In the US Army’s bid to develop a Strategic Long-Range Cannon programme, BAE Systems has been officially tapped to help the service build an Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) prototype.
The company announced on 15 July that it had received a USD45 million contract to help the service build an ERCA Increment 1 prototype that will increase the range and rate of fire on current, as well as future, M109A7 self-propelled howitzers. To achieve this increase, ERCA will be integrated onto the M109A7 and the M109A7's current 39-calibre turret will be replaced with a 58-calibre, 30 ft long gun barrel, the company said.
"ERCA is a significant technological step forward for the army's artillery portfolio," Scott Davis, the vice-president of programmes for BAE Systems' Combat Vehicles business, said in a statement.
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