The Different Types of Army Artillery

The definition of artillery is simply large, projectile firing armament. The United States Army uses many types of artillery as well as small arms. In today’s post, we are going to name and describe the different types of Army artillery.


HIMARS stands for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. The M142 is a rolling multiple rocket launcher. The pod can hold 6 rockets or 1 missile. The crew needed for the HIMARS is the driver, the gunner and a launch chief. The launch pad can be swung a complete 360 degrees and it has a maximum range of 186 miles. This piece of artillery is used by multiple field artillery brigades.

M102 and M119 Howitzers

The M102 Howitzers were first used in Vietnam. They are still utilized by the Army National Guard, but the regular Army has been upgraded to the M119 Howitzers. While both are 105-mm light guns that can be towed or airlifted by helicopter, the newest version of the M119 has a digital fire control system and a navigational system built in. The M119s maximum range is approximately 7 miles and can fire 3 rounds per minute for 30 minutes.


The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System has been in use since 1983. Production of these huge, mobile rocket launchers stopped in 2003, but they are still in use by the Army and other forces. It has been known to hit targets up to almost 200 miles away. The M270 has the ability to fire its load and then quickly escape. The M270 can fire 12 rockets in less than 40 seconds. The system uses a crew of 3 Soldiers.

M777 Howitzer

The M777 is a 155-mm artillery weapon that is towed to its firing location. It has an effective range of nearly 15 miles. This fine piece of artillery uses a digital firing system. It has replaced the M198 Howitzer. As you can see from the following video, the M777 takes a large crew for operation.


The M109 is a self-propelled 155-mm Howitzer. The newest version used by the United States Army is the M109A7 which has used many copies of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. It is great at maneuvers even with its heavy weight. The Army has a great Howitzer in the M109A7. This uses a crew of 6.


The United States Army currently uses 3 types of mortars. They have a light, medium and heavy mortar system. I recently wrote an article on the mortars used by the Army. They consist of the:

  • M224 light 60-mm

  • M252 medium 81-mm

  • M120 heavy 120-mm


Avenger Air Defense systems are in use by the U.S. Army. Attached to Humvee’s, these surface to air missile firing weapons have been used in many circumstances. Some modifications have been made depending on circumstances. The manufacturer of the Avenger system is Boeing Corporation.

FGM 148 Javelin

I must claim, I saved one of my favorites for last. This handheld “fire and forget” weapon fires heat-seeking anti-tank missiles. Normally, operation is by 2 Soldiers…one is the ammo bearer and the other holds and fires the weapon. It can be operated by one though. The missiles that are fired do not kick in their rocket motors so that the Soldiers are not discovered. Yes, I have to say the Javelin is my favorite of them all.

Final Thoughts

I know I probably left out some artillery the United States Army uses, so I am calling on all of you who are reading this to please help me out. Tell us artillery that I have missed that is in use today by the United States Army.

We would also love to hear your comments. What is your favorite out of this list?

The Army is always working on the development of better artillery. If you know of new artillery being tested, please tell us about it also. Thank you for visiting.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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