The most modern cannons can fire at a range of 30-kilometers at most. But the U.S. Armyis investing in its Extended Range Cannon Artillery program that fires 155-millimeter rounds more than 60-kilometers away.
These ranges represent what the U.S. Army can lob at its targets. Better yet the GPS-guided Guided Multiple Rocket Launch Systems fires as far as 70-kilometers, with artillery fired Army Tactical Missile System missiles that can reach 300 miles, representing a new generation of artillery at the army's disposal.
But, the Extended Range Cannon Artillery program is looking into using cannons as launching platforms for the new ground-launched precision-strike missile that might reach 500-kilometers. If it can be fired that far, what about a 1000-kilometer range as a target for weapons development. Another factor is developing a cannon with a high rate of fire and low cost included.
According to Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, the director of the program, he had an interview with the Warrior. He said that the project is complementary to hypersonic systems and lobbing a volume of fire on vulnerable targets. Hypersonic weapons will be used to strike intended targets needing pinpoint hits, reported Fox News.
Adding the research and development is not pushed by the Army Futures Command, including the Rapid Capabilities Office. The object is a system that is an integrated cannon system, capable of firing a state of the art projectile. Its design is on the drawing board already.
Some of the problems that come in designing a 1,000-mile cannon is a balance in the muzzle velocity, with the pressure inside the firing chamber, and how fast the projectile is supposed to travel at maximum. All factors should be crucial to keep the cannon intact when it is fired. Otherwise, it will be wrecked if everything needed is not taken into account in the prototype.
This weapon is meant to bombard a target area from the longest range, hitting and raining destruction on targets at one time. Having a high rate of fire and speedy shells that travel far. All military targets of value like troops, command centers, and enemy armor. It will be more cost-effective than sending strike craft in harm's way.
Such a weapon will have precise targeting as its key feature. Achievable by being able to fire varying shell types, that includes hypersonic weapons from its barrel. Dual-use as a high-volume barrage weapon that clusters the target areas with fire. Next is a precise weapon that works as well as other platforms which is a mix of conventional and modern weapons that the U.S. Army will dominate with.
A hypothetical situation that is feasible is the initial attack will be with a hypersonic weapon that targets the objective target. Next comes the barrage that will be with conventional shells which in principle should give the enemy a lot to worry about.
But funding is needed to fire the first 1000-mile shot scheduled for 2023. Rafferty stressed that it will hinge all parties involved in its devilment. He added that such weapon will confound America's enemies, giving American ground forces an extra punch. It gives another option to reach hard to attack targets too.
Devising a 1,000-mile range cannon with barrage and precision shells is an excellent stand-off weapon that keeps opponents on their toes.
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