U.S. to Expand Cannon’s Range to 1850 Km

U.S. to Expand Cannon’s Range to 1850 Km 20 October, 2019


The U.S. Army is developing a new weapon capable of reaching 1,850 km. The U.S. Army released Directive 2017-33, which led to the establishment of the Army Futures Command Task Force and the outlining of six modernisation priorities. One of the concepts unveiled by the Army Futures Command, known as the "Strategic Long-Range Cannon" (SLRC) is based on scaling up existing howitzers and rocket-boosted artillery shells to a much bigger size and range capability. Army believes the extreme range of the SLRC could be useful in dealing with advanced over-the-horizon radar, shore defences and air defence systems.

The weapon is now progressing from the concept stage, to its first technical and feasibility studies. The Army is working with the Centre for Army Analysis and the Research and Analysis Centre at White Sands Missile Range. Additional research is being conducted at the Naval Support Facility in Dahlgren, Virginia, which has a test range for naval artillery.

The SLRC would be cheaper than hypersonic missiles, according to Col. John Rafferty, Director at the Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, in a recent interview. It will "be able to deliver a volume of more affordable projectiles," possibly 12, 16 or 20 in shorter order, to destroy a target. Along with its other new artillery systems, the Army wants to demonstrate a prototype of the SLRC by 2023.

The system was previously unveiled back in 2018 and it resurfaced again at AUSA 2018 and 2019 Congress. It appears that the army is more optimistic on developing existing conventional systems rather than electromagnetic railgun.

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