The Hawkeye 105 mm Howitzer mobile artillery system developed by Mandus Group looks like something straight out of Command & Conquer. If you don’t believe me, check out this sweet slow-motion video of some lucky 82nd Airborne soldiers testing out the new hotness that popped up on Twitter on August 5.
Utilizing an inventive hydraulic system to reduce recoil, the Hawkeye was designed to lighten a tried-and-true artillery solution enough to allow such a large cannon on a small platform. It can fire up to eight rounds per minute via remote for three minutes or three rounds per minute sustained, and the mobility of the Humvee allows a small crew of between two and four to rapidly deploy the suspension system, fire, and get out of dodge within 60 seconds — or before counter-battery fire can hit back.
The lightweight nature of the Hawkeye makes it ideal for expeditionary fire support. Unlike mortars such as the 120 mm mobile variant the U.S. Army is currently eyeing for soldiers, the Hawkeye can support troops with direct fire, whereas mortars are only able to provide indirect fire.
The Hawkeye system has other advantages. The deployed suspension system eases wear and tear on the Humvee compared to a 120mm system that shoots from a free chassis. Over time, even the best suspension systems will feel 100,000 lbs of force right to the baseplate; you can see that force punishing the vehicle in the 82nd Airborne footage.
The 105 mm also has a range advantage on 120 mm mortar systems, reaching out to strike enemies at up to 11 miles compared to the latter’s limited accuracy of up to five miles. Interestingly, this is a boon for maintenance and readiness: the Army’s Humvee system and supply line is already well-entrenched in the current force structure, allowing for an easier integration into then a whole new vehicle system.
But the biggest advantage is the Hawkeye’s ability to cover distance quickly over rough terrain make the classic shoot and scoot a breeze, a key advantage over traditional towed 105 mm systems. An experienced counter-battery team can locate and shoot effectively a bit over a minute after a round lands, but the Hawkeye system looks to be able to pivot from position to position, out-maneuvering counter-battery attempts to eliminate the threat.
It's worth noting that the Hawkeye's rate of fire is roughly equal to the towed and manually loaded and fired howitzer variants (versus the remote control fired Hawkeye), which can put out up to six rounds a minute. This sweet rate of fire loses some meaning knowing that the U.S.’s main near-peer threats, namely Russia and China, field artillery that is much longerin range the 105 mm howitzer, however this may be less of a problem on a conventional battlefield as mobility could allow the Hawkeye system to out-maneuver the longer ranged systems. In the meantime, the Hawkeye seems like a fine lightweight option for soldiers, if only for the Avengers jokes:
Hawkeye shoots people with arrows in The Avengers: Age of UltronMarvel Studios
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At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."