Big Guns: Army Prototypes Range-Doubling New Artillery Weapon to Outgun Russia
The Army is building prototypes of a new artillery cannon that can more than double the range of existing weapons and vastly alter the strategic and tactical landscape shaping land war into the future.
The Army program, called Extended Range Cannon Artillery, has been developing for several years; it is now entering a new phase through an Army deal with BAE Systems to build “Increment 1” prototypes.
“This prototype phase will address capability gaps in the Army’s indirect fire systems and improve the rate and range of fire with the development of power distribution software and hardware integration solutions,” a BAE Systems statement said.
During testing thus far, the Army has successfully fired a 155mm artillery round 62 kilometers - marking a technical breakthrough in the realm of land-based weapons and progressing toward its stated goal of being able to outrange and outgun Russian and Chinese weapons.
Currently, most land-fired artillery shot from an M777 Towed Howitzer or Self-Propelled Howitzer are able to pinpoint targets out to 30km - so hitting 62km dramatically changes Army offensive attack capability. As part of an effort to ensure the heavy M777 is sufficiently mobile, the Army completed a “mobility” demonstration of ERCA prototypes last year.