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Army hits target from 43 miles away with artillery system in works

Written by  Tuesday, 29 December 2020 06:03
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Washington DC (UPI) Dec 22, 2020
The Army's under-development Extended Range Cannon Artillery system hit a target on the nose from 43 miles away. Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is overseeing the branch's Long-Range Precision Fires modernization program, told reporters an Excalibur extended-range guided artillery shell hit a target at Arizona's Yuma Proving Ground on Saturday. "I don't think our adversaries have t

The Army's under-development Extended Range Cannon Artillery system hit a target on the nose from 43 miles away.

Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is overseeing the branch's Long-Range Precision Fires modernization program, told reporters an Excalibur extended-range guided artillery shell hit a target at Arizona's Yuma Proving Ground on Saturday.

"I don't think our adversaries have the ability to hit a target on the nose at 43 miles," Rafferty said.

The ERCA cannon uses an M109A7 Paladin Integrated Management howitzer chassis and replaces the 39-caliber gun tube with a 58-caliber, 30-foot tube.

It uses Excalibur munitions made by Ratheon and an XM1113 using supercharged propellant, which have enabled the Army to dramatically boost artillery ranges.

The Army has been working for years to improve the range of its artillery systems.

When the ERCA cannon is fielded, it is expected to be able to fire and take out targets from out of the range of systems of adversaries like Russia.

In March, the Army took two shots that reached 40 miles, bringing it closer to the 43-mile goal.

During this test, the Army took three shots, the first of which came up short and the second of which failed due to a hardware problem.

The third shot shows the Army is getting closer to dialing in on the right combination of factors, such as propellant and projectile design, and hitting targets from a greater distance.

"This demonstration is not a destination," said Col. Tony Gibbs, the Army's program manager for combat artillery system.

"This is really just a waypoint in our ongoing campaign of learning as we work to really realign U.S. supremacy in cannon artillery. It's definitely a big knowledge point for us today."


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