Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Meet the M1299, the new Army howitzer with twice the range of the Paladin
The future of Army long-range precision officially has a name.
The Army confirmed on Monday that it plan on designating the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program's brand new 155mm self-propelled howitzer as the M1299, Army Recognition reports.
Developed in response to increasing concerns of near-peer adversaries like Russia and China, the ERCA gun nailed targets with pinpoint accuracy at a range of 62 kilometers during testing at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona in March, far outstripping the range of both the M109A7 Paladin (30km) and M777 (40km with the M982 Excalibur guided artillery shell) howitzers.
Compared to those systems, the M1299 will receive two "leading-edge technologies," as Army Recognition reports: the experimental new XM1113 rocket-assisted artillery shell, and a longer 58 caliber tube designed to boost the conventional howitzer range from 38km to 70km and, eventually, an eye-popping 100 km "within the forthcoming four years."
Extended Range Cannon Artillery, or ERCA, will be an improvement to the latest version of the Paladin self-propelled howitzer that provides indirect fires for the brigade combat team and division-level fight (U.S. Army photo)
"We know we need the range in order to maintain overmatch," Col. John Rafferty, head of the long-range precision fire cross-functional team, told Defense News. "We need 70 to 80 kilometers because that's the start, and then we will be able to get farther. Right now we are on a path to 70 kilometers with ERCA."
Extended range is only one element of the Army's never-ending pursuit of lethality. The M1299 will incorporate a fully automated ammo loading system to boost the howitzer's rate of fire from 3 rpm to 10rpm, although Defense News reported in March that the Army doesn't plan on fully incorporating the system "beyond the first iteration" until 2024.
Soldier may not need to wait that long to get their hands on the ERCA program's new tech, though: the official M1299 designation comes just weeks after the Army awarded a $45 million contract to BAE Systems to integrate various elements of the ERCA system into the service's existing and future Paladin howitzers.
Anyway, congrats to the M1299 on its induction into the world of alpha-numeric military designations. We hope your upcoming baptism is a baptism by fire.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.