The multi-purpose M202 75mm Pack Howitzer is an artillery piece used by the Corporate Republic of Templeman. It was designed in the 3130s to meet the need for a small multi-use man-portable howitzer that could be moved across a number of difficult terrain with or without a vehicle. The original model was designed so that it could be broken down into several pieces so that it could be produced and transported with ease without the need for a vehicle. The cannon has saw combat across an number of different campaigns with the Templeman Self Defence Force Army (primarily used by airborne units), Templeman Self Defence Force Marine Corps, Black Eagles Security Services and has also been supplied to foreign forces.
In addition to the pack/ air portable configuration the gun has been mounted on a conventional carriage to serve as a field artillery piece as well as an outrigger system for fixed artillery. In addition, the M202 has been mated to a number of self-propelled carriages.
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Development and production
The 75 mm pack howitzer was designed in the Corporate Republic of Templeman in the 3030s to meet a need for an artillery piece that could be moved across difficult terrain while also being able to be broken down into several pieces so that it could be produced with ease. In late 3137, the weapon was standardised and adopted into service as the M202 Howitzer on Carriage Type A. Due to the limited funding within the newly created Templeman Self Defence Force for new equipment, production rates were low; by 3280, only some 1,532 pieces had been manufactured. It was not until early 3090 that the howitzer was put into mass production with the passing of the New Model Army Act 3289. By then, the M202 had been succeeded by the modified M202A1. Full-scale production for the TSDF for the A1 would continue until 3307.
Where the A2 would enter service with improvements to the carriage and shot capacitor increasing from 3 full power shots to 6 with the extra addition of an LCD Over-watch Limited Mk-40 Artillery sight, the A2 would see service until the early 3330s before its replacement by the A3 variant.
The A3 would enter service with many improvements, most important would be the replacement of the 75mm Model 3r Multi-Purpose Cannon with the 75mm Model 5a Multi-Purpose Cannon with increased barrel life and ability to fire a wider range of shells. Other improvements include the ability to mount Watchtower series of interlinked battle and management software the Model I Birdseye rangefinder sensor suite and the Model 3 mass driver shell projector. Other improvements would be made in the ability for the cannon to be mounted on a number of different carriages and mounts without the need for specialist equipment such as with the A1 and A2 variants. The A3 would remain with the TSDF until the 3350s and the introduction of the A4.
The A4 would improve upon the A3 by the addition of up to date software, and the replacement of the barrel by an updated model 5. The biggest additional of the A4 would be that of the type-G gun shield an additional option until the A4 making it a standard feature of the cannon. A4 is the current pack howitzer of the Templeman Self Defence Force and as such has been produced in the hundreds of thousands.
Many carriages have been designed and built for the M202 for a few different purposes. The original M1 carriage was of a box trail type, with lightweight plastic wheels later changed to an adaptive nano-matrix system. The requirement for a lightweight howitzer for use by airborne troops would led to the introduction of the M2 carriage, similar except for a lighter weight and a split trail carriage for easier movement making it into a “field howitzer” a variant have become popular with the TSDF. Other such carriage would be the M3 carriage an outrigger system designed for static defence, area denial and even limited anti-air. All of the M202s carriages can be dissembled for ease of movement and adaptability.
The howitzer M202 or M202 A4 consists consisted of tube and breech, which were joined together by interrupted threads, allowing for quick assembly and disassembly. One eighth of a turn is required to connect or disconnect tube and breech. The tube had a uniform, smooth bore mass diver assembly. The breech is a horizontal sliding-block type, with continuous-pull firing mechanism. The recoil system is mild Electronic-pneumatic. Both recoil buffer and recuperate are located under the barrel. The pack howitzer carriage M202A4 has a dismantling construction. The carriage is of box trail type, with adaptive nano-matrix system wheels. For transportation, the howitzer M202 on carriage M1 could be broken down into six loads, with payload weight between 30 and 40 kg each. Or transported by a M45 Peregrine or aircraft such as the UT-430 Vulcan.
The carriage M2 is identical, except for the split trail carriage and lightening of the system overall by some 30 kg. The howitzer on carriage M2 can be broken down into five loads or into a single parachute load. It could also be towed by a vehicle such as the M45 Peregrine or transported by aircraft such as the UT-430 Vulcan.
The carriage M3 is fitted with outrigger system designed for static defence, area denial and even limited anti-air. In additional to a retractable support, referred to as a firing base. In firing position, the firing base can be lowered, and wheels raised, leaving the weapon to rest on the firing base and trails. It could also be towed by a vehicle such as the M45 Peregrine or transported by aircraft such as the UT-430 Vulcan, or air dropped.
All the M202s carriages can be dissembled for ease of movement and adaptability.
Organization and service
Templeman Self Defence Force
When originally issued, the M202 Pack howitzer were to be issued to that of spaceborne and rough terrain units.
A Spaceborne Division, originally according to the organization of 3190, had three M202 howitzer battalions – two transport field artillery battalions (two-six-gun batteries each) and one space deployable battalion (three four-gun batteries), in total 36 pieces per division. Current Tables of Organization and Equipment Model 3300 has increased the divisional firepower to 60 M202s while replacing the three M202 howitzer battalions for space deployable battalions, (as an option, in transport field artillery battalions M202s can be replaced with more powerful 90mm M210).
Rough Terrain Division consists of three howitzer battalions, 12 M202 pieces each. The cannon is also used by a number of separate field artillery battalions. These include fast-reaction field artillery battalions in service with the Colonial Guard.
The Templeman Marine Corps, under the 3250-model has divisional artillery consisting of three space deployable battalion of 12 M202 pieces each. The 3300-model reduces the number of space deployable battalion to two with one space deployable battalion consisting of 6 M210s 105 mm pieces. With marines stationed on ship having at least one battery of 4 pieces.
Black Eagles Security Services
The one of the major uses of the M202 is Black Eagles Security Services (BESS). The M202 in BESS service is issued as a general infantry support weapon with every combat battalion within Intervention Command being issued with at least a battery of 4 pieces. With Security Command companies being issued with 2 pieces.
- Howitzer variants:
- M1 – the first standardized variant.
- M1A1 – variant with modified breech
- M1A2 – variant with improve to the carriage, improved capacitor, LDC and MK 40 Artillery sight
- M1A3 – variant with new cannon and improved ECW
- M1A4 – variant with improved software, barrel and gun shield
- Carriage variants:
- M1 – dismantling box trail carriage
- M2 – split-trail carriage
- M3 – outrigger system carriage
Two nearly identical vehicles mounting variants of the M202 – M1and M2 Motor Carriage were developed based on the tube and breach of the M202 A2. In the M1, the surface was provided by use of a separately manufactured sleeve, while in the M2 it became an integral part of the barrel. M1 and M2 are fully interchangeable.