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BAE Systems has successfully demonstrated its 40mm cannon for the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, as the service considers future lethality upgrades across its fleet of tracked and wheeled vehicles, particularly to its Stryker combat vehicles. The service recently fielded a Stryker with a 30mm cannon — the Infantry Carrier Vehicle—Dragoon — to Europe to be tested, awaiting feedback.
One of the most attractive features for the U.S. Army is the cannon’s ability to fire at a very high angle, which would allow it to fight in urban terrain.
The 40mm cannon is fielded to both the British and French armies. The system is at a technology readiness level of nine. The cannon comes with a suite of ammunition, including a point-detonating round, an airburst capability and an armor-piercing round.
The ammunition-handling system can accommodate roughly 70 to 100 rounds in an unmanned turret configuration.
During demonstrations, BAE tried to simulate some scenarios that would be relevant to operations involving Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. For example, a Stryker might perform a wall breech.
For Bradley, the company simulated what would happen if the vehicle unexpectedly came across a main battle tank, firing one airburst round above the tank to blind its scope and then firing a round that simulated armor-piercing ammunition to neutralize the target and quickly escape.
BAE’s next step is to work with the Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center to help it understand the weapon and the details of the technology.
“There is a lot of talk about the [Next-Generation Combat Vehicle] and where that goes; we are looking at that as well. So in an unmanned configuration on a Stryker, manned configuration on a Bradley and NGCV, who knows what that is going to be,” Rory Chamberlain, a business development manager at BAE Systems said. “We are looking at that.”