The Army’s current howitzers, the towed M-777 and the self-propelled M-109, are reported to shoot just 14 miles with standard rounds and 19 miles with rocket-assisted shells. Russian howitzers, on the other hand, can already fire at a range of up to 43 miles. For these reasons, the US ground-combat branch is now spending billions of dollars improving the firing range of its howitzers and rocket launchers, as well as creating new, long-range rockets in order to match, then exceed, its rivals’ artillery capabilities. On March 6, 2020, the US Army conducted a fire test at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Two 155-millimeter howitzer projectiles were launched out to a range of 40 miles. This howitzer was one of the Army’s prototype Extended-Range Cannon Artillery systems or ERCA. The ERCA is the first in a series of new long-range weapons for the Army, combining the newest M-109A7 chassis with a new 30-feet-long barrel.
Credit Military TV