TechSuccessful test of the XM1155-SC missile. This is what the future of artillery looks like

Successful test of the XM1155-SC missile. This is what the future of artillery looks like

XM1155-SC missile during tests
XM1155-SC missile during tests
Images source: © BAE Systems
7:52 AM EDT, October 16, 2023

American tube artillery is set to gain new capabilities – to shoot further and more accurately. Towards this end, under the ERCA program, Americans are developing a new howitzer XM1299. With the new weapon in mind, new 155 mm – subcaliber XM1155-SC projectiles are also being developed. Its creators report another success.

Work is being conducted worldwide to increase the range of traditional, barrel artillery. One of the programs aiming to achieve this goal is the American program ERCA (Extended Range Cannon Artillery).

As part of ERCA, a successor to the American, self-propelled howitzers M109A6 Paladin is being developed. The new howitzer - XM907E2 – stands out with a barrel of a length of up to 58 calibers, compared to 52 calibers in the case of its predecessor.

A longer barrel, as well as precise control of the combustion of propelling charges and new ammunition, are supposed to provide American artillery with exceptional abilities to fire at record distances with very high precision. The elements of this puzzle are the XM1155 projectiles.

XM907E2 and XM1155 - new generation artillery

Work on them is being conducted by BAE Systems corporation, which has been reporting on subsequent trials for several years, rather succinctly providing details of the tests conducted. However, it is known that the program is making visible progress, and the tested range of accurate shots is increasing annually.

In 2022, BAE Systems boasted about improving on the results achieved by the Raytheon company, which - using jet-engine missiles - reached an artillery range of about 62 miles. BAE Systems improved this result by shooting at least 68 miles, also exceeding this distance during subsequent tests.

The range of the US Army's artillery now extends 100 kilometers

Such a long shooting range is a result of, among other things, the special construction of the ammunition - the XM1155-SC is a subcaliber projectile, meaning its diameter is smaller than that of the barrel from which it's fired. It is also a guided projectile, as it is directed to the target by satellite navigation.

The latest tests of the XM1155-SC missiles were not aimed at setting a new record, but at checking whether this specific ammunition can also be fired from howitzers currently used by the US army. The new tests confirmed this possibility.

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