U.S. Massive breakthrough: 155 mm howitzer artillery destroys incoming cruise missiles

14 September – Fox News – By Kris Osborn | Warrior Maven

In an amazing first, an artillery cannon took out a fast-moving maneuvering cruise missile.

An M109 Paladin 155 mm howitzer made history recently by shooting down a fast-moving maneuvering cruise missile with a “hypervelocity projectile” able to travel at speeds up to Mach 5, according to an Air Force announcement. Historically, armored vehicles such as tanks, howitzers or infantry carriers have not operated with an ability to destroy fast-moving, long-range cruise missiles, yet the successful demonstration breaks new ground.

The shoot-down, which took place at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, destroyed a “surrogate” Russian cruise missile target using the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

In development for several years now, ABMS represents an Air Force technical initiative to engineer a “meshed” network of otherwise disconnected sensor “nodes” throughout a theater of combat operations. While an Air Force program, the effort is intended by all estimations to inform the Pentagon’s broader Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) technological system.

The concept with JADC2 is to integrate sensor-to-shooter capabilities across air-land-sea-space and cyber domains in real-time, decreasing latency, expediting attacks and bringing new dimensions to “joint warfare.”

“Future battlefields will be characterized by information saturation. One of the key objectives of this onramp was to present a dizzying array of information for participants to synthesize, just like they would see in a real operation,” Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in an Air Force report.

Firing a hypervelocity projectile (HVP) from an artillery cannon is a concept that has been under development for many years, dating back to Roper’s time directing the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office. The origins of the HVP can be traced to the Navy’s Rail Gun developmental effort as well as initiatives intended to explore firing the HVP from deck-mounted guns on Navy surface ships.

Due to its ability to reach speeds of up to 5,600 miles per hour, the hypervelocity projectile is engineered as a kinetic energy warhead, meaning no explosives are necessary. It can travel at speeds up to 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) per second, a speed which is about three times that of most existing weapons. The weapon brings such force, power and range that could hold enemies at risk from greater distances and attack targets with the kinetic energy force equivalent to a multi-ton vehicle moving at 160 miles per hour, developers have said.

The success of the shoot-down, Roper added, relied upon the integration of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled data analytics increasingly able to gather, organize and analyze data with great reliability in a near-instantaneous fashion. So not only will air-sea-and land targeting sensors have an ability to exchange information across otherwise disparate information systems, but AI-enabled algorithms can gather the data, perform near real-time analytics and efficiently distribute organized information where needed.

Longer-range sensors also further enable this technical possibility, allowing for bombers in the air, surface ships, fighter jets, drones and land-based command and control to operate across previously inaccessible vast distances.

“This compelled commanders and operators to trust data analytics and artificial intelligence to understand the battle. Valuing data as an essential warfighting resource, one no less vital than jet fuel or satellites, is the key to next-gen warfare,” Roper said.

Cloud computing, Roper added, is among a series of AI-integrated technologies now ready for combat.

AI-empowered algorithms can gather information and bounce new data off of a nearly limitless database to establish comparisons, identify items of relevance, perform analyses, solve problems and efficiently organize problem-solving “data.” The success of this relies upon a number of variables, including increased reliability of algorithms programmed to identify patterns, recognize essential indicators and provide the necessary context.

8 comments

  • The US now says, who needs a missile shield, our Howitzers can do the trick! So much for the super duper Putler Lada missiles…we now can shoot “…with the kinetic energy force equivalent to a multi-ton vehicle moving at 160 miles per hour…”
    Bye bye Lada junk…

    Liked by 4 people

  • It’s clearly a defensive weapon that Ukraine and any other civilization menaced by nazi Russia needs like yesterday.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I doubt many if any will get this AI programming but now that it can neutralize little Putin’s fantasies who knows? I imagine there will be some NATO countries giving permission to the Americans to use it on their territories and since it’s mobile, it could go almost anywhere. I think it’s fantastic that a simple kinetic weapon can take down a multimillion dollar cruise missile.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Kinetic energy is formidable. This application is for defensive purposes, but they can be used in different and very destructive ways. Kinetic weapons would eliminate the need for nuclear weapons since they have potentially even greater power, but without the deadly poisonous fallout.

        Liked by 4 people

  • “Due to its ability to reach speeds of up to 5,600 miles per hour, the hypervelocity projectile is engineered as a kinetic energy warhead, meaning no explosives are necessary.”
    I’d wager that the concept is similar to the armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot round, in which a large caliber weapon fires a sabot round of much smaller caliber that achieves a very high velocity.
    Here, I see one drawback. The projectile must be extremely accurate to achieve a direct hit. An explosive charge with a proximity fuse would improve the probability of destroying the target but would require a heavier and more complex warhead. The system is still very impressive if it can hit a cruise missile, which is not easy to down.

    Liked by 5 people

  • No problems, Russia will have developed a missile that can dodge this kinetic energy warhead by the end of the day. The Muscovy fantasy dept are working feverishly on it as we speak.

    Liked by 4 people

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