Army Builds New Self-Propelled Howitzer - Cannon Will Hit 43.5 Miles

U.S. Army Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers from the 1-426 Field Artillery Battery operate an M109A6 Paladin Howitzer at Fort McCoy, Wis., August 18, 2018. (credit: Spc. John Russell/U.S. Army)

U.S. Army Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers from the 1-426 Field Artillery Battery operate an M109A6 Paladin Howitzer at Fort McCoy, Wis., August 18, 2018. (credit: Spc. John Russell/U.S. Army)

September 24, 2018 | Source: Fox News (Warrior Maven), foxnews.com, 28 August 2018, Kris Osborn

he Army is starting formal production of a new Self-Propelled Howitzer variant engineered for faster movement, better structural protection, improved drive-train ability, new suspension and advanced networking tech, service and industry developers said.

The new vehicle is built with a more capable, larger chassis, designed as an initial step toward building a next-generation cannon able to outgun existing Russian weapons.

As part of a longer-term plan to leverage the new larger chassis built into the Army’s new M109A7 variant, the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is beginning work on a new cannon able to hit enemies out to 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), senior Army developers said.

Senior Army weapons developers have explained that the current 80s-era 39 calibre Howitzer is outgunned by its Russian equivalent - a scenario the service plans to change.

A 70-kilometer target range is, by any estimation, a substantial leap forward for artillery; when GPS guided precision 155mm artillery rounds, such as Excalibur, burst into land combat about ten years ago - its strike range was reported at roughly 30 kilometers. A self-propelled Howitzer able to hit 70-kilometers puts the weapon on par with some of the Army’s advanced land-based rockets - such as its precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, which also reaches 70-kilometers.

In a modern threat environment, wherein near-peer and smaller-level rivals increasingly possess precision-guided land weapons, longer-range C4ISR technology and drone weapons, increasing range is a ubiquitous emphasis across the Army and other services. Russia’s violations of the INF treaty, new S-500 air defenses, new Armata tanks and fast growing attack drone fleet - all point to a growing need for the US to outrange and outgun potential adversaries.


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