USA-M-10 Galahad Advanced Self Propelled Howitzer:


"With G.P.S. satellite tracking, theses babies can hit the head of a pin at almost 80 kilometers, unfortunately it is likely that the enemy may have eliminated all the satellites by the time we get to the battlefield. Therefore, my job is to train you in targeting without the uses of crutches. Any questions before we begin?"


- Gunnery Sergeant Casey Smith, US Marines, US Marine Training Command


The M109 Self Propelled Howitzer had served in the United States Army for many years but time caught up with the design eventually. While a new artillery system was developed in the Twenty-Thirties, they were never built in large enough numbers to replace the M109. The Army finally got funding to replace the artillery that was then in service. It had become an emergency by this time due to the age of the M109. The old artillery pieces simply could not survive in a combat environment and many advanced had been made in the areas of weapons and productions. It was decided to use the Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicle which was already in service as a basis for the design. It would likely speed up the design process as well as reducing design costs and manufacturing costs. The first prototype was completed about three years after the first Morgan class Missile Vehicle and entered production a little less than a year after the first prototype completed field tests. A few bugs were missed in the first production models, such as problems with the breach due to the higher forces developed by the electro-thermal propellant, but these were later corrected and most crews loved their new mobile artillery. The design used the same factory as the Morgan Missile Vehicle and an extra production line was started to keep up with production.


The Galahad uses the same modular features common to most Army vehicles introduced around the same time as the self propelled howitzer. It shared about 60% of the same parts as the US-M-8 Maverick and the US-M-9 Morgan. Parts can be quickly replaced and since it shares many of the same parts to several other designs, logistics is greatly reduced. While the main gun was retained in all versions, later versions of the Galahad received important upgrades in secondary weaponry and in armor. The upgrades were similar to those done to the Morgan Missile Vehicle. Upgraded included upgrading older models to the new configuration and constructing new self propelled howitzers.


It was decided in the army that missile launching hover vehicles would replace all self propelled howitzers in future conflicts. Reduction in the use of non-missile artillery had begun even before the USA-M-10 was introduced. The Marine were of a different opinion than the army although they had begun to rely more on missile artillery as well. Until the coming of the Rifts, naval gunfire was used to support marines on the beach and the marines always had a healthy respect for artillery. The USA-M-10 design was also sold to other nations and was produced under licence as well. The main cannon was also used in several other artillery systems. Production of the Galahad was ended with the introduction of the USA-M-18 "Crocket" hover missile vehicle but many still severed in active units and those that had been removed from active units were retained in reserve forces. Some of the artillery systems survived the coming of the Rifts and some are used by mercenary companies. The ammunition is still cheaper than missiles.


The basic chassis of the Galahad is the same as the Maverick but the turret is moved further back and is larger to mount the howitzer. The howitzer, which is carried in all versions, is a 155 mm electro-thermal howitzer. The weapon has around twice the range of a conventional 155 howitzer and due to having a smaller propellant, the vehicle carries more reloads than the M109. A special automatic reloading system is designed using the rear troop hatches from the Maverick design to pass projectiles into the vehicle. The Galahad has a mini-missile launcher with one on the side of the turret. These are identical to those carried on the Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the Jackson Main Battle Tank and are designed to deal with enemies who get within close range. For close in defense, a single liquid propellant Gatling gun in the front of the vehicle. This was replaced by a rail gun that was basically the same as the one carried by the SAMAS power armor. This was later replaced again by a pulse laser system. While some models still carried the rail gun at the coming of the Rifts, no models serving in the United States military still retained liquid propellant weapons. Several other nations still operated Galahad howitzers with the liquid propellant weapons. Armor was upgraded in the design in a similar fashion to the Morgan Missile Vehicle. Unlike the Jackson main battle tank, laser resistant materials were not used.


Model Type: USA-M-10 Galahad
Vehicle Type: Self Propelled Howitzer (Tracked)
Crew: Five (Driver, Gunner, two Loaders, and Commander).

M.D.C. By Location:USA-M-10:USA-M-10A1:
Mini-Missile Launcher (Top of turret):60 each 80 each
Main Turret:200250
155 Electro-Thermal Howitzer:100155
Support Feet (4)40 each60 each
[1] Forward Light Weapon Mount:5070
[1] Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):15 each25 each
[1] Headlights (2):10 each10 each
Main Hatch (Rear):150200
Reinforced Crew Compartment:100120
[2] Main Body:340400
[3] Track Treads (2):65 each85 each


Notes:
[1] 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.
[2] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable. The main body of later tanks is constructed out of special materials.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the fighting vehicle until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (two 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.


Speed:
Ground: 96.3 mph (155 kph) maximum road speed; 77.6 mph (125 kph) maximum off-road speed. 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%. Cannot fire the 155 mm Howitzer while moving.
Water: On the surface at 40.4 mph (65 kph) or underwater (Buttoned up) at 19.9 mph (32 kph)
Maximum Range: Unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 15 year duration)


Statistical Data:
Height: 9.2 feet (2.8 meters)
Width: 12.5 feet (3.8 meters)
Length: 24.5 feet (7.5 meters)
Weight: 28 tons (25.4 metric tons)
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about four feet (1.2 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Four Laser Rifles and three hand-held Missile Launchers with 5 loads each are stored in a compartment behind the driver's seat.
Power System: Nuclear Only (15 year life span)
Black Market Cost: 22 million credits for a new or fully operational USA-M-10 Galahad Advanced Self Propelled Howitzer. Add 4 million for the Upgraded Model.


Weapon Systems

  1. 155 mm Electro-Thermal Howitzer: Very powerful and long range weapon that is capable of 360 degree rotation although the USA-M-10 Galahad 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 details: 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: 40 rounds internally but can be loaded from exterior to retain normal rate of fire. Special towed ammunition carriers have an additional 80 rounds.
  2. Pilot Compartment Gun Mount (1): The Morgan carries a mount in the front and can be controlled by either the driver or the commander.
    1. Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun: This weapon is carried on the original USA-M-10 Model but replaced on most infantry fighting vehicles. This weapon is similar to the sub-machine-gun carried on the USA-GPA-01-D. This weapon's primary purpose is use against infantry and other lightly armored targets. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 m)
      Mega-Damage:
        Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 6000 rounds each.
    2. USA-M31 Rail gun: Mounted on early USA-M10A1 models and refitted on many earlier models. It is simpler as far as ammunition and operation than the liquid propellant weapon. From the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
    3. Pulse Laser Mounts: Original mounted in the later versions of the Galahad Self Propelled Howitzer and refitted into many earlier models. The weapons' primary purpose is use against infantry but is effective against missiles and to a lesser extent both aircraft and other armored vehicles.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 per pulse.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or commander.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Turret Mounted Mini-missile Launcher (1): Mounted on the top of the turret is a mini missile launcher. The launcher is designed for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. The weapon is designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads are often carried to hide the vehicles movement and troops disembarking
    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 missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: The launcher carries 16 mini-missiles.
  4. Smoke/Gas Dispensers (2): A smoke/gas dispensing unit is attached to each side of the Self Propelled Howitzer. The dispenser releases a dense cloud of smoke that covers a 40 foot (12.2 m) area in front of the vehicle. It can also release tear gas. The dispenser can dispense prismatic aerosol for dispersing laser beams. This has the same effect as prismatic aerosol grenades. The effects of the prismatic aerosol is combined with the laser resistant materials that compose the armor if the later tanks when they are used together.
    Payload: 20 total; 10 charges each; typically 10 smoke, 5 prismatic aerosol, and 5 tear gas.


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




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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