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Army Developing New High-Tech Long-Range Artillery

Army Developing New High-Tech Long-Range Artillery
June 26
15:43 2018

http://thermograve.co.uk/?p=923 Regardless of what kind of war one ends up in, there is always a need for sufficient ground force weapons. An aerial war can be extremely devastating, but usually, there is the need for ground forces to go in and finish the job. A naval war is great and can also inflict a lot of damage on land and sea, but still, it leaves the need for ground forces to finish the job.

Somewhere around the 12th century, the Chinese invented a land weapon capable of launching a projectile some distance – the earliest cannons. In time, cannons were adapted for ships and used extensively in naval battles for centuries. We’ve all see the movies of pirate ships attacking merchant ships or other naval warfare that took place several centuries ago.

During the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, land cannons were used in battle. They hurled heavy cannon balls, some with explosive abilities and some just heavy iron balls. They were mounted on an axle with wheels and hauled from battlefield to battlefield.

Over the past century, there have been many technological developments and improvements to cannons. In World War I, tanks were invented as a way to travel with an armor protected cannon. During World War II, tanks were improved, especially with the German development of the Panzer tanks. With each war, newer technology was used to develop tanks with longer range in travel and I shell projection.

Today, the US Army has its tanks and other cannons. The current 155mm artillery rounds can be fired using a mobile and self-propelled howitzer. A 155mm round is about 6.1 inches in diameter. It has a maximum range of around 30 km (18.6 miles).

Russia, to the best of our knowledge, uses a 152mm artillery round shells in their artillery, which has about the same range as our 155mm rounds. In order for the weapons that use these shells to be effective, they basically have to get in range of the weapons used by any opposing force.

This dilemma has led to the Army’s development of a new prototype weapon known at the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA). The new artillery weapon has a longer barrel than the Army’s current artillery, which helps extend the range to nearly 70km (43.5 miles).

A senior Army weapons developer commented:

“When you are talking about doubling the range you need a longer tube and a larger caliber. We will blend this munition with a howitzer and extend the range. We are upgrading the breach and metallurgy of the tube, changing the hydraulics to handle increased pressure and using a new ram jet projectile – kind of like a rocket.”

A statement by the Army reported:

“The ERCA program develops not only the XM907 cannon but also products, such as the XM1113 rocket assisted projectile, the XM654 supercharge, an autoloader, and new fire control system.”

Per a report:

“ERCA changes the Army’s land war strategic calculus in a number of key respects, by advancing the Army’s number one modernization priority – long-range precision fires. This concept of operations is intended to enable mechanized attack forces and advancing infantry with an additional stand-0ff range or protective sphere with which to conduct operations. Longer range precision fire can hit enemy troop concentrations, supply lines and equipment essential to a coordinated attack, while allowing forces to stay farther back from incoming enemy fire.”

“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.”

Technological advances in ground warfare is crucial to winning any military action and the new ERCA will give the US the advantage of hitting enemy targets long before they are able to counter an attack on the ERCA. This is a decisive advantage for the US Army’s ground forces.

 

 

 

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