US Army takes 40-mile shots from extended-range cannon in demo

The U.S. Army took two shots from its Extended Range Cannon Artillery system, which both reached 65 kilometers in range and hit their intended targets, in a demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, on March 6, according to Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of long-range precision fires modernization, the Army’s top priority.

The demonstration proves the cannon is capable of firing roughly 40 miles, which is about the distance between Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Maryland. The capability would also benefit the service should it face near-peer adversaries on the battlefield.

It is unclear whether the Army was pushing its shots out to the maximum range of capability or if the projectiles are capable of reaching farther ranges.

A long-range cannon is intended to give the service a desired level of standoff outside of the range of enemy artillery, where it can destroy those threats and open up windows of opportunity to advance on the enemy in highly contested environments.

The Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team under Army Futures Command has made the ERCA system development one of its centerpiece priorities over the past several years.

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Author: Dian Welle