The EVO-105 ("Evolved Wheeled Self-Propelled Howitzer") is a self-propelled light artillery system developed by South Korea's Samsung Techwin. The system's development cycle began in 2009, and resulted in a prototype by 2011.

The EVO-105 is a decidedly low-tech system. Using the KM500-series utility vehicles (an updated and improved copy of the venerable M809-series US vehicle) produced for the ROK Armed Forces by KIA Motors, the EVO-105 uses a solid base of time-proven systems mated to a completely new targeting system utilizing both GPS and inertial guidance.

The heart of the system is the solid, dependable M101A1-series of 105mm light artillery piece (and M2HB .50 caliber heavy machine-gun is carried in a ring mount over the truck cab for close-in vehicle defense). With a range of over 11km, the M101A1 has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability, speed and accuracy.

However, the M101 has always been deployed previously in either the towed version, or in heavy armored vehicles, most famously on the M7 "Priest" of World War 2 fame. The trade-offs between these two systems were well-known: towed artillery is light on support requirements, while the vehicles carrying the gun in the self-propelled roll were exceedingly heavy and expensive, purpose-built vehicles.

The EVO-105 introduces a new wrinkle to the calculations, because it is both mounted to, and fires from, a common heavy utility truck chassis, via its unique pedestal mount.

The system is extremely fast into action, requiring less than sixty seconds to stop and shoot, versus four and a half minutes for its towed counterpart. There is no need to dig a recoil pit, and the weapon retains its high angle of elevation. Displacing from a position is even faster, as the EVO requires only 30 seconds to start its movement. A large bonus is crew size, as the EVO-105 requires only a 5-person crew - three artillerymen, a driver and assistant-driver - versus an eleven-person crew for the towed system -- and the towed system still requires a vehicle.

The EVO-105 is a revolutionary development, in that it places time-tested systems into one flexible package, at low cost. It fires with all the speed characteristic of the M101-series of howitzers, approaching rates of fire comparable to 81mm mortars. This weapon has the potential to significantly expand the support fire capability of any battalion commander, drastically extending the reach of his supporting fires.

The ROK Army has apparently pre-ordered 800 units from Samsung Techwin, with delivery to start in 2017. The potential for Samsung to sell this product throughout the world is significant, indeed.

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