The weapons of war continue to evolve.
Far from being satisfied with the current artillery for field combat, the contractors who supply U.S. Armed Forces with their equipment have been busy developing a new generation of fire-power. This week in the Arizona desert, the Army’s new, uh, toy and its capabilities were on full display.
The live-fire demonstration, taking place at Northrop Grumman’s 2019 Bushmaster User Conference in Kingman, Ariz., was designed to further prepare the weapon for integration onto armored vehicles and, ultimately, send the new cannon to war. Military representatives from the US and as many as 25 partner nations gathered to see the live-fire demo, which included a host of armored-vehicle weapons and technologies – such as the 50mm cannon.
The cannon attack was part of a live-fire demonstration intended to move the 50mm Bushmaster cannon closer to integration onto a turret and Army armored combat vehicle — to include the service’s now-in-development Next-Generation Combat Vehicle slated to emerge in the mid-2020s.
The 50mm cannon, built by Northrop Grumman, is engineered to blend a variety of emerging, high-tech armored vehicle attack technologies into a single system — to include advanced fire-control, automated targeting sensors, next-gen ammunition, new computer processing speed and longer-range medium caliber attack options.
According to Northrop information, the new 50mm cannon, referred to as the experimental XM913, can hit ranges more than twice as far as the roughly 2-kilometer range of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s existing M242 25mm cannon. “Dozens of countries have either parity or overmatch to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s M242,” a Northrop statement says. The 50mm is being engineered to address this potential disparity, by hitting ranges well over 4km.
Four kilometers is a matter of miles. Plural.
Obviously, as the enemies of the nation advance their capabilities, so must the American military. If new weaponry can launch projectiles miles with precision, new ways of battle will be devised, and hopefully with the new ways fewer casualties.