One of our latest, very extensive restorations. Probably the only 105mm in private hands, this one being released because it had been used as a training aid for slinging under helicopters an had a very hard life. Now it will be in better condition than any still in service.
The light gun entered service with the British Army in 1976. The new weapon was heavier than its predecessor, but new and more capable helicopters such as the Puma and Westland Sea King, which could carry the new weapon, were entering service at the same time.
A new vehicle, the Land Rover 101 Forward Control (“Land Rover, one-ton”, was designed as the prime mover in the field for the light gun (and the Rapier air-defence missile launcher). Since the end of the 1990s, the British Army has used Pinzgauer ATVs as their gun tractors.
In Arctic service, and elsewhere, the gun is towed by the Hägglunds Bv 206 and is fitted with skis when over snow.
In 1982, the light gun saw use in the Falklands War. Five batteries (30 guns) were deployed to the Falkland Islands. During the final phases of the battles around Port Stanley, these guns were firing up to 400 rounds per gun a day, mostly at “charge super”, the most powerful propellant charge for which they were designed. They were a significant factor in the British victory. Since then, British forces have used the light gun in combat in the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan
At present, the British Army has four light gun regiments: 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, 7th (Parachute) Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, and 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. Other regiments are temporarily equipped with it for service in Afghanistan. The 14 (Training) Regiment Royal Artillery uses it for training at the Royal School of Artillery.
Three regiments of the Army Reserve, The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) 103 (Lancastrian Artillery Volunteers) Regt. RAand 105 Regt. RA) are also equipped with the light gun.
Those University Officer Training Corps with “gun troops” train with the L118.
On 30 November 2001, an L118 light gun replaced a 25-pounder as the One O’Clock Gun in Edinburgh Castle. By tradition, this fires every day at one o’clock, except on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The light gun is also fired by 14 (Training) Regiment Royal Artillery on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day each year.[
As of July 2017, there were 126 L118 light guns in service with the British Army.[
The L118 light gun is a 105 mm towed field gun. It was originally produced for the British Army in the 1970s and has been widely exported since, including to the United States, where a modified version is known as the “M119 howitzer”. Wikipedia
Maximum firing range: 17,200 m (18,800 yd) (20.6 km (22,500 yd) extended range using base bleed)
Rate of fire: 6–8 rounds per minute
Barrel length: 37 calibers
Weight: 1,858 kg (4,096 lb)
Length: 8.8 m (28 ft 10 in)
Muzzle velocity: maximum 708 m/s (2,320 ft/s)
Used by: Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Ireland (and Northern), Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America