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
- 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|
|155 Electro-Thermal Howitzer:||100||155|
|Support Feet (4)||40 each||60 each|
| Forward Light Weapon Mount:||50||70|
| Smoke / Gas Dispensers (2):||15 each||25 each|
| Headlights (2):||10 each||10 each|
|Main Hatch (Rear):||150||200|
|Reinforced Crew Compartment:||100||120|
| Main Body:||340||400|
| Track Treads (2):||65 each||85 each|
 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.
 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.
 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.
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)
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.
- 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.
- Pilot Compartment Gun Mount (1): The Morgan carries a mount
in the front and can be controlled by either the driver or the commander.
- 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)
- 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
Payload: 6000 rounds each.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
- 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.
The missile vehicle carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:
- Radio/ Video Communications: Long range, directional, has a range of 500 miles with short range directional radio of 5 miles (8 km).
- Laser Targeting System: Range is 2 miles (3.2 km) and gives +1 to strike with long range weapons.
- Combat Computer/ Targeting Computer: Assist in the tracking of targets.
- Radar: 50 miles (80 km), can identify 96 targets and track 48 as low as 500 feet (152.4 meters). Same as robot's Maxi-Radar.
- Full Life Support: Protects crew, troops, and vehicle from heat and radiation and gives a breathable atmosphere inside the tank for up 48 hours in vacuum and three weeks with scrubbers.
- Spotlight: Range: 600 feet (182.9 meters)
- Thermo-Imager: Range: 2,000 ft (609 m). Finds the infrared radiations of things that are warm. Also enables pilot to see in smoke, shadows and darkness.
- Nightvision Optics: Range: 2,000 ft (609 m). Uses light amplification to make a picture. Emits no light but will not work in absolute darkness. System can be dazzled by sudden bright lights but does not physically blind the pilot.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.