Howitzer firing capabilities to be improved by BAE Systems

UNITED KINGDOM. BAE Systems received a $45 million contract to improve the firing capabilities of the howitzers of the U.S. Army.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.

The company will work to increase the range and rate of fire of current and future M109A7 self-propelled howitzers in the Extended Range Cannon Artillery Increment (ERCA) 1 prototype series. ERCA will be integrated onto the M109A7, replacing its current 39-caliber turret with a 58-caliber, 30-foot long gun barrel. The modifications would double the current range of the vehicle's firepower.

ERCA is a collaboration of BAE Systems and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.

The M109 series, a tank-like vehicle with a crew of four, first saw use in 1963, and its variants are included in over 60 armies around the world.