gunner, two loaders and Commander).


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):60 each
Support Feet (4)50 each
Howitzer Turret:240
Howitzer Barrel:100
[2] 8 mm turret mounted Railgun:40
[2] Roof Mounted TX-41 Pulse Laser:50
Mini-Missile Launchers (2):20 each
[2] Infra-red Laser Jammers (2):45
[2] Firefly Chaff Launchers (2):25 each
[3] Main Body:440


Notes:
[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the Howitzer until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot," but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.


Speed:
Ground: Cruising speed on land is 52.8 mph (85 kph) on roads and 40.4 mph (65 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Maximum Range: Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 20 year duration)


Statistical Data:
Height 9.8 feet (2.99 meters)
Width: 12.2 feet (3.72 meters)
Length: Main Body: 26.2 feet (7.99 meters) and With Gun Forward: 40.1 feet (12.2 meters).
Weight: 57.3 tons (52 metric tons) empty and 63.9 tons (58 metric tons) combat loaded
Power Source: Nuclear with a 20 year life span.
Cargo Capacity: Minimal, enough for equipment with crew
Cost: Not for sale to Non-NGR interests, a new PzH 2200 will cost 30 million credits to build, or 50+ million on the black market if available.


Weapon Systems

  1. 155 mm Electro-Thermal Howitzer: Very powerful and long range weapon that is capable of 360 degree rotation although the PzH 2200 must plant before firing its howitzer. Howitzer planting system is fully automated and the vehicle can plant within 30 seconds (2 melees) and be ready to fire. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a "propellant," which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to "switch" directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. The reload system is fully automated and the rate of fire can be maintained as long as the system retains ammunition. While the projectiles has a lot greater range than standard 155 projectiles, they carry the same size warheads and inflicts about the same damage. Self Guided projectiles can be used for pinpoint accuracy although G.P.S. Satellite guided projectiles are no longer useful due to the elimination of the satellites. Guided projectiles are far more expensive. Both non rocket assisted and rocket assisted projectiles are available for the weapon system.
    Maximum Effective Range: 31.1 miles (50 km) for non rocket assisted and 49.7 miles (80.0 km) for rocket assisted projectiles.
    Mega-Damage: By artillery round type (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information: Fragmentation 2D4x10, High Explosive 2D6x10, Armor Piercing 3D6x10, Plasma 4D6x10, and has a vast number of other type of rounds as well).
    Rate of Fire: Has a special high speed reloading system that allows for the firing of 5 rounds per melee for 2 melees (30 seconds). Can fire 8 rounds per minute (2 per melee) indefinitely (effectively until its ammunition runs out).
    Payload: 100 rounds internally but can be loaded from exterior to retain normal rate of fire.
  2. Top Mounted Weapon System: The mobile artillery has a mount directly above the main turret. This mount has a 360 degree swiveling fire-arc and is capable of tracking aerial targets even directly overhead the PzH 2200. It can be fired manually, or from within the turret with computer guidance. As such, it is a somewhat crude but efficient CIWS for use against missiles and aircraft as well as ground personnel.
    1. Heckler & Koch RLG-8G millimeter Rail-Gun: Carried on early models of the PzH 2200 and replaced by a pulse laser in Post Rifts models. Rail gun does not need to carry any propellant giving a higher ammunition capacity and has a longer range than the liquid propellant weapons carried on the PzH 2100
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,920 feet (1,500 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 2D4 and 20 round burst does 1D6x10
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner; usually the commander.
      Payload: 1500 rounds (75 bursts).
    2. TX-41 Pulse Laser Mount: Mount is basically the mechanism from the TX-41 Pulse laser rifle whcih is connected directly to the power supply of the mobile artillery. While shorter ranged than the rail gun, the unlimited payload is considered compensation. This is a variable frequency laser with 12 different light frequencies. The frequency can be changed by the operator, or can be selected by the computer when it is in automatic (reaching optimal setting against laser refractive armor takes 1D4 rounds on automatic). Setting No. 7 counters the USA-10 Glitter Boy armor.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega Damage: 3D6 per single shot or 1D6x10 per rapid-fire triple pulse (counts as one attack).
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: Effectively unlimited
  3. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): On either side of the main gun are small mini missile launchers with three launchers on each side with one reload each. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, smoke or fragmentation mini-missiles. Mini Missiles are normally controlled by the gunner but can be controlled by the pilot or commander as well.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) mini-missiles.
    Payload: The launchers carry 12 mini-missiles (6 each launcher)
  4. Infrared Laser Jammers (2): These are jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles, though actually the lasers fire wide beams of IR light at incoming missiles. When an IR guided missile is hit by the lasers its seeker is blinded.
    Effect: Upon firing there is a 50% chance that any IR guided missiles are blinded, and miss the tank. Does 1D6 S.D.C. damage to anyone within the effective radius. Watch out for unprotected eyes! Rate of Fire: Twice every round.
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 200 ft (60 m) around tank.
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  5. Firefly Chaff Launchers (2): Located on the sides of the turret in the box-like structures. The launchers fire decoys straight up. This system is designed to confuse incoming missiles. The launchers do this by launching both flares and active radar decoys. Chaff isn`t actually in use any more, but the name sticks around. The decoys and the flare rockets float down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.)
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
    Mega Damage: None
      01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed..
      36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Payload: 18 each for a total of 36.


Sensory Equipment:
The mobile artillery vehicle carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:




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Second and Third Introductory Quotes by Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net).


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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