|Seats|| 3 seats:
|Item capacity|| Max: 3000 kg
|Top speed||64 km/h|
|Fuel capacity||1885 L|
|Primary armament|| Main:
|Secondary armament|| Secondary:
|Variants||M2A1 Slammer, M2A4 Slammer UP, M5 Sandstorm|
The M4 Scorcher is the primary self-propelled, heavy artillery vehicle used by NATO forces.
- Indirect fire support
|«|| Based on the licensed version of an Israeli tank chassis, the Scorcher M4 is a 155mm self-propelled artillery at the end of its lifetime cycle. It has modules allowing indirect fire support, with an advanced artillery computer allowing for various unguided and guided ammunition to be fired. The rear of the chassis no longer permits transporting passengers, as ammunition storage is installed.|
Fitted with a 155mm howitzer cannon as its primary weapon, the Scorcher is a powerful gun-based fire support vehicle that can launch a mixture of high-explosive, smoke, cluster, and even precision guided shells on targets at extreme distances.
The standard loadout of the Scorcher gives it 32 rounds of high-explosive (HE) shells for the main gun. In addition to the standard high-explosive shells, 6 different sub-munition types are also available, forming a total of 24 more shells that can be loaded. These include:
- 2 rounds of infrared-guided (heat seeking) shells
- 6 rounds of scatter shells that can cover an area with anti-personnel (AP) mines
- 2 rounds of cluster shells that can saturate an area with a hail of explosive fragments
- 6 rounds of deployable white smoke shells that can cover the impact zone instantly in a thick cloud of smoke
- 2 rounds of laser-guided shells
- 6 rounds of scatter shells that can cover an area with anti-tank (AP) mines
The externally mounted RCWS comes pre-loaded with a single 500 round belt of 12.7mm ammunition, and 96 rounds of high-explosive 40mm grenades.
The Scorcher shares the same chassis as its rocket-armed counterpart, which grants it the same level of protection as available to its MBT parent. For self-defence, the Scorcher also has an RCWS turret fitted on top that is armed with a dual-mount 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
However, care should still taken as even though the Scorcher is fairly well-protected and can use its cannon in direct fire mode against close range targets, it is not a vehicle that should be seen on the front lines. This makes it paramount that it be escorted by friendly units at all times as unescorted Scorchers will be easy targets for anti-tank infantry and other armoured threats.
The Scorcher has a seating capacity of three personnel for a crew consisting of the driver, gunner and commander.
It fires all 32 HE rounds in four minutes and 12 seconds, averaging at just under 8 seconds per shot. This makes its fire rate considerably slower than the Mk6 Mortar, although its damage and blast radius per shell is significantly greater.
The Scorcher has five range modes available for firing:
- Close range: 826 to 2,415 meters (ETA 30-22 seconds)
- Medium range: 2,059 to 6,021 meters (ETA 48-35 seconds)
- Far range: 5,271 to 15,414 meters (ETA 78-56 seconds)
- Further range: 14,644 to 42,818 meters (ETA 130-96 seconds)
- Extreme range: 22,881 to ~67,112 meters (ETA 162-117 seconds)
Overlaps occur in the following ranges:
- 2,059-2,415 meters (Close and Medium)
- 5,271-6,021 meters (Medium and Far)
- 14,644-15,414 meters (Far and Further)
- 22,881-42,818 meters (Further and Extreme)
Unfortunately, this means that when simply using the built-in artillery computer, the Scorcher can only perform MRSI strikes in narrow nearby bands, or in the large band beyond ~23 km. It is also unable to have more than two volleys landing on the same target at the same time.
Note however that the built-in computer tends towards using low-angle trajectories. The Scorcher is capable of firing at up to an 80 degree angle from flat ground. This means that it is technically capable of getting multiple volleys to land on the same target simultaneously, but it would require manual calculation of the appropriate trajectories, or the use of spreadsheets or third-party applications.
Manual firing Edit
By default, the turret can be manually raised and lowered with the page up and page down keys. For precision aiming, the rate of adjustment can be slowed by holding down the shift key (by default) while aiming up or down.
It is also possible to adjust range mode without the artillery computer, though this is more difficult. By default, using the F key will cycle through the different range modes, from Close range through to Extreme range and back to Close. It is also possible to bind a key to go from longer ranges to shorter ranges, though there is no default binding for it (Weapons > Previous weapon). Although there is no indicator without the artillery computer to determine which firing mode is currently active, it is possible to work it out by using the rangefinder to point at an object within Close range (826-2,415 meters) and cycling through the firing modes until the red X on the crosshair goes away, indicating you've returned to Close range.
- The M4's turret is based on the real-life "M109 Paladin" SPG, or more specifically the latest M109A7 variant that shares common components with the "M2/M3 Bradley" IFV.
- Along with its parent vehicle and rocket artillery counterpart, the M4's chassis is based on the "Merkava Mark IV" MBT.
- As a result, the M4's overall appearance and role is nearly identical to that of the real-life "Sholef" SPG, a prototype gun-based artillery variant of the "Merkava Mark I" that was designed by Soltam Systems of Israel.
- Co-incidentally "Sholef" in Hebrew translates to Slammer, which is the name of the M4's parent vehicle.