U.S. Army designates new 155mm self-propelled howitzer as M1299

The U.S. Army officially confirmed that it will designate the newest 155mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) as M1299. The Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA gun) program evolved in the XM1299 prototype, now standardized as M1299.

U.S. Army designates its new 155mm self propelled howitzer as M1299
XM1299 self-propelled howitzer firing test (Picture source: U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground)

The U.S. Army’s extended-range artillery system has been designed to increase the range and rate of fire on current and future M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzers. Compared to its predecessors, an M1299 system is receiving two leading-edge technologies: new XM1113 rocket-boosted shell and a longer 58 caliber tube, which increases the range from 38km to 70km+, and 100 km within the forthcoming four years.

In addition, the M1299 will have a fully automated ammunition loading system which increases the rate of fire from 3 rpm to 10 rpm. Removing the crew from the gun radically opens up the design space. The M1299 also receives a communications system that can work in GPS-denied environments.

Many elements of the howitzer can be automatically modeled to support design decisions: gunfire shock response, electrical power draw, internal ballistics, etc.

Building on mobility upgrades, the M1299 will also increase the lethality of self-propelled howitzers: new SPHs provides a “10x” capability through a combination of an increased range, increased rate of fire, increased lethality, increased reliability and greater survivability.