The US Army announced that it had fired 155 mm artillery beyond the symbolic 100 km mark, while the role of long-range artillery was demonstrated again during the conflict in Ukraine.
Faced with rapid developments in the capabilities of the Chinese armies, and to a lesser extent the Russian, North Korean and Iranian armies, the US Army launched in 2017, like the other US armies, a vast program aimed at developing its organization and equipment from a model optimized for counter-insurgency engagements over the last 20 years, towards a model adapted to high-intensity engagement, as during the Cold War.
Among the major areas of development, several key programs have emerged, such as the Future Vertical Lift which aims to replace aerial equipment (helicopters and drones) in service with the Future Long Range Air Assault (FLRAA) and Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft programs. (FARA), the densification of anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems with the Gardian and MEHEL programs, or the replacement of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with the Optionally Manned Fighting vehicle, or OMFV, program.
The role of 155mm artillery in Ukraine
As was the case in the early 1970s with the BIG 5 super program, the US Army also undertook to replace its artillery and enemy depth strike capabilities, notably through the Extended Range Cannon Artillery program, or ERCA.
It is true that in this area, if Lockheed-Martin's HIMARS proved very effective in Ukraine, this was not the case with the M109s offered to Kyiv by its European allies. Thus, in a documented manner, no less than 21 Italian, British and Norwegian M109s have been destroyed or damaged since the start of the conflict, but also more than fifty M777 towed guns offered by the United States, compared to only a German Pzh 2000 and two French Caesar cannons damaged.
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