The Defense Department has a message to allies and adversaries alike: the Army has a supergun, and it works pretty damn well.
The Army last week released footage of its nascent XM1299 Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) system nailing a target with an M982A1 Excalibur guided artillery shell from 43 miles (70 kilometers) away in a recent test.
The demonstration, conducted on Dec. 19 at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, is meant to showcase the progress the service has made in its long-range precision fire capabilities compared to near-peer adversaries like Russia and China, according to the service.
Indeed, as Task & Purpose previously reported, the test far outstripped the ranges of both the M109A7 Paladin (18 miles, or 30 km, with a rocket-assisted projectile) and the M777 (25 miles, or 40 km, with a rocket-assisted projectile) howitzers.
“Not only did the test show the design robustness of a current fielded projectile to demonstrate lethality at extended ranges, it did so while maintaining accuracy, marking a major milestone in support of (Long Range Precision Fires) objectives of achieving overmatch artillery capability in 2023,” Col. Anthony Gibbs, project manager for Combat Ammunition Systems, said in a statement.
Translation: This cannon fucks, am I right? Just watch:
According to Defense One, defense contractor BAE Systems aims to deliver the ERCA systems to at least one Army battalion by 2023 as part of a $45 million contract signed in 2019. As far as we’re concerned, 2023 can’t get here soon enough.