The Army's New Supergun Could Put China On Blast

Military Tech
Soldiers Pound ISIS Fighters In Syria From New Fire Base

The Army is working on a supergun with a 1,000-mile range that could potentially hit targets in the South China Sea from a gun pit on land, Army Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Wednesday.


"You can imagine a scenario where the Navy feels that it cannot get into the South China Sea because of Chinese naval vessels, or whatever," Esper said during a media roundtable. "We can – from a fixed location, on an island or some other place – engage enemy targets, naval targets, at great distances and maintain our standoff and yet open the door, if you will, for naval assets or Marine assets."

The experiments with extended-range artillery are part of the Army's look at hypersonic technology, which the U.S. military initially decided not to weaponize years ago.

When Task & Purpose asked Esper why the Army needs artillery that can lob a shell up to 1,000 miles, Esper explained the U.S. military needs to outrange enemy guns.

"You want to be outside the range that they can hit you," Esper said.

"Why was the spear developed? Because the other guy had a sword. A spear gives you range. Why was the sling developed? Because the spear closed off the range of the sword. You want to always have standoff where you can strike without being struck back. That's what extended-range cannon artillery gives us, case in point vis-à-vis the Russians."

SEE ALSO: The Army Thinks It Can Eventually Fire Artillery At Enemies 1,000 Miles Away

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(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

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(CIA photo)

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