Picatinny Arsenal engineers have fired the newly modified M777A2 howitzer at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, completing the next step towards expanding the system's current firing range.
Engineers put together an integration test bed for the M777A2 Extended Range (M777ER) howitzer program, incorporating a 55 caliber cannon tube on the M777A2 towed howitzer. The modification added six feet to the cannon while limiting the increase in overall system weight to less than 1,000 pounds.
The total length of the tube increased the chamber volume as well as the rifling length. That, in combination with the additional increment of legacy propellant (MACS zone 6), resulted in an increase in range of several kilometers.
Engineers are using an incremental approach to increasing the range of the M777A2 howitzer. The ultimate goal of the program is to demonstrate a maximum range of 70KM while minimizing the cost and modifications to the weapon platform