U.S. National Guard of Vermont and Massachusetts receive new M777A2 & M119A3 howitzers 10708162

Defence & Security News - United States
 
U.S. National Guard of Vermont and Massachusetts receive new M777A2 & M119A3 howitzers.
Working with Picatinny Arsenal, Vermont and Massachusetts U.S. National Guard Soldiers fired live rounds with new M777A2 and M119A3 Howitzers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix on July 27. The live-fire exercise marked the conclusion of an 18-day training, in which new equipment training (NET) instructors taught members of both National Guards how to use these howitzers.
     
Working with Picatinny Arsenal, Vermont and Massachusetts U.S. National Guard Soldiers fired live rounds with new M777A2 and M119A3 Howitzers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix on July 27. The live-fire exercise marked the conclusion of an 18-day training, in which new equipment training (NET) instructors taught members of both National Guards how to use these howitzers. U.S. Soldiers assigned to A Battery (Archer) and C Battery (Cobra), 2nd Cavalry Regiment conduct a certification training on M777A2 towed 155 mm howitzers. (Source DVIDS)
     

These upgraded howitzers include a digital fire control system, which pinpoints the howitzer’s precise geographical location and where the cannon tube is pointed. This allows Infantry Bridge Combat Teams (IBCTs) to get rounds on target faster and more accurately than prior versions, ultimately helping to save Soldiers’ lives by allowing them to complete their mission and get out of harm’s way before the enemy can return fire.

Last year Picatinny provided these digitized howitzers to the New Jersey National Guard. Its new battery fired the digitized M777A2 lightweight Howitzer, a 155mm cannon. Meanwhile, the two existing batteries continued to fire the M119, a 105mm cannon, which was upgraded from the M119A2 to the digitized M119A3 as part of the effort.

The modified 155 mm M777A2 howitzer, right, has a range of more than double that of the current version, left, from 29 to 69 km. This latest version of M777 also boasts precision-guided munitions, making it the lightest, farthest-reaching and most accurate towed system in the world.

“It’s a significant increase in how fast we can process fire missions and provide field artillery fire for the maneuver units that we support. It also gives us added flexibility when supporting those units,” said Capt. John Macuga about the M119A3 Howitzer. Macuga is the Battery Commander of Alpha Battery 1st Battalion 101st Field Artillery, which is part of the 86th Brigade Combat Team from the Massachusetts National Guard.

The upgraded M119A3 is equipped with a digital fire control system that includes an inertial navigation unit, guided-precision system technology and other features that will give the weapon the ability to determine its precise geographical location on its own.


The digitized M119A3 includes a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation Unit, or INU, that detects where the weapon is at all times, so optical sites are not needed to determine location.
     
Working with Picatinny Arsenal, Vermont and Massachusetts U.S. National Guard Soldiers fired live rounds with new M777A2 and M119A3 Howitzers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix on July 27. The live-fire exercise marked the conclusion of an 18-day training, in which new equipment training (NET) instructors taught members of both National Guards how to use these howitzers. U.S. Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment prepare M119A3 Howitzer for a simulated fire mission while conducting a defensive operation during Swift Response 16 training exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area (Source DVIDS)
 

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