self propelled artillery

Self-propelled artillery (also called mobile artillery or locomotive artillery) is artillery equipped with its own propulsion system to move towards its target. Within the term are covered self-propelled guns (or howitzers) and rocket artillery. They are high mobility vehicles, usually based on continuous tracks carrying either a large howitzer, field gun, a mortar or some form of rocket or missile launcher. They are usually used for long-range indirect bombardment support on the battlefield. In the past, self-propelled artillery has included direct-fire vehicles, such as assault guns and tank destroyers. These have been heavily armoured vehicles, the former providing close fire-support for infantry and the latter acting as specialized anti-tank vehicles. Modern self-propelled artillery vehicles may superficially resemble tanks, but they are generally lightly armoured, too lightly to survive in direct-fire combat. However, they protect their crews against shrapnel and small arms and are therefore usually included as armoured fighting vehicles. Many are equipped with machine guns for defense against enemy infantry. The key advantage of self-propelled over towed artillery is that it can be brought into action much faster.
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