AS90 Braveheart is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer which entered service with the British Army in 1992. It is manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems (RO Defence and formerly the Armaments Division of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd) at Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria. 179 have been built for the British Army. The AS90 was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.
The howitzer range was 24.9 km (39 cal), and 30 km with the tested 52 cal version and standard charges. The rate of fire was 3 rounds in a 10 seconds burst saturation fire, 6 rounds per minute for 3 minutes or 2 rounds per minute in sustained fire. The secondary armament comprised a 7.62 mm L7 GPMG on the roof. The ammunition comprised 48 projectiles and charges, with 31 stored in the turret and 17 located in the hull and 1000 MG rounds.
BAE Systems was awarded a contract to upgrade 96 of the British Army AS90s with a 155mm / 52-calibre extended-range ordnance / modular charge system (ERO/MCS). The upgraded AS90s were expected to enter service in 2003, but the programme was halted while a system study was being conducted.
The Royal Ordnance division of BAE Systems manufactures the 52-calibre barrel, which gives an increased range of 40km. Somchem division of Denel was responsible for the modular charge system. AS90 has also test fired the new Denel Assegai family of 155mm ammunition which has completed development, and includes a velocity-enhanced long-range artillery projectile (VLAP).