Artillery Systems Upgraded with Innovative Technologies

Artillery Systems Upgraded with Innovative Technologies


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The United States Army has awarded BAE Systems with a $45 million contract to develop and build the Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) prototype. As part of the program, BAE will update and upgrade the existing M109A7 self propelled howitzer by increasing its range and rate of fire.

The ERCA program’s main effort is to modernize the Army’s artillery power by being capable of firing long range precision shots. 

BAE Systems claims that they will be able to convert the M109A7 into a more powerful and precise cannon by integrating “power distribution software and hardware integration solutions,” according to the company. mentions that the current 38 caliber turret will be replaced with a 58 caliber variant so that the upgraded turret can fire the newer ERCA projectiles.

The military has also entrusted BAE Systems with another contract to develop precision guidance kits with anti-jamming capabilities, that will be compatible with the M109 howitzer.

Similar efforts within the ERCA program include work on an improved projectile that can be fired effectively 40 kilometers from the target. An example of such projectile is the XM113 rocket-assisted projectile. 

An autoloader for the cannons has also been considered for the U.S. Army. Such an addition to the cannons will significantly increase its rate of fire.

While the ERCA program is effectively improving artillery capabilities, the U.S. military still has optimistic goals with its ERCA cannon program; to develop a long range cannon capable of a 1,000 nautical mile range.