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New cannon for U.S. howitzer able to reach a target at 70 km

According to the National Interest website, the U.S. Army is starting the production of a new artillery vehicle based on the M109A7 self-propelled howitzer using a new cannon able to reach a target at a maximum range of 70 km.

New cannon for US howitzer able to reach a target at 70 km 925 001
Soldiers assigned to Battery B, 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery, West Virginia Army National Guard, stage M109A7 Howitzers during exercise Northern Strike at Camp Grayling, Mich., on Aug. 8, 2018. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The new howitzer will have a large chassis and is designed to compete with the latest generation of self-propelled howitzer used by the Russian army.

The current Paladin M109A7 artillery system is armed with a 155mm M284 cannon with an M182A1 gun mount and an automated loader. It can fire standard 155mm ammunition at a maximum range of 24km. . The M109A7 is able to fire the Excalibur Precision 155 mm Projectiles at a maximum firing range of 30 km. It is a 155 mm, Global Positioning System (GPS)-guided, extended-range artillery projectile in use as the Army’s next-generation cannon artillery precision munitions.

With the new capacity to hit target at 70 km maximum, the new howitzer will have similar combat characteristics as rocket launcher systems that uses also precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System which also reaches 70km.

The US Army has also been working with the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office to explore additional innovations for the Howitzer platform. Railguns launch projectiles using electromagnetic forces instead of the chemical propellants used in traditional artillery rounds. These futuristic weapons can deliver muzzle velocities more than twice those of conventional guns;

In July 2017, the US Navy has released a video showing a multi-shot salvo test of its electromagnetic railgun. cruisers and destroyers.

Propelled by an electrical current and traveling at speeds up to Mach 7.5, the US Navy's Hyper Velocity Projectile can shoot out of a rail gun to destroy enemy ships, vehicles and missiles at ranges up to 100 nautical miles.

The U.S. Navy, DoD and U.S. Army are also experimenting with integrating the rail gun hypervelocity projectile with existing weapons platforms such as the Navy's 5-inch guns or Army Howitzer.

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