The M777 howitzer is the most advanced large-caliber howitzer in active service in the U.S. military. It has good tactical mobility and can fire guided shells. The M777 howitzer can be lifted by helicopter and has solid tactical mobility.
The M777 howitzer is the final result of the U.S. Army’s UHF project (Ultra-lightweight Field Howitzer, ultra-light howitzer) in the 1980s, developed by the ground branch of BAE Systems.
In November 2002, the United States signed a $135 million contract with BAE Systems for the low-speed production of M777 howitzers in small batches. All 94 guns produced were used to equip the US Marine Corps.
The guns were used in Iraq and Afghanistan, And other regions participated in the actual combat. At present, in addition to the 999 guns ordered by the U.S. armed forces, Australia (48), Canada (37), India (145), and other countries have also ordered the M777 howitzer.
DESIGN AND FEATURES:
The most prominent feature of the M777 howitzer is its lightness. The total weight of the 155mm caliber is less than 4.2 tons, which gives the gun excellent strategic and tactical mobility.
The gun can be air-dropped by C-130, C-17, and other transport aircraft, such as UH-60L/M, CH-53E/D, CH-47D/ F, and even “Hummer” off-road vehicles can be used for short-distance marching.
The gun is light mainly due to the extensive use of titanium alloys and high-strength aluminum alloys.
Allegedly, the whole weapon used 960 kg of titanium alloy material, accounting for about 26% of the total gun weight.
Another measure to reduce the gun’s weight is to make some parts have two or even multiple functions and reduce the number of parts as much as possible to reduce the weight.
Due to the large-caliber barrel, the power of the M777 howitzer is also awe-inspiring. The gun uses a 155mm caliber 39 barrel that can fire NATO standard 155mm shells. The muzzle velocity (at Charge 8 super) is 827m/s.
The maximum range when launching ordinary grenades is 24.7 kilometers, and the range when launching rocket extended-range bombs is 30 kilometers. With unsupported shots, the maximum shooting range is 24.7 kilometers, and with rocket-assisted rounds, it is 30 kilometers.
The gun can also use M982 “Excalibur” guided projectiles, using the mixed guidance method of GPS + INS, with a maximum range of 40 kilometers and a hit accuracy of up to 10 meters, with an intense precision strike capability.
Under intense firing conditions, the M777 can fire up to five rounds per minute and keep firing at a steady rate of two rounds per minute.
The TAD digital fire control system provides onboard ballistic computation, navigation, aiming, and self-location. It also features a laser ignition system, electric drives for the howitzer’s traverse and elevation, and a driven projectile rammer.